How to Make Chains From Soda Can Tabs

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About: Random Weekend Projects

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 www.thekingofrandom.com

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!

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

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

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!

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

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

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 www.thekingofrandom.com

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38 Discussions

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triumphman

2 years ago

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

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Street-Wise Irish

3 years ago

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

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lkay5

3 years ago

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!

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kevanchristian

4 years ago

cool! but were do you get all the popcans?

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gennagonna

4 years ago

l have been saving bottle caps

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-JMS-

4 years ago on Introduction

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