Introduction: How to Make Chains From Soda Can Tabs

Picture of How to Make Chains From Soda Can Tabs

Turn your soda can tabs into an awesome aluminum chains!  What you do with them is completely up to you!

For more project videos, check out

Step 1: Watch the Video!

WARNING: Cutting metal clips with scissors can result in cuts, scrapes or tears.  Adult assistance, and/or gloves are suggested for safety.

Step 2: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Have Fun Doing It!

Picture of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Have Fun Doing It!

Here's how to up-cycle these marvels of engineering, into lightweight aluminum chains.

Whether you're going for bling, swagger, or just looking for a different way to decorate, you might be surprised at what you can do with the tabs from your soda cans. 

I tried making custom picture frames, belts, wristbands, and wallet chains.  What would you make?

Step 3: The First Chain-link

Picture of The First Chain-link

For this project, I swung by a local recycling depot, and picked a whole load of soda can tabs, for free.

Now let's get started by breaking off the rivet mounts for each of the tabs we want to use, then stack five of them together so they're all aligned. 

This will be the first link in our chain, and you can see I turned the smooth shiny surfaces so they're facing outward.

Step 4: The Second Link

Picture of The Second Link

Now if we take a pair of scissors and carefully cut a slit through the thinner end, this gives us the ability to gently pry it open, creating a small gap. 

Now all you have to do is push the hook through the thicker end of our chain link, and bend the metal back to close the gap.  It's as easy as that. 

Just repeat the process again until you've got 5 tabs secured in place, and double check the sides to make sure they're smooth.

Step 5: Make It Grow!

Picture of Make It Grow!

If you want a longer chain, just continue the process by cutting 5 tabs at a time, and linking them on to the end.  Once you get the hang of it, there's no limit on how long you can make it, and so much you can do with the idea!

Step 6: What I Made

Picture of What I Made

For example, you could try making yourself a custom key chain, or maybe even a wallet chain.  That's pretty awesome. 

I made a cool metallic wrist band, and because it linked back on itself, it was completely seamless.

Now because our chain is aluminum, it's amazingly lightweight, but still strong enough to replace my belt.  How's that for swagger? 

If you're feeling especially adventurous, try closing your chain off with a padlock and throwing it around your neck. 

I ended up using mine as a picture frame, and I bet you could use the same idea for framing a license plate as well.

Step 7: Colored Tabs

Picture of Colored Tabs
By the way, make sure you hang onto your colored tabs. 

They can add a lot of variety to pump up your style. 

Well now you know how to engineer these common soda tabs, into lightweight metallic chains.  Now what they're used for is completely up to you. 

That's it for now.  If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others.  Check them out at


triumphman (author)2016-10-19

Are there easy peasy lemon squeezy ways to make a hasp for bracelets ? So I can take it off at bedtime ?

Street-Wise Irish (author)2015-11-28

How strong are these, how much weight can they hold, and can I make them stronger by sealing the cuts I made ?

MerwanY (author)2015-04-21

u can buy 1000 for 8 bucks on ebay

lkay5 (author)2015-02-02

this is a very well done instructable! logical steps, great pics and easy to understand. now ive got to save sme tabs! all I need is 10 to start!

Viniciusl made it! (author)2015-01-25

Very nice, I really like this?

mmurph914 (author)2015-01-11

That is really neat!

women_tips (author)2014-03-04

Nice idea.But where did you collect these soda tabs

ya I posted on that to

Care Blair (author)women_tips2014-03-04

from soda cans -_-.

kevanchristian (author)2014-09-09

cool! but were do you get all the popcans?

Carlosalmasque (author)2014-08-03

I was about making a nice job

Plo Koon (author)2014-05-19


gennagonna (author)2014-04-29

l have been saving bottle caps

Care Blair (author)2014-03-03

Im going to use this idea to make brass knuckles.

-JMS- (author)Care Blair2014-04-14

The cops are gonna be on you. LOL

-JMS- (author)2014-03-16

It worked for me, could hold 180 lb. of force.

BR AFTERSHOCK (author)2014-03-12


TheUnknownVariable (author)2014-03-09

I did that with paper clips

TheUnknownVariable (author)2014-03-07

Dat woman do ( ̄▽ ̄)

patsheldon (author)2014-03-03

hah! Nifty and thrifty idea!

hammer9876 (author)2014-03-03

Around here, aluminum cans are .52 USD a pound and you are getting the tabs for free?
Also, there is this:
Collect pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House Charities

dojers (author)hammer98762014-03-03

That's what I save my tabs for (my granddaughter had eye cancer and lost her eye at the age of 15 months old so this has a special meaning to me) but I may take one batch so I can give this a go and see what I can do. Those look cool.

clh (author)2014-03-03

When I was a teenage, I daily collected pulltabs from cans and made a chain of them (the tabs were bent to secure each link). I had the chain draped around my bedroom and when it became really a huge metal spider web, Mom made me take it down. I stretched it out along the street and it was more than 15 houses long! Can't remember what I did with it, but probably just threw it away (no recycling back then).

instruct39 (author)2014-03-02

I think I might apply this idea to make some snow chains for my rc truck

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-03-02

This is a cool Idea :)

timon8778 (author)2014-03-02

TheKingOfRandom I never knew you were on here could you mention this app in one of your videos so more people can get to know this app? Unless Some Fan Just Made An Account With Yoyr Name

ducttapeboy0426 (author)2014-03-01

Lol I literally was looking for tabs as I was reading this :P It's a perfect way to recycle! Now just to remind everyone to save their tab XD

Brutus Mantis (author)2014-02-28

A few additional tips I would like to add to this is to take needle nose pliers and crush that lip down so that when you link them, they turn smoothly. And secondly, to flip the last link over so that you have the smooth shiny side on both sides. Hope that May help anyone wanting to do this. And have a great day!

Antzy Carmasaic (author)2014-02-28

Awesome! I'll start collecting those tabs...

destrong123 (author)2014-02-27

Um can somebody on here help me with posting a video on instructables I'm having trouble some help would be nice

hunter999 (author)destrong1232014-02-27

You want to ask in the 'help' section in the forums or on the Answers and Questions area.

boatingman (author)2014-02-27

Heck. Check out his other videos. This guy is amazing. He should have his own TV show. I've made several of the things in his projects, including the Scariac, his spot welder, and his check valves. Have I said he's amazing? Well, I said it again.

die potato (author)2014-02-27

Next step...

SwaggerFul Swellow (author)2014-02-27

You definitly have my vote!

hunter999 (author)2014-02-27

You are awesome. Pure genius! Seriously, this is very creative! Voted :-)

nerfrocketeer (author)2014-02-27

Dude, this is ingenious!

antoniraj (author)2014-02-27

I like your ideas... you are very creative

lindarose92 (author)2014-02-27

GREAT idea!! :)

I'm glad you liked it!

About This Instructable




Bio: Random Weekend Projects
More by The King of Random:5 Ways to Start a Fire, Using Water How to make a Batarang like "The Dark Knight"How to Make Ninja Stress Balls
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