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Pop Tab Bracelet

This soda tab bracelet is a great way to show off your resourcefulness and attitude toward recycling and reusing found objects. It is a great accessory for Earth Day and festivals like Tabfest that celebrate tab-collecting organizations like the Ronald McDonald House. Once it is finished, this bracelet is truly a durable and colorful accessory.

What You’ll Need:

– 20-25 Pop Tabs. Make sure that these have been washed and that there are no sharp edges.
– Two pieces of 18-20″ ribbon. You can use two of the same kind of ribbon, or styles that look great together.
– (Optional) Scotch tape to make threading easier.
– Scissors [recommended scissors]

Once you have gathered all of your materials, let’s see how it works.

Creating your bracelet is as easy as weaving the tabs onto the ribbon. The way you thread the tabs onto the ribbon is very important. Pay special attention to when you will be threading the smooth front or ‘face’ of the tab, and when you will be threading through the back of the tab.

This side view shows you that there are clearly two layers of tabs, ‘top’ tabs and ‘bottom’ tabs. Look at how the two ‘top’ tabs are held to a ‘bottom’ tab behind it with a ‘U’ shaped pattern of ribbon. It is simple weaving, but I’ve got a few tricks to make it even easier. Let’s get started.

First off, you can add a bit of clear tape to the ends of your ribbon. This will keep them from unraveling, and will make them much easier to thread through the holes in the tabs. I’ve taped them flat for my project, but you can make them into a tube like the end of a shoelace.

One of the ribbons will always be in the top hole, the other in the bottom. Thread your first tab through the back of the tab. Thread the second tab through the face, as shown. Now, slide both tabs to the middle of the ribbon.

Now I’ll show you a trick for starting up your tab bracelet that will make threading easier and put less wear and tear on the ribbon. Let’s add the third tab.

This is a trick for adding the third tab that will immediately form the basis for your threading pattern. The two tabs you have added should be at the middle of your ribbons. Fold the ribbons in half as shown.

Thread both ends of the top ribbon through the top hole on the face of the new tab. Thread both ends of the bottom ribbon through the bottom hole. Pull the ribbons and scoot the tab so that is is situated behind the first two tabs. Unfold the ribbons and pull them in opposite directions. Compare your results to the above photo. You now have two ‘top’ tabs and one ‘bottom’ tab.

Your pattern has started to take shape and the ribbon is held firmly in place. Working from the middle also means that your ribbon will go through less wear as you thread on the tabs.

Now we will begin the threading pattern that you will follow throughout the rest of the bracelet. Let’s start the pattern.

Thread a new tab onto the ribbons, through the back of the tab, as shown. Park this tab next to your third ‘starter’ tab, behind the two in front.

Now you’ll weave the ribbon up and into the tab that is on top.

Next, we will add another top tab.

Right now, your ribbon should be hanging out of the top tab. Add a new tab to your ribbons, threading through the face of the tab. Park this tab next to the top tab.

Thread the ribbons down into the bottom tab you added in the previous step. Do you see the pattern developing? Turn your work to the side and inspect it to see if you have two clear ‘U’ shapes of ribbon keeping your tabs together.

Next, we will continue to add tabs.

The two-step pattern repeats itself from here. Remember, bottom tabs thread through the back, top tabs thread through the face of the tab. Go back to steps #5 and #6 if you need more guidance, or post your questions in the forum and we’ll help you along the way.

Once you’ve reached about 4 – 5″ from the end of your ribbon, stop adding tabs. Go back to the middle of the bracelet and work the pattern in the other direction.

Tie the ends of the ribbon to wear your bracelet.

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