We cyclists love showing our affection for our bikes. We wear shirts with our favorite bike company’s logo. If there is a sweat shirt that says “I LOVE MY BICYCLE,” we are buying it (and wearing it every day). Literally, put a bike on it and we will rock it.
Why not show off your love of bikes by wearing your favorite used bike parts as jewelry? Up-cycled tires, tubes, washers and spokes can make attractive bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Some women have already perfected the art of bike jewelry and are capitalizing on their skills through internet retail outlets like www.etsy.com and at local bike shops. But, what about all your used bike parts collecting dust in the garage? Well, DO IT YOURSELF!
What are we making?
A cute flower bracelet out of an old holey bike tube! (You can make any design your creativity will allow after you get the hang of making these)
What you will need
A tube- It can be any size you would like, but remember: the smaller the tube, the harder it will be to cut more intricate designs. Why not find a tube that already has a hole in it that cannot be repaired with a patch kit!
Scissors- Pick a pair of small, sharp scissors. If the blades of your scissors are too long, it will be hard to make some of the designs. Having a couple of different types of scissors would be helpful.
Grab your tube and find a good place to make your first cut. Remember, we are selecting the strip of tube that will become your bracelet, so pick wisely. Cut with a clean, fluid motion. To figure out how long your strip of tube will need to be, wrap it around your wrist. Make the strip 2 cm longer than the circumference of your wrist to allow for the closure.
With the tube flat, cut along the side of the tube, so it is fileted open. Sometimes the inside of the tube will be powdery. This is a good time to run to the sink and wash off the tube with dish soap and water. Now, you can cut the tube to whatever width you would like. If the tube has lines on it, use them to make a straight cut.
You now have the blank canvas of your bracelet and can begin your design. To make a flower design, start by cutting a circle in the center of your bracelet. To do this, fold the bracelet in half and cut a semi-circle. When you unfold it, you will have a symmetrical circle.
Then, cut two pedals on either side of the circle. Fold the tube length wise.
Cut a sliver out of the tube, your goal is a symmetrical petal shape.
Cut two more circles next to each pedal. If you want your bracelet to taper and be slightly narrower at the closure, cut smaller circles to make smaller flowers.
Then, you can cut the outside edge of your flower. Using the circles as your center point, cut out the tips of each pedal.
Fold down the middle of each pedal that does not already have a cut-out and cut small slivers of tube.
Use the same technique you used to cut the larger pedals on either side of the origitnal circle, but these holes will be much smaller.
You now have an elaborate flower design that will stand out on your wrist (and creates some neat sun-tan lines).
Create a closure at the end of your bracelet by folding the tube down the center and cutting a long slit in the tube. On the other end of the bracelet, cut an oval that is the same width as the slit you cut in the other end, but twice as long. This way you can thread the oval through the slit and it will hold your bracelet together. After ensuring the closure will work, you can make your design more intricate. I made mine look like leaves!
Put your bracelet on (you can do it yourself!) and enjoy your handy-work!