JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Upcycled Bike Tube Earrings

For the 1st League of Space Pirates Episode, I made a craft. I wanted to use something old as the main material, since upcycling old things, is how the set was created. I love using materials in unusual ways. I was brainstorming, and thought of creating funky earrings out of something unexpected. I had seen bike tubes used for jewelry many times. I made 4 different pairs, including a feather like pair. I had seen all the designs before and was trying to come up with something new to show. I played with the feathers and realized that when bend for the ends to match, they created a gentle fanned circle. The bike tube is light weight in these small pieces, and cuts easily. I have lots of bike tube material left over, and will get more from a bike loving band mate. I have an idea for a headpiece, which I'll wear for the next episode in January. These earring look complicated, but they are very easy to make. Hopefully you'll be surprised at how I made them, and inspired to create your own designs!

  • Old bike tube - This is the inflatable circle tube that goes inside bike tires. I got a broken one from Agee's Bicycles for free, because I asked nicely and mentioned it was for a craft project
  • Liquid soap - I used Dawn dish soap to wash the bike tube
  • Warm running water - To wash the bike tube
  • Small scissors - I use small sharp scissors for these sort of projects, because they are more precise
  • A straight pen - To make holes for the jump rings
  • 2 Jump rings - To attach the pieces together
  • 2 Earring wires - To create earrings
  • 2 pairs of jewelry pliers - To open and shut the jump rings using the two plier method


1) Cut the bike tube into long pieces. Cutting it into workable pieces helps for washing and handling.

2) Using the soap and running water, wash the bike tubes until all the white film (inside) and dirt is removed. Hang to dry, so any excess water runs off and evaporates. Move on to the next step after the bike tubes are dry. If you are in a hurry, you can hand dry them with paper towels

3) With the small scissors cut across the bike tube, creating a piece the full width of the bike tube, and about 4-5 inches long. Cut that piece in half length wise. Mine had a long line that showed the middle. You will notice that the piece curl a little on the sides. This is ok. We'll use this to our advantage in a little while.

4) Using the small scissors, cut a long even rounded feather shape in one piece. Do the same for the 2nd piece, using the 1st piece as your guide, so they are even.

5) Using the small scissors, cut small horizontal slices into the sides of the feather shapes towards the center, but not through it. Leave a little uncut section at the top and bottom. The slits need to be straight and evenly spaced, not angled and uneven, or the finished earrings won't look nice.

6) Using the straight pen, poke holes in the centers of the uncut areas at the top and bottoms of each feather shape.

7) Using the pliers, open 1 jump ring. Insert the jump ring into one end of one feather shape, through that hole you make. Bend the feather piece backwards, against the curve, and put the jump ring through the other hole. Do this to the other feather piece too, with the other jump ring.

8) Slip the hole of the earring wire onto that open jump ring. Using both pliers, close the jump ring. Repeat on the other feather piece, with the other earring wire.

9) Adjust the holes of the feather pieces, on the jump rings, so the feather pieces become nice circles that fan out.

  • LAYERED EARRINGS - These are light weight earrings, so you can layer the shapes when creating them. Make larger or smaller feather shapes, so finished pieces can go over or inside the circles and attach together with the same jump ring.
  • NECKLACE - Make multiple small feather shapes, following the above instructions. Instead of adding earring wires, connect the jump rings to chain. You can make them various sizes. You can feather only one side if you don't like how the sliced pieces feel against your skin.

Since these are a basic design and the feathering is a great texture, they could be fun to play with. I have lots of bike tube left over, so I'll continue to play with it and make other things. If I make something tutorial worthy, I'll definitely write one.


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