There are plenty of projects that will tell you what to do with your old bike inner tubes, but what about the old valve stems? Well, the zipper pulls on my backpack started falling off, and I had seen Schrader valves used as zipper pulls, so I figured that it shouldn't be to hard to do the same thing with my Presta valves, and I'm really pleased with the result and how easy it turned out to be.
Step 1: What You'll Need
You'll need a Presta valve, of course. You can pull one pretty cleanly right out of the tube, or if you're lucky like me, your pump will do that for you :-/
You'll also need some cord for the pull, some fishing line or strong thread, glue, scissors, and vice-grips or pliers.
Step 2: Prep the Valve and Cord
The first thing to do is take the lock nut off the top of the valve. You'll put it back on later, but you need it off to pull the cord through. Use your vice-grips or pliers to get it off.
Next, cut a length of cord that, when folded, is a little less than twice as long as the valve.
Step 3: Test the Length of the Cord
Tie a length of fishing line around the two ends of the cord leaving about a half inch of excess, then string the other end through the bottom of the stem, past the inner valve, and out the top.
When you put the zipper pull on your zipper, you'll have to loop the cord over the valve, so you'll want to make sure the loop clears the valve completely. In my case, I had more than I needed, so I trimmed it until it was just right.
Step 4: Glue It Up
Once you're happy with the length, apply some glue to the cord and pull it through (I used gorilla glue because it expands and will stick to anything). Be careful not to use too much glue so you don't have to do too much cleanup.
Check the length one last time, then snip the fishing line as close to flush as you can get it. Then put the lock nut back on, either by hand or with the grips, and you're done! Just wait for it to dry and then find a zipper to loop it over.
Step 5: Zip It Up
To put the pulls on your zippers, put the loop through the hole in the zipper, then pass the valve through the loop and pull tight.
Glory in the ease with which you can open and close your bag now, and know that you've put every last bit of that old tire to good use!
Participated in the
Alchemy Goods Inner Tube Reuse Contest