Introduction: Rubber Band Bowls
I’ve wanted to try this ever since I saw some rubber band bowls by artist Elodie Blanchard back in 2005.
Step 1: Rubber Bands
Buy or cut ¼” wide rubber bands that are about 1-2” long when flattened out. I washed and dried the inner tube before cutting.
Step 2: Super Glue (aka CA Glue)
Normal super glue that comes from the hardware store is medium thick, like honey. This is NOT what you want. Go online and get some Thin Super Glue. It’s as thin as water, and it wicks into tight spaces. Apply it carefully. It’s easy to get too much and glue your fingers together. Some people like to use whip tips so it comes out of the bottle more slowly. Accelerator usually comes in a spray can or spray bottle. For small gluing jobs I prefer to put it into a dropper bottle and use it 1 or 2 drops at a time.
Step 3: Clamp and Glue
With a plastic clothes pin or other spring clamp, clip the first 2 bands together evenly. Apply a drop of thin super glue to the joint between the two bands. It will wick into the clamped area. Then apply a drop of accelerator to the same area. The glue will harden in a few seconds. Then you can take off the clamp. Grab the next band and clamp it into the joint of the first two. Glue it to both of the first two bands.
Step 4: Side Note About Clothes Pins and Rubber Bands
Luthiers and model makers have used rubber bands for ages to increase the clamping power of clothes pins. I used o-rings on these clips since normal rubber bands under tension dry up and crumble off after a while. O-rings don’t.
Step 5: Form a Round Base
Keep adding bands in a circular fashion until you get a base of the size you want.
Step 6: Form the Top Edge
Glue a strip of bands in a straight line until it is long enough to go around the edge of the base. Then add another row of bands to the first as shown. You can keep adding rows if you want the sides of the bowl to be taller. I went with two. Join the ends of the edge strip to make a short cylinder shape.
Step 7: Join the Base to the Sides
This part is a little tricky. I start by connecting the base to the side in one spot, then jumping to the opposite side and connecting it there. Then connect halfway between the first two on both sides so you have 4 connected spots. Then keep filling in by halving the distance of the unconnected areas until it’s all sewn up.
Step 8: Done. Enjoy!
Second Prize in the
Rubber Band Speed Challenge