Upcycle Progress 1: Chainmail Bottle tabs

What I have been working on for my project these past few weeks is starting the interlacing of the bottle tabs. I was trying to save bottle tabs to do this project but I found that there were too many tabs that I needed to use and not enough time so I bought a bag from Amazon that came from the trash for $10. This way I had a lot of tabs already taken off the can and could start lacing them together. I started by making the lacing pattern and connecting the tabs to make a chainmail fabric. One of the only materials I am using is split rings to connect the tabs. I ordered these on Amazon which upped the price of the project.

During the past few weeks, I would lace them as much as I could in the pattern in front of the TV and it was a very mindless and meditative task. I decided that I liked the look of a tank top and I liked how it draped over my body.

I started with 3 tabs wide for the shoulder straps but didn’t like how it looked on my body. I wanted a mixture of masculine and feminine look to the tank top and with 3 tabs it didn’t drape exactly how I was thinking. I then experimented with 4 and still, the strap looked too thin and made the neckline droop too much. I ended up liking 5 tabs wide for the straps and how that looked. I then put it on to measure how long the front and the back should be and just added more tabs as needed.

I also decided to rotate the edge of the rim to make it more comfortable to wear.

The chainmail perfectly exemplifies the fantasy aesthetic. With the repetition of the bottle tabs laced together, it resembles the chainmail and medieval aesthetic.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jess Corbitt
    May 8, 2024 11:19 am

    I’m super impressed by this progress! I would love to know if you plan on placing the colored tabs in a specific order.

  • Michael Gray
    May 8, 2024 2:59 am

    What a cool idea! Putting all of those caps together seems like a tedious task. How long did it take?

  • Hey Cole! This project looks super cool – I’ve always wanted to try this but have never actually done it, so kudos to you. I would love to hear a little more about the aesthetic that you’re aiming for with this project. I think that the pattern you have looks really good, and I think that if you want to add more to this project, you could research other “traditional” chain mail patterns to add accents of some sort or switch up the texture a bit. Regardless, I think this is going to turn out sick!


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