3 ways to hand-sew inner tubes

by Jessie Kwak

Inner tube craft tutorials | Bicitoro

This is the fifth part in a series on crafting with inner tubes. You can find the introduction, learn about how to choose and clean inner tubes, how to cut inner tubes, and how to glue inner tubes with contact cement by following the links.

Today I’m going to show you a couple different techniques for hand-sewing inner tubes, using inner tube laces.

I’m taking a lot of inspiration from leather stitching, where you punch holes for the laces, then stitch your pieces together using sinew. Using inner tubes makes it a 100% vegan craft.

Use binder clips to hold your pieces securely, then punch through both layers at once so all your holes line up.

Use binder clips to hold your pieces securely, then punch through both layers at once so all your holes line up.

Cut the laces about 1/8"-3/16" wide.

Cut the laces about 1/8″-3/16″ wide. I used a yarn needle to sew with.

Tandy Leather Factory’s Leathercraft ABC’s has a great collection of tips on sewing leather, as well as other stitches you might want to try.

Baseball stitch

To stitch two edges together so that they meet, insert your needle from bottom to top through the first hole. Do the same on the other side through the second hole, then back to the first side through the third hole, etc. Keep crossing over, lacing every other hole bottom to top. (Like lacing up shoes.)

Sewing inner tubes - baseball stitch 1 | Bicitoro

Once you’ve gotten to the end, repeat the process to lace up the skipped holes.

Sewing inner tubes - baseball stitch 2 | Bicitoro

Whip Stitch

The whip stitch is a great way to join two edges with wrong sides together. Either do a single whip stitch:

Sewing inner tubes - whip stitch 1 | Bicitoro

Or double it up by whipping through all the holes from the opposite direction.

Sewing inner tubes - whip stitch 2 | Bicitoro

Triple Loop Stitch

This was a really fun one to try, and I love the decorative way it looks. Head on over to Kingsmere Crafts for a really detailed tutorial on how to do it.

Triple-loop Stitch | Bicitoro


Want more inner tube crafts? Check out my ebook Crafting with Inner Tubes.

Crafting with Inner tubes | Bicitoro bikes and crafts


Bike crafting link love: leather edition

by Jessie Kwak

Unless you live in the Northwest, you might be wondering where I’ve wandered off to lately. If you live in the Northwest, however, you probably don’t care. You haven’t checked my blog in weeks because you, like me, are outside enjoying our brief window of summer.

Needless to say, I haven’t been wasting precious Vitamin D cooped up inside my sewing studio or blogging. But I was inspired by my little foray into leathercraft last week, and started nosing around the Interwebs for some project inspiration.

Part of my interest stems from my desire to do a full overhaul on my Kona, to turn it from a scrappy sticker-covered bike to something with a bit more style and class. It’ll involve repainting my frame, so if anyone has any thoughts to share on that subject, I’m all ears.

I have a thrifted black suede duster hanging in my closet, just waiting to be turned into bike accessories. There’s enough material there to make a few items—maybe a top tube cover, a saddlebag, a handlebar bag, grips…. Don’t worry: the transformation will be fully documented.

This very cool handlebar bag was designed for a motorcycle, but I think it would work very well on a bicycle. I don’t think the suede I have on hand would have enough stiffness to make such a structured bag, but it’s excellent inspiration.

Here’s a cool personalized touch from The Velo Hobo: an engraved leather head badge.

From Chic Cyclist: personalized leather mudguards will be quite nice once the weather starts to turn back toward rain and mud.

Make your own leather saddle by reupholstering an old saddle with scrap leather. Be sure to scroll down the page to see other people’s examples, including a fun denim one made from a pair of old jeans.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the sunshine, folks!