Introduction: Recycled Innertube Roses

About: I make weapons, and other things...

Hey guys, it's been a while so I've decided to start trying to post more regularly again after my long absence - I'll be kicking things off with something I have been experimenting with for a while now.

Old bicycle innertubes are something very underused considering what an amazingly useful material they are, so I've started trying out all sorts of designs for gifts, decorations, and all sorts of other things, which hopefully I'll be posting at some point soon. Today's tutorial will be on what is probably my favorite use for innertubes - roses.

I have tried several different designs and ways of making these, none of which I'd exactly class as a failure, but out of all of them, I personally think this is the way that works best so that's what I'll be showing you all today.

When I settled on this design I ended up going a little overboard and making far more than I'd ever have around the house, which gave me the idea of how perfect they are as gifts, especially for anyone who appreciates recycled, ecofriendly gifts, or just doesn't like taking care of plants or cut flowers.

Anyway, enough rambling, let's get on with the tutorial, hope you all enjoy!


So to make one of these you will need:

  • An innertube, make sure it has been cleaned first ( you can do this with washingup soap and water)
  • Quick dry superglue
  • A pen
  • Pair of scissors
  • Wooden or metal skewer

Step 1: Preparing the Tube

So, the first thing you want to do, assuming the innertube is already clean, is to prepare it for cutting the petals out. To do this, start by cutting the tube all the way down the inside as straight as possible. Next, you want to cut out any sections of tube that have writing, puncture patches etc as these can spoil the aesthetic of the flower. The last part is optional but I find it helpful to cut the tube into several sections to make it easier to work with.

Step 2: Templates

So, here's the part where you'll have to make a bit of a choice - if you are planning on making a lot of these I would highly recommend making templates for each petal size; however, I would say it's a good idea to make these after you've already experimented with different petal sizes and shapes.

Once you have made a set of petals you like, it's very easy to cut some templates out of old plastic membership cards or even just some thin card.

However, to prove they are not by any means essential to making a good rose, I'll be making the petals for this one by eye.

P.S. to give an idea of the petal sizes I regularly use I have put a measuring tape next to them in the picture.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Petals

So, for this design I'll be using 8 different petal sizes with 2 petals of each size for a total of 16.

Go ahead and draw the outlines of the petals on the inside of the pieces of tubing (the inside shows up the black ink far better than the outside); as you can see I'm by no means an artist, but as long as the outlines are about the right shape it should be fine - you can always adjust them when you are cutting them out.

Another tip is to draw them parallel with the length of the tube, meaning that the tops and bottoms of the petals are facing the tops and bottoms of the pieces of tubing; this means that the petals will curve inwards instead of downwards which helps a lot when gluing them together.

Step 4: The Stem

Once you've cut out all the petals to shape you need to make the stem for them to go onto. For the stem you can use anything from a piece of thick wire to a wooden stick. For this I've chosen to use wooden barbeque skewers as they are a good length, cheap, and don't snap too easily.

Start by cutting a length of tubing around 1 inch wide and 45 cm (18in) long (this will vary depending on the diameter and length of the stem).

Next you want to cut a slice off the tube at about 45 degrees, then use a dab of superglue to attach the tip of the innertube to one end of the skewer with the slanted side facing away from the skewer, as shown in the second and third pics.

Step 5: Finishing the Stem

Once you have got to the end of the stem, again cut a slant in the tube to make sure it doesn't have a bulge at the end. Wrap the rest of the tube around and use another bit of glue to hold it in place.

Step 6: Petals

Ok, so now for the fun bit; to attach the petals start with the smallest one and put a small bit of glue on the bottom of it, then stick it to the tip of the stem with the inside of the petal facing inwards. Now attach the second petal (same size as the first) directly opposite the first.

With the next pair, attach them at 90 degrees from the first so they are facing the opposite direction. Also, with each increasingly large pair of petals make sure to glue them on slightly further down the stem so that the tops of all the petals are pretty much flush with each other.

This way all of the petals are visible from the side and it looks more like a rose - I find it looks more like a daffodil if you attach them all at the same point with the larger ones coming higher up.

Continue attaching petals in this manner till you have put on all 16. One thing I like about the instant dry superglue is that it's fairly easy to peel off a petal and reattach it if need be.

Step 7: Leaves

Now this step is entirely optional but I feel it gives a nicer and more realistic look to the roses. To make the petals, simply draw out the shape on a bit of tube (I use 4 small thin petals but you can use whatever number or size you like), cut them out and use a bit more glue to attach them onto the stem.

Step 8: Finished!

Right, so that's it. You've made your very own recycled innertube rose! Now all that's left to do is find something to do with it - either put it in a vase, on a mantelpiece, give it to a friend or go ahead and make a whole bunch more and make a bouquet.

I hope you liked this tutorial and got as much pleasure as I did from making this. If you did, please consider following me for future tutorials, and voting for me in the Reusecontest.

Cheers people, see you next time :-)

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