- Old bike chain
- Standard Pliers (to separate the chain)
- Jewellery Pliers (to attach the findings)
- Key ring or jewellery findings (these could be upcycled from something old you don’t use anymore as well)
- Spray Paint (optional – see our suggestions for shades of pink in our inspiration piece – Pink Me Ups)
Step 1: Measure & Separate
Ideally for this project you know who the bracelet will be for so that you can measure their wrist and get an idea of how loose or tight they like their bracelets.
Next measure your findings (these are the hoops and clasps you will use to fasten your bracelet) so you know how long they are and then subtract that measurement from the total wrist measurement you took earlier to give you the measurement of how long you want your section of bicycle chain to be.
When you have measured it out you need to use your pliers to pull apart and detach the rest of the chain at the appropriate point. This is the trickiest part of the project and how thick your chain is will play a big part in how difficult you find this. If you are having trouble try using a clamp or other means to keep the chain steady while you pull apart the links.
Step 2: Determining the Finish
The final step is to decide what finish you want your bicycle chain bracelet to be. Do you want to spray paint it pink as we’ve suggested or just clean and polish it up to its original chrome shininess?
We have spray paint colour suggestions in our Pink Me Up list of the top Upcycle Ideas to add a bit of pink to your life. But of course you could use whatever colour takes your fancy.
Other finish ideas:
- Speckle some paint in a bright colour so you end up with a messy polka dot effect.
- Use gold or copper leaf for a luxe look.
- Thread thin strips of leather or ribbon through the links to add colour and interest.
- Buff and clean your chain and keep it undecorated for a rugged masculine finish.
Step 3: Choose your findings (closure)
The key to this project is to use a jump ring on either end of your chain that gives you enough clearance over the bike chain to attach your chosen closure. There are a number of types on the market from a lobster clasp key ring clip (as in the main image above of the pink chain bracelet) to magnetic clasps and barrel clasps.
Depending on how thick your actual bicycle chain is we would probably suggest going for a chunkier closure for this project – a large lobster clasp that is designed for a keyring would probably work best so that the whole bracelet sits a bit better on the arm, but you can play about with this one. If you already have a jewellery making kit with different closures or a pile of grandma’s broken jewellery that you can use the clasps and jump rings off of, then have fun experimenting and see what suits your chain and your own personal style.
Step 4: Attach your findings
Now all you have to do is open the end of the loops that will allow your clasp to fasten and thread them through the holes you revealed on either end of your chain when you separated it from the rest.
To do this use your jewellery pliers to open the jump ring, thread it through the hole in the end of the chain and also through the small loop at the end of which ever type of closure you have chosen and then use your pliers to close up the jump ring again.
Step 5: Show off your funky style
That’s it. We’d love to see how you got on with this project. What kind of closure did you go for? Drop us a comment or head over to our Facebook Page to join the chat.