Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recycled Aluminium Can Tab Project - Chain Maille Coifs & Corset at the Renaisssance Faire.

With the abundance of creative people who attend the Renaissance Faire it is a great place to see some unusual costumes made from unusual and recycled materials.   I recently went to a local Renaissance Faire and met up with some fellow recyclers and got to see what new creations in costumes they had come up with. Some of my favorites have been things made from Aluminum Can Tabs, Duck Tape, soda can armour (flattened soda can connected with jump rings) and one person sported plastic shopping bags knitted together to make a skirt.  Sadly,  it was too crowded for me to get a picture of some of them.

Recycled Soda Tab Metal Amor Shirt

The  "Chain Maille Faux Coif Metal Armor" piece below is handmade from recycled materials.  This is a heavy piece to wear in the heat wave that had affected the Southern California area that weekend.

I recently found out from the gentleman wearing this suit, that an acquaintance of his had hand made this piece from recycled materials (with the exception of the jump rings).  This is an amazing piece and I extend my compliments to the creator for making such an amazing a faux "Chainmail Suit" from soda/energy drink tabs and jump rings.  I can recognize the tabs from the Monster and Rockstar energy drinks from the colors.  I am currently working on some bracelets made from similar materials.

Anyway, here is a close up photo of the tabs.  The maker used an interesting pattern to attach the different pieces together.    Apparently the shirt is very strong and pierce proof.  As the wearer of this piece had an unfortunate encounter with a sharp object. The shirt and he survived the encounter just fine and uninjured.

The last time I made a chainmail project, it took several hours to complete a simple 6" piece. I should mention that I used really small jump rings (22 g) which contributed to the difficulty of the project.

Anyway, the amount of time required to finish a piece varies according to the project. The maker of this shirt had to be very patient and meticulous to create such a cool finished piece.

Recycled Soda Tab Corset

Another great costume I came across was this corset also made from recycled soda can drink tabs.  This piece is form fitting and according to the lady wearing it....very comfortable to wear.

Another view of the corset.

I think the reason that this one is much more comfortable and lighter weight than the Metal Armor (see

above) is that a heavy thread was used to attach the tabs together instead of the metal jump rings. This
would also make it easier to move around and dance while wearing this piece.  The detail work on this
piece is amazing.  She also sported a very cool matching soda tab bracelet on each arm to complete the look.

Duck Tape Knight in Shiny Armor Costume

Another fun costume was a knight in shiny Armour which was made out of recycled cardboard and duck tape.
This looked much more interesting in person.  He was a lot of fun and was patient with everyone who wanted to photograph and ask questions about the costume.

So what have you made out recycled materials?  I would love to hear from you.


  1. The Soda Tab Chainmail GuyMay 10, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    I am the individual in the soda tab chainmail shirt :) I got A LOT of pictures taken of me that day, I'm surprised to see them on the net.

    A small correction, I did not personally make the shirt, I borrowed it from someone who made it that I am no longer in contact with.

    As it turns out, the shirt is surprisingly strong. On the same day that photo was taken, I was stabbed by someone who wanted to test if the shirt would withstand a knife (he did so before I could say "No, I dont think it will stop a knife.") The shirt survived intact.

    Maria, did you take the photo yourself or did you get this from someone else?

    1. I took all the pictures on this blog. Your piece was fab!

    2. Uh... Someone stabbed you? I would sue.