Friday, June 10, 2011

Soda Tab Choker Necklace and review of a Soda Tab Jewelry Craft Kits

My never ending efforts to recycle lead me to some fun discoveries, like the Alex Pop Tab Jewelry Kit below. I like the neat jewelry and clothing that folks are creating with Aluminun soda can tabs.  I even tried my own efforts and designing something wearable with soda can tabs and created the soda tab choker below:

I was able to make the choker as a result of learning a fun cool weave patterns from the Alex Pop Tab Jewelry Kit craft kit.  I took that knowledge and created my own weaving pattern to make the neckace.  This time I used the invisible stretchy jewelry thread to weave the soda tabs together and make it more comfortable to wear.  Then I decided to utilize the cool pre-drilled holes on the tabs, so I added some crystals. So where did I learn the weaving basics that helped me to come up with my own pattern.

Well, the nice folks at Alex Crafts sent me the above  "Pop Tab Jewelry" kit which is created for kids seven and above (and marketed as a kids craft).  I have to say that it would appeal to anyone who wanted a good starting point in learning a fun craft using recycled materials like soda can tabs.

This kit provides you with a good basis from which you can build to make other items. The instructions in this kit are very easy to follow diagrams and the weaving techniques they use in their patterns can be used to make more than just bracelets. 

Included in this kit are:
  • 46 Aluminum (Pop / Soda) Can Tabs in assorted colors
  • 6 gross grain ribbons
  • 3 ribbons
  • 2 satin cords
  • 4 earring hooks
  • 19 jewelry findings
  • 6 precut shapes
  • Easy Instructions with diagrams
Box Contents
The soda can tabs are different from the one you would take off your own soda cans.  These have been filed and are kid safe without any sharp edges.  The also have a nice hole drilled into it.

Alex Aluminum Can Tab Selection

Single Weave Bracelet
A great starting point in working with the pop can tabs is the single weave bracelet.  This is a pretty basic weave pattern that is quick to learn and to do.  I started by picking out my favorite ribbons from my own stash of ribbons.

Note: The ribbon width should be less than 3/4" in width to work with the soda can tabs.
I weaved the ribbon through the first opening and then through the second opening, using the over and under technique.
Then I just kept adding on more tabs using the same technique.

Since I was making it to fit a 61/2" wrist, I used 9 tabs, so it would fit comfortably.Once I finished adding soda can tabs, the pattern looked like the photo below.
Then I just add one of the claps (enclosed in kit) by weaving it with the ribbon, as directed in the instructions.  This is such a quick and easy pattern to follow and a great beginner project.

Double Weave Bracelet
The kit has instructions for a double weave bracelet pattern using the "under then over" weaving pattern, which is a bit more difficult for younger children to follow without a little adult help.  For this project, I used the ribbons, beads, and the pop can tabs that were included in this kit.
I started by making a knot in one end.  Then to make it easier to weave, I used a push pin to attach it to a piece of cork board so it would not move.

Then I added the first tab by weaving the ribbon under the first slot for each ribbon.
Then I added the second by weaving over the first slot.
I took the two ribbons and weaved them back into the first tab.
Adding the third tab is a bit more complicated.  I tightened the ribbon between tabs to make sure they would lay correctly, before adding more tabs.

Side view of weaving technique "over then under".
Top view of weaving technique "over then under".
Side view of can see how nicely the aluminum can tabs lay on top of each other.
Top view of the finished bracelet.  Using the enclosed grosgrain ribbon made the bracelet a little stiff.  I played with it a bit to soften the ribbon and it finally layed out much better. I recommend using softer ribbons for weaving and wearing comfort.

Pop Tab Earrings
My daughter decided to make the last project, which is a pair of earrings.  This was very simple to do and required minimal time and effort.  She gathered together the materials.  She used jump rings to attach the preprinted and precut shapes to the pop tab.  Then attached it to the earring wire.

There is currently a rise in popularity in crafts utilizing soda can tabs.  If you do a google search you will find some really amazing things folks have made using soda can tabs like the soda tab corset below:

as well as sources for can tabs for when you catch the creative bug.
I recently attended a convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where there was a booth selling the cool soda tab coat below.

As for the soda tabs, well if you can not save enough from your own beverage consumption, they can be found on Ebay and Amazon.

Leave a comment below, and share what you have made with soda tabs.



  1. Wahoooooooooooooooo nice jewelry.

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