Innertube Crow




About: Former technics and arts and crafts teacher at a school for mentally disabled young adults.

I have been experimenting with innertubes for years and sold lots of result on art fairs. But nothing sold as well as the crows. I made so many that i'm "tyred" of them. So, for everybody that likes them: They are no longer for sale, Make your own. Here's how:

Step 1: Cutting Shapes

You will need:
One bicycle inner tube
Dark Grey machine yarn (polyester stays better when the crow is placed in the garden)
Scissors ( not the best textile scissers,as they will go blunt)
sewing machine ( preferably with double transport)
strong metal gardening wire about 3 mm thick.
Something to cut the metal wire 

Start cutting out 8 "drop"shaped parts for the body and 8 circle shapes for the head. The body parts should be about 16 cm long. The head parts are 6 cm. All parts are cut on the edge so the foto shows them folded in half

Step 2: Bodyparts

Sew 4 bodyparts to eachother. with small diagonal seams on top and bottom. Look closely at the picture and you will know what i mean. There are never more than 2 layers of rubber under the needle. Do the same for the other 4 bodyparts. Don't put the two halve of the body together yet. go on to the next step.

About sewing innertyre: You are lucky when your sewing machine is able to grab the material from underside and on top to every next stich.( double transport). The yarn has a tendency to make loops. Set the yarn tension to a higher number! Don't use leather needles, but normal all purpose. Number 90 or 100 works best.

Step 3: Headparts

The head is assembled in a similar way. But now connect 5 parts for one "half", and 3 parts for the other "half". They are connected with very small diagonal seams , just like the body. Sorry for the not so clear picture.

Step 4: Assembling the Head

Cut out a beak about 9 cm long. Place it between the top part of the head (5 pieces) and the bottem part of the head (3 pieces). Make the same diaginal little seams to connect them. Now make little vertical seams in the middle of the head parts, connecting ech piece to itself. The third picture shows it very neatly.

Step 5: Assambling the Body

There are two extra seams connecting layer 2 and 3 , and 6 and 7 of the underside of the body to hold the legs. The photo shows the right place.
Then cut of two lengts of innertube about 16 cm. Single layers! Sew them together in a "V"shape. This will be the tail. Put the tail between the body halves and sew with the known diagonal seams. ( third picture)
Give the body a firm round shape by seams along the edge in the middle of the body, connecting each part to itself.

Step 6: Connecting Head and Body

Connect the head to the body. This can be a little fiddly. Put one double piece of the head between two layers of the body. Make a small machine stitch. Sometimes the diagonal seam of the body is in the way and has to be cut to allow the head to be placed.
Connect on either side of the middle another layer of the head to the body. This will determine the position of the head. When you don't succeed putting this under the machine needle, you could do it by handstich. 

Step 7: Legs

Insert a piece of garden wire in the "tunnels"made in step 5. A piece of 45 cm will do. Insert the wire on one sideof the body , trough  the middle , and out the other side. Now make sure the bird is in the middle of the wire. Bend the wire fully double. Th birds body will flex. Shove the bend into the breast of the bird. Now bend the legs down where the tunnels begin. So the wire forms a leg, bends over to the front of the bird inside the body, bends back and with a third bend forms the other leg.

Step 8: Ready!

Cut the legs to a correct length. Place them in a piece of wood, a stone, or somthing else. You can als try to make feet like in the very first picture.

More innertube animals and other stuff can be found on my website



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    21 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Pretty! Are you familiar with Maria Blaisse's inner tube hats, she made for Issey Miyake?



    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I have to say that, going by just this image, Ruud's creations are by far much nicer (though it might also have to do with me not "getting" fashion)


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I have to agree with mh76dk i do not understand the "fashion" side of inner tubes

    Think it could get rather hot on a warm summer day ;-)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    A rather late reply im sorry
    Yes staples worked great coloured ones are available but could not find black ones
    Used regular shiny silvery staples but it still looked kinda nice from a distance
    Since i have given that first one to a nice relative of mine a 90 year old man
    I will have to make a new one i miss it badly
    And this time around i vill sew it for a cleaner look
    One thing i did was to "twine" four wires together for the legs and then make Three toes and a heel out of that on each side
    It worked really well and stands ok indoors

    Nice to hear you have succes with my idea. And good advice to everyone thet staples do the trick as well. I think the legs idea is a winner too! Thanks for the improvements!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Or use a different (recycle)material - or go oldskool and sew it manually (oh the horror, i know :-)


    5 years ago on Step 8

    I love these, could the layers be held together with staples?

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I absolutely love these! Thank you sooo much for this 'ible...I would have never thought of upcycling inner tubes to make one of my favorite birds! Huzzah!