Introduction: Pop Tab Bracelets

Picture of Pop Tab Bracelets

Start raiding those recycling bins!
Turn aluminum can tabs into cool jewelry!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

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For starters, you need a pile of pop tabs. Somewhere between 20-26, depending on wrist size.
You also need elastic cord and scissors. That's it! No other supplies necessary.

Step 2: Start Assembling

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Cut cord to approximately 2-1/2 feet.
Loop through the first tab, situating the tab at center of cord.

Step 3: Another Tab

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Hold another tab below your first tab, (make sure your rough edges are always facing each other, smooth side to the outside) overlapping so you can see through openings of both tabs.

Thread the cord up from the bottom through both tabs, bringing top cord through top hole and bottom cord through bottom hole.

Step 4: And Another Tab

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OK, now get another tab and hold it on top, overlapping as before,
and this time, thread the cords through the opposite holes forming an X on top.

Step 5: Keep Going

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Another tab, held at the back and thread those cords through,
top cord-top hole, bottom cord-bottom hole.

Step 6: Don't Give Up

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Another tab, held on top, thread cords through forming that X. Top cord-bottom hole, bottom cord-top hole.

Step 7: Almost Done

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Keep going, repeating step five and step six, alternately,
until bracelet can be wrapped around your wrist and ends meet comfortably.
You need the last tab to be one placed at the back side.
Then, bring ends together and form final X.

Step 8: It's Finally Done!

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Tie the cords in a knot and trim the ends.

Step 9: Masterpiece!

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Turn bracelet back over and slide it on your wrist.
There should be just enough stretch to easily go
over your hand and then be lightly snug on your wrist.

Step 10: Add Personality.

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There's plenty of ways to embellish these bracelets, too.
You can paint the tabs, use colored elastic, add beads,
anything you can think of.

Well, I hope my tutorial is clear
and you enjoy making your own pop tab bracelet.


Karithina (author)2010-02-14

I was lucky enough to already have too many pop tabs lying around on a necklace I was using to hold my USB stick. So thanks to your guide I have a usb bracelet instead <3

I didn't have any elastic cord lying around but I did have four sets of broken earphones, I used one side of a split earphone cord and had plenty left over. It's a bit of a squeeze without it being elastic but I've left just enough space for it to not be uncomfortable and not too much for it to slip off.
It still needs some painting which I probably should have done before I made it but oh well!

pgd5000 (author)Karithina2010-09-22

i didn't have any elastic cord either but you inspired me to use my broken headphones, i didn't use this design though i used this one:

_malllliiii_ made it! (author)2015-10-11

I've been wanting to make one of these for a really long time! I collected enough for like, three of these and was planning on making one, but had a surprise move. This was an awesome tutorial and now I have a cute recycled bracelet! :)

BrittanyC1 made it! (author)2014-09-14

It took me about an hour but it came out great. I didn't have enough tabs because I've just started to do this project since I saw them in the store for $5 and didn't want to spend money on something I could make myself, even a child can make it so why spend that much on something recycled when you can do it too! What I love about this project by ShaJen is that she makes it very easy to understand and with the images it makes it even more easy to not get lost. Thank you so much! My Mom loves it and she wants to make some, too.

Hope you like mine! : - )


andyputra (author)2014-04-29

couldnt find any soda can so i went through my parents garbage can and got enough tabs for like twenty of these things!

Savanniepoo (author)2014-04-21

Fabulous :)

Katie B (author)2014-04-12

I loved this idea, but it was too confusing. When I almost finished, the X's made the whole thing unravel into a big tangle. I had to cut the string to get the tabs free. Luckily I found another tutorial on how to do it without the X's. I don't know if anyone else had this problem, or if I just didn't understand the instructions... Well, thanks anyway.

koolbeanz (author)2013-05-05

make 1 all different colors plzzz

kat1999 (author)2012-08-05

i painted mine whith nail polish to make it extream colered

Calyie (author)2012-03-17

It took me 2 hours to make it but it was worth the time! I did it and it looks great! But the bad thing is I didn't color it before! Try it with Monster Energy or Red Bull
tops! It looks cooler and it has color!

anu375teck (author)2012-03-10

instead of cord you can use shoelaces or ribbon. i make these for my friends. it saves money and helps pass time

SarahKat552 (author)2011-05-21

i have seen MANY people try and make directions on the pop tab brcelets but you explained it the BEST 2day alone i have made 4 of them 1 for my mom (she made me) 1 for coutney 1 for lora (my bffs) and lastly one 4 me thanks soo much and i think i am going to make matching earings (teehee) oh thanks again
Grr...Fear Me (thats my phone singature to)

War on 45 (author)SarahKat5522012-01-21


I can't understand you. Are you sure you can't move your fingers just a _little_ bit more, so that you actually type words instead of numbers? Or do you need typing lessons? I'm sure you can find typing games...

peaceupgg (author)2011-08-18

sorry they are not the best pic but i made mine reversable

lbettie (author)peaceupgg2011-09-27

Do you have instruction for the reversable? That is a real cool idea.

War on 45 (author)lbettie2012-01-21


It's called a "reversible". You just invert the original bracelet. It won't have the X's from the elastic.

Good job!

ale-8-1 (author)2011-11-14

This was one of the first projects I did on this site. My friends loved them. Is there a way to cut down on the sharpness of the tabs? The strings got cut.

War on 45 (author)ale-8-12012-01-21


Since you probably don't have that, just use a strong emery board.
If you don't know what that is... It's a nail file.

If you do have sandpaper, cut a little piece, attach it to a craft stick using glue and file down the sharp edges. Good job.

zseymour (author)2011-10-04

Can I use yarn instead of elastic cord and will work just as well?

xMonsterLoverx (author)zseymour2012-01-15

noo. the pop tabs just tear the yarn..
get the bead string from walmart :D

wer3g96 (author)2012-01-04

I loved doing this. I didn't have any elastic cord at the time, but I used a old shoe lace insted. not very colorful, (my lace was grey) but I still love it. I wound up recycling 2 things at once! Also, for those of you Twilight fans like myself, Kristen Stewart has a soda tab bracelet too! You can google it. I think Robert Pattinson made it for her? IDK, but anyway, amazing idea, I love mine!

cmalott (author)2011-12-02

How do you make it with two different colors? My little cousin made a pink and green bracelet and I never figured out how to do it..

kodiac (author)2011-10-31

oh and ive asked this alot and still havent gotten an answer. if monster tabs dont have holes in the tops how do you make the holes and also were do you get the elastic bands for these things cuz i want to make a bracelet for each arm and quite possibly a belt

cmalott (author)kodiac2011-12-02

You can findd the elastic bands at walmart in the sewing/craft section. they have different packs of different colors so make sure you get the colors you want (:

PepperDust (author)2009-03-13

AWESOME instructable! Just made a reversible one of these in pink and green. Quisk and easy with great results! Kudos.

shyamiko (author)PepperDust2009-03-19

did you color with marker, paint, or use already colored tabs for the colors?

PepperDust (author)shyamiko2009-03-19

Used pre-colored tabs I'd been saving for a while... from Monster and Go-Girl cans. =)

Maybe next time I'll use a sharpie!

kodiac (author)PepperDust2011-10-31

well monster tabs dont have hole in the tops so do u just cut out. oh and also were do you get the elastic bands ive tried to find some but no luck

peaceupgg (author)shyamiko2011-08-18

i used sharpie pen that worked

ShaJen (author)shyamiko2009-03-19

PepperDust used colored tabs. They can be painted...not sure if markers would work out. Also, you can use colored embossing powder. Thanks for the comments.

where'd you get the pink tabs?

Monster Energy Drinks =)

nice =) i didnt know they made pink ones

Racheleakley (author)PepperDust2010-08-23

where did u get the purple pop tabs ?

PepperDust (author)Racheleakley2010-08-23

Monster energy drinks have tabs in green, red, orange, and some other colors... Go-Girl has pink (which is what I used)... I have yet to find a good purple one. Most look like navy blue. But yeah, energy drinks. Check them out.

kodiac (author)2011-10-31

haha couldnt find any soda can so i went through my parents garbage can and got enough tabs for like twenty of these things!

myhightide (author)2011-10-29

This is really cool! You can also make anklets, necklaces, bookmarks, and I am currently working on a belt. I have decorative, bright rubber string that shows up great next to the silver. Red looks best. I also am trying to save monster tabs to make a green bracelet. By the way, I heard of a 10 year old who sold these at her swim meets, and she was so successful that some of the local stores started selling them too. Thanks for the awesome tutorial! :)

StopDropNTroll (author)2011-10-05

That is so cute, easy and COOL!
I made 2, a yellow and silver one for my neighbor who kindly donated lots of tabs. And a pink and silver one for me. BTW, thanks to the people with the monster tab hole-punching comments, helps a lot, 'cause I just realized about the one hole. :P And the images are from a video I found which wasn't as clear as these instructions. :) Now all I need to know is if it'll break my hole puncher...

... Hmmm...


alveena (author)2011-10-04

Do you have the collection bout the recycling of the pop tabs.

alveena (author)2011-10-04

where are the golden jewelry of the pop tabs.

Chocolate Moose (author)2009-11-17

 You could Use Monster Energy Drink tabs for this 
Awesome Job

i might try that monster thing

you didnt read thing3isthebomb's reply? the monster tabs only have one hole. it wont work

All you have to do is hole punch out the "M", and it works fine. See? The light blue, green, orange and red tabs are all from Monster, and the rest are from Amp. By the way, I love this instructable! I make and sell these, everyone loves them! Plus they make a quick and easy present! ;)

I LOVE THIS RAINBOW bracelet! Thanks for sharing!

abrott (author)CamillaLuvzMusic2011-07-06

it still does not work how do u take the whole m off the tabs

CamillaLuvzMusic (author)abrott2011-07-07

Use a regular punch to take the bulk of the M off, and then a smaller punch to grab the corners. They come in different sizes, you may have to check your local craft/scrapbooking store

abrott (author)CamillaLuvzMusic2011-06-27

how can u punch the m out of the tabs can u plz tell me plzzzzzzzz

CamillaLuvzMusic (author)abrott2011-06-28

Just use a regular hole punching thingamajigger xD you will have to press a bit harder than you would for paper, but it should still work.

Or have you seen that new drink redbull is coming out with? It's redbull cola, the tabs are red but one of the holes is cut out in the shape of a bull. I doubt you could use it depending on the size of your string, but they're still a neat thing to have

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