Sew BikeChicâ„¢ — Sewing a Recycle/Upcycle Bike Tube Coin Purse

Today I spent the day playing with rubber…rubber bicycle tubes that I recycle into usable items.

So I decided to try making a cute little zippered coin purse that is fully lined. I used my I-Zip Wallets sewing pattern as a guide for determining size and basic construction (note: sewing with rubber instructions are not provided in this pattern).

Here is what I came up with:

Recycled Bike Tube Zippered Coin Purse -- fully lined

Recycled Bike Tube Zippered Coin Purse — fully lined

Here’s a peek inside:

Inside the coin purse

Inside the coin purse…see, fully lined! 🙂


Working with recycled rubber–especially recycled bicycle tubes–presents a number of challenges.  One must collect it, clean it (many bicycle tubes are filled with SLIMEâ„¢ or other sealants), cut & prepare it (it curls, stretches and bulges in places due to the circular shape of the tube) and you need to know how to sew it.

Sewing rubber can be tricky in a number of ways.  For example, once the needle goes in, there WILL be a hole (that will be seen if you have to remove stitching).  Additionally, the rubber likes to “grip” and stick to many sewing machine beds as well as the presser foot.

I find it extremely worthwhile to make the effort in order to keep the tubes out of landfills.  It’s especially rewarding to turn toxic trash into an attractive, functional item that is super durable and FUN to carry.   🙂

If you like the style of this coin purse and would like to make one for yourself out of fabric, you may be interested to learn more about the I-Zip Wallets sewing pattern by clicking here (note: sewing with rubber instructions are not provided in this pattern).

4 Responses to “Sew BikeChicâ„¢ — Sewing a Recycle/Upcycle Bike Tube Coin Purse”

  1. Tracy says:

    Thank you Christina!

  2. Tracy says:

    Amethyst, dealing/sewing with rubber is a skill that I’ve developed by trial and error.

    I don’t have “instructions” available for it at this time. I may do that in a future project if there is enough interest.

    In the meantime, the pattern you purchased (was developed and marketed specifically for sewing cotton fabrics and it DOES include those instructions) is extremely versatile (which is what I was demonstrating by using it as my guide for this project).

    You could try some trial and error of your own if you’re really interested in sewing the tubes, no? 😀

  3. Christina in Cleveland says:

    Hi Tracy, this is excellent!!! I had no idea about the “slime” lol so thanks for that tip! GREAT zip wallet!
    ~ Christina

  4. Amethyst says:

    So are there any instructions on how to deal with the rubber? Or have I missed it. All I can see is that you need to know how. No instructions on how. I purchased the wallet pattern awhile ago and it would be nice to be able to use one of these postings.


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