Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Double DEMO!: Part 3, Recycled Bike Inner Tube Earrings


You will need: bicycle inner tube, sharp scissors, masking tape, StazOn Opaque ink, rubber stamps, two kidney earring wires, two small beads, Bead Fix glue (optional), 1/8" hole punch or sharp craft knife, small pliers.

Visit Part One of this DEMO for more information on finding materials and preparing your inner tubes for making into jewelry. This is just one of the many techniques I cover in my Junk Drawer Jewels class, and is the project I demonstrated recently on AM Northwest - click here to see the video.

Start by picking out a couple of rubber stamps - for this earring design, I chose two text patterns - one sort of big and loose (below) and another one that was much smaller and more dense.

Take a clean piece of rubber - one that's about 4" wide and 5" long will work well, though you can use almost any size. Tape it down to your stamping surface using masking tape. Stretch it a bit to get it to lay flat. For my stamping surface, I use a piece of friendly foam stapled to cardboard - fancy! Ink up your stamp with StazOn Opaque ink, and stamp away! Tip: The interior of the inner tube will provide a smoother stamping surface, but the exterior is generally a darker black, leading to higher contrast. You can also stamp both sides for a reversible bracelet!

Next, I made some leaf-shaped templates from paper. You can also cut one free-hand, and then use it as a pattern for your second one.

Either way, you need to end up with two leaf shapes of about the same size and shape. These are about 1 1/2 " long.

Next, cut some diamond/fountain pen-tip shaped pieces from the contrasting stamped rubber. This piece features a stamp of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Again, you can use a template or cut them free-hand. I made these shapes about 1" long.

Now, you should have two larger leaf shapes and two smaller contrasting shapes. Hopefully, yours aren't as blurry!

Next, stack the shapes so that the small shape is on top and the shapes are aligned in a pleasing way.

Using a 1/8" hole punch, punch tiny holes in the top of the rubber shapes. If you do not have a tiny hole punch, you can use a sharp craft knife to cut a tiny hole in the rubber.

Next, trim the tops around the hole. I like to round the edges, and leave only a narrow border around the hole.

Now slide the pieces onto the kidney wire.

And slip the pieces to rest in the notch loop at the base of the kidney wire. If it doesn't fit, trim the edges a bit more.

Using small pliers, crimp the notch loop closed.

Now, slip a bead on the kidney wire, ending so that it rests on top of the rubber pieces and the notch loop.

You can put a drop of Bead Fix glue inside the bead to hold it in position, or you can just let it float.

And you're done!

Option: Why not add the rubber bands from your produce into the mix? It's a whole new reason to buy fresh broccoli!

Be sure to visit Part Two of this DEMO to learn how to apply these techniques to make bracelets!


Sven Bonnichsen said...

Great set of tutorials!

Dave Robertson said...

What great recycling, and a great use of our products! Thanks for posting this.

--Dave Robertson
at Rings & Things

Art Tart on a Farm said...

Girl what will you think of next. I found an old bike tire at a rummage sale, but I bought it only for the tread, which I will use as a grunge stamp....but now I hope the inner tube is still there. Do you think I could punch the rubber out with hand punches.

Bridget said...

Sven: Thanks!
Dave: Thanks!
Melissa: Thanks! Your idea of the tire rubber stamp is BRILLIANT - now I must go out looking for old bike tires . . . and as for using punches, yes, you can use hand paper punches - I find that simpler shapes work best (circles, squares, etc.) and that handled ones and ones with levers work better than the push-button ones. Good luck at all the upcoming estate sales!

Lorena said...

Yay! As avid cyclists, my husband and I have A LOT of inner tubes. Now we have something to do with them (or at least some of them. Thanks for the great idea.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this great tutorial!
I tried for a long time a way to paint on the tube!
Thank's!!! :-)