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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reclaimed rubber bracelets

The people at Alaska Bicycle Shop have been very kindly saving damaged bike tire inner tubes for me. When I went to pick them up they had 37 in a basket for me. More than enough to make lots and lots of bracelets, but given how versatile this material is for crafting, I suspect still not enough.
If you have a bicycle tire inner tube from your own bike, or can get them from a local bicycle shop or friends, these bracelets are very fast and easy to make.
You will need:
A prepared piece bicycle tire inner tube
snaps and snap setter - I used Dritz snaps
scissors or craft knife- I used tiny sharp scissors that aren't quite sharp enough anymore for my beading thread, but still in fine shape for the rubber
a light colored gel pen
rubbing alcohol

To prepare a piece of the inner tube, cut off a length that's an inch longer than the bracelet you want to make. Cut it open and with hot soapy water and a dish scrubbie, scrub off the white powder residue from the inside of the inner tube. Let dry.

Prepare the stencil. I just printed it out on paper and cut out the pieces. Click on the image for the full sized version. You may need to modify it somewhat for the width of the inner tube you are working with, making the flower petals a little closer or maybe a little bigger. 

Using the stencil, trace the design on the back of the inner tube using the gel pen, then cut out the negative spaces. 
Cut around the whole design leaving about 3/8th of an inch border around it and tabs on either side to attach snaps to. Double check the size on your wrist before cutting the tabs!
Attach snaps following the instructions on your package of snaps. The gel pen marks from the back can removed with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
On, these look almost like tattoos. The rubber may try to curl some when it's lying flat, but once it's on it's flat. Some of the inner tube may have printing on it, and that adds a nice bit of character to these sorts of bracelets. My son plans to do some mystery braid bracelets using the same material. Absolutely one of the best reclaimed materials I've ever worked with.

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  1. That's a very cool craft! NEAT-O!

  2. Love it love it love it!!! What a genius idea! I adore any craft that upcycles weird materials into something beautiful.

  3. I can't believe this is from a bike tire! How creative!

  4. I love eco jewelry projects like this one! Thanks for sharing. I will link in a future blog post. Pearl

  5. Waw !
    Très bonne idée !
    Merci pour ce magnifique partage !

  6. this is awesome dear your creations :)

  7. love the idea, there are dye cutters that help with the more designs. thanks was making them with soft leather, but this is better thanks.