How to Make a Bicycle Chain Decoration

by Cristel Wood
Recycle old bicycle chains into unique decorations.

Recycle old bicycle chains into unique decorations.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Bicycle chains, like most things, eventually wear out. Fortunately, just because a bicycle chain has outlived its life rotating bicycle wheels doesn't mean it's the end of the line for the chain. Rather than simply tossing the old bicycle chain in the garbage, consider turning it into something new. Bicycle chain decorations are creative and full of character, making for a great conversation pieces and charmingly unique decor.

Items you will need

  • Solvent
  • Cardboard
  • Heavy-duty metal cutters
  • Wire or fishing line
  • Craft glue or epoxy
Step 1

Soak the bicycle chain overnight in a chain-cleaning solvent. Chain-cleaning solvents are available at bicycle shops. Scrub the bicycle chain with steel wool or a metal brush if necessary.

Step 2

Rinse the solvent from the bicycle chain. Rinse several times to ensure that you remove all of the solvent.

Step 3

Draw an 8-inch tall five-pointed star on a piece of cardboard. Use a ruler to make it as symmetrical as possible. Draw a second star (either on the same piece of cardboard or on a second piece of cardboard) 4 inches tall.

Step 4

Lay the bicycle chain on the cardboard and arrange the chain so that it lines up with the 8-inch tall star. Use a pair of heavy-duty metal cutters to trim away the excess chain. Remove any half-pieces of chain so that the ends of the chain are full chain segments.

Step 5

Connect the ends of the chain with a loop of wire run through the end chain segments. Position the chain so that the ends are at the top of the star.

Step 6

Add a drop of clear-drying glue or epoxy to each of the chain joints so that your chain diamond will retain its shape. Allow the glue or epoxy to dry.

Step 7

Repeat Step 4 through Step 6 for the 4-inch tall star.

Step 8

Tie a piece of thin wire or fishing line to the ring at the top of the 8-inch star. Measure two inches (from the top of the 8-inch star) down the wire or line and tie it to the top of the 4-inch star. Cut away excess wire or line.

Step 9

Tie a second piece of thin wire or fishing line to the ring at the top of the 8-inch star. Create a loop out of the wire or line, or tie the wire or line to a metal ring.

Step 10

Hang the decoration from the loop or ring. The smaller star will be free to rotate within the larger star.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint and seal your decoration if desired. You can also add glitter or other additional ornaments to your decoration.
  • Experiment with different shapes and sizes; create star shapes, heart shapes, squares, circles or any other shape you like. You can even use multiple shapes, such as a star within a circle or a star within a square.
  • Use solvent only in well-ventilated areas and wear gloves when handling bicycle chains that have been soaked in solvent.
  • Use caution when cutting bicycle chains. Wearing eye protection is also highly recommended.

About the Author

Cristel Wood is a writer specializing in food, photography, gardening and video games. She holds an Associate of Arts from South Puget Sound Community College and has worked for her local Parks & Recreation department, Mt. Baker ski area, Vista Village Retirement Community and has taught ESL in Peru.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images