Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Double DEMO!: Part 1, Recycled Bike Inner Tube Jewelry

Today, you're getting a double DEMO - Bracelets and Earrings - broken into several parts for easier loading (though I couldn't seem to get them in the right order)! And, yes, they're both made from that most lovely of bike repair discards - old inner tubes. Got a flat tire? Make jewelry!

This DEMO includes the step-by-step for the project that I demonstrated yesterday on AM Northwest - you can click over to watch the video. Diane over at CraftyPod was also kind enough to highlight this project, along with the projects of some other great local crafters appearing on the show this week!

Part Two includes the instructions for bracelets, while Part Three includes all the instructions for earrings! Included in this post is all the info you need to gather and prepare your materials.


I gather my raw tubular materials from local bike repair shops (usually happy to see good use made of their discards - the folks over at City Bikes Coop were kind enough to donate this batch!). Sometimes, you can also find them at SCRAP.

I also make good use of StazOn Opaque stamping ink in Cotton White. Locally, I get them at collage, but it looks like you can get them on-line here (disclaimer: I've never ordered from these folks!). No matter which project you do, you'll want a pair of sharp scissors.

For the bracelet, the snaps and snap setter I'm using are from one of my favorite local fabric stores, Fabric Depot (though they don't carry them on the website). Any local fabric store should have a good assortment - I recommend using Dritz snap size 25, Snap Source size 16, or other similarly sized snaps. Instruction for setting the snaps will be included in the package.

For the earrings, I'm using kidney wires and small beads, both available on-line from Rings & Things. You'll also need a small pair of pliers. Bead Fix glue (also available from Rings & Things) is optional.


No matter which jewelry project you do, some basic preparation is in order:

Start by cutting the tubing into manageable chunks. I find that 6" to 12" pieces make a manageable start. 9" is about all you'll need for a bracelet, and by 12" it can get really tough to lay the rubber flat for working.

I cut my tubes open along the outer edge, though you can also cut along the inner edge. The pieces will lay differently each way, and I just find that they lay a little flatter if I cut along the outer edge.

When you open it up, there will probably be a whitish powder inside. Wash this off with dish soap and a scrubby sponge. Let the pieces dry flat on a towel, or wipe them dry, and you're ready to go! Visit Part Two to make bracelets, or Part Three to make earrings!

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