Bike craft inspiration: recycled bicycle chains

Wow, it’s been a minute since I’ve done a bike craft roundup post! (You can find older ones here.)

After making Robert’s magnetic office board, I have a bunch of short pieces of bike chain all clean and shiny and waiting to be made into a project.

I’ve been searching the internets and the Pinterest for ideas to use up these short bits, though I didn’t find a ton of recycled bicycle chain tutorials out there. Bracelets, yes. But bowls and picture frames? How do they stick together—are they welded? Are the pins tightened? Are they glued?

Please, please weigh in if you have any ideas!

Of course, after all that searching for little projects, what I really want to make is this:


Isn’t it fantastic! I saw it in Pinterest and followed links to find out more about it. It was designed by Chandi Lighting and auctioned off as part of a fundraiser for kids in Nepal. It obviously takes more than a couple measly lengths of chain, so I’ll put it on the wishlist for now.

Plus, I need to figure out how to clean a ton of chain more efficiently. Just getting these seven chains clean for my last project was exhausting!

Who’s got ideas?

Bike chain votive holder

bike chain tea lights

I didn’t see any tutorials out there on how to make this, but it seems pretty straightforward. Make chain into circle, times three. Stack. Put votive in. Set apartment on fire. Done.

These are from Uncommon Goods, who carries tons of fun stuff like that. I want to write their product descriptions, they’re so enjoyable! (Call me, guys.)

Bike chain & gear desk lamp

bike chain lamp

I found this on Pinterest with no backlink—and 20 minutes of Google searching did me no good. I found a few other examples of this kind of pulley desk lamp, though also with no real decent context to help me figure out how to make it.

But make it I will, believe you me.

Bike chain bowl

round bike chain bowl

This is a classic—I’ve seen it all over the internets (this one is via Apartment Therapy), and in several bike shops I’ve visited. I’ll have to take a closer look next time to see how it’s put together, because in spite of its internet fame, it doesn’t look like any crafters have taken a stab at tutorializing it.

square bike chain bowl

I found this version on Pinterest, via Jenn Woodham. She made it herself, using chain link clips to stick it all together. Isn’t it lovely?

bike chain box

This amazing box is from seller CitiZenoBjeCts on Etsy. It’s sold out, but they take custom orders, so you may be able to score one.

Bike chain clock

square bike chain clock

There are a few bike chain clocks out there, as well, but this is my favorite! It’s from Ten Thousand Villages.

Bike chain picture frame

bike chain picture frame - Uncommon goods

Again from Uncommon Goods, we have this rad picture frame.

pink bike chain picture frame

This fun pink picture frame is from Terracycle.

Have you ever worked with bicycle chains? What are your tips?

3 thoughts on “Bike craft inspiration: recycled bicycle chains

  1. That vintage crankset lamp is just… no word is quite right. “Amazing” will have to do for now. Hope you work out how to make it!

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