Whenever I see sturdy bracelets, I think; ‘Nice, I want one too.’ Unfortunately for me, they are almost always made of leather. No option for me. Then I started wondering if I could not just make it myself. The people who know me a little bit know that I (unfortunately) have two left hands haha. So it was important that the DIY would be super-super-simple.
Anyway, I was looking for some inspiration on Pinterest, and yes, I found and saw very nice things there … that always seemed too difficult for me. I can not handle a sewing machine at all and ‘delicately’ work is not spent on me at all. For some reason, I always get nervous about it.
Fortunately, I found a happy medium 😉
Upcycling for an animal-friendly rugged leather look
Because leather was not an option, but I like the looks, I wondered what looked like it. Rubber – in other words, the inner tubes of a bicycle – meets that perfectly. And you can easily use it. I could quickly put my hand on it because my mother is driving with the racing bike. And she regularly has a flat tire! Not pleasant for her, but ideal for my DIY project 😉
Funnily enough, I had asked her much earlier to keep those inner tubes for me. Only at that time, I didn’t have any idea what exactly I wanted to do with it. Till now … and I suddenly had a big stock to experiment with 😉
I already had the ‘raw materials’ for my wristband project; now it came down to finding a way to ‘close’ them. And as said: it really had to be a super-simple way for me. At one point my eye fell on my old winter coat with a few additional press fasteners in it. That’s how I came up with the idea to try that. The press fasteners were too big for the bracelet, so I bought this.
You can attach such press fasteners with a special device (which is probably the easiest), but since I wasn’t sure that I would use such a thing more than once, I went for the real home-garden-and-kitchen diy. In other words: a hammer and a portion of brutal violence. Ideal for someone like me haha. And it succeeded!
The result was even so successful that Stijn also wanted to have such a bracelet. So I made a video of that. You can also get started yourself!
Step-by-step plan to make a vegan bracelet yourself
- Choose a beautiful and preferably undamaged piece of the inner tube. Of course, you don’t want a bracelet with a hole, and sometimes there is a stamp on it or something. Although you can, of course, use the latter if you like it.
- Cut the band lengthwise open. Usually, there are lines (ripples). Follow that line when cutting and you’re cutting right
- Wash the inner tube with some water and a little washing-up liquid. Dry thoroughly and then allow to continue drying in the sun or on a heater.
- Measure your bracelet by folding the piece of inner tube around your wrist. Cut the excess away but make sure there is a little overlap. An half inch is certainly enough. Mark with a pen where the closure should come.
- Using the material attached to with the press fasteners, first, make 2 holes on one side of the strap. Attach one side of the press fasteners with the hammer (or a special device).
- Mark where the other side of the press fasteners should be and also attach that side using the hammer. Always be careful of course. You can also use a smaller hammer than you see in the video haha. I found no other.
- Voila, your wristband is ready!
As I said, I used the inner tubes of a racing bike. Logically, these are rather thin tires. If you use the inner tube of a mountain bike, you will get a wider bracelet.
Would you like your bracelet more artistic, then you can, for example, cut figures from the rubber. Or you can make small circles with such a special ‘instrument’. Options enough to make something extra special.
Are you – in contrast to me – a handy person, then you can, of course, do all this with a sewing machine. With it you can then attach pieces of the inner tube to each other and also make a handbag, belt, ….
Do you have other fun and creative ideas yourself? Feel free to share them at the bottom of this article.