Friday, May 17, 2013

Pop Tab Chain Necklace/Bracelet

There comes a breaking point for everyone where they just put their foot down and say "no".  Mine came when I scraped 3 quarters from various change stashes but was still 5 cents short for the soda machine at work.  I refuse to pay 80 cents for a soda.  What is this?  A school for ants?!?!  Even they'd get better deals.
Vending machines will have calorie counts starting in 2013 (Creative Commons)
The face of tyranny.

So I started to bring in my own Diet Coke.  Sidebar: no one judges me as hard as I do myself when 2 of the 10 items in my cart at Price Club are Diet Coke related.  And no one judges you when you get in extra early to bring the pallet to your desk.  I started saving the tabs for my coworker's kid's schools' charity when the school year ended.  Much like my coworker from the last sentance I was in possession of a capful of soda tabs allowing everyone who passes my desk to pass judgement.
I'm just glad the counts on these aren't inverted.
For you metalworkers out there: these MIGHT be the one part of the soda can that you can use for casting.  For you chainmaile workers out there: pop tabs are effectively 2-holed jump rings.  They can be used to create simple chains that function miniorly effectively.  Each hole can fit up to 4 tabs across which was perfect for creating a chain for my wallet in high school.  Oh snap, that's rebellion right there.  Pop tabs can also help dress up outfits as a chain necklace or wrap bracelet.  From day to night; soda can keep you running.

80 pop tabs == 80 Diet Cokes/tabbed beverages
Nail Polish (optional color pop)

Lay out your tabs in a rough circle pattern to get an idea of how long your necklace or bracelet will be.  I went with a length of 40 tabs with 2 tabs per joint in the chain.  This is enough for 3 wraps around my wrist and a fairly long necklace.
Roughly what it'd look like
Before we get to cutting, we're going to add color.  Apply 2 coats of nail polish to all colored pop tabs.  I painted 16 purple.
Unlike jump rings that are actually designed for chains, you have to do a bit of modification to the tab otherwise you end up with just a pretty pile.  The top loop is the side that was not attached to the can and the bottom is the side that was.  Cut the top loop of the tab open at the very top.  This way when it's chained, you can cover the cut at the top with the other member of the chain.  Cut all your tabs.
Cut is at the top
After you cut the tabs, pair 2 tabs with the top sides facing out.  Let's look nice from all sides of the chain.  This is jewlery after all.  Keep it classy Raleigh.

Time to start chaining.  Thread the top of one pair through the bottom hole of the next pair.  It might scrape against the outside of the tab.  I found it easier to open the top of the tab so the bottoms could slide right in.  Close the ends of the tab.
Repeat for both tabs.

Repeat above for all tabs.  I inserted a purple pair every 5th tab.
Carefully attempting to avoid scratching the nail polish.

Work until you've created a single chain of all your tabs.  Carefully ensure there are no twists in your chain when joining the ends.

Make a statement.  More than "I drank a lot of soda"