Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Make Chanukah Menorah Earrings from Plastic Bottle Caps

Before: Bottle Cap
Only two more nights of Chanukah, so we decided to continue our Chanukah themed projects. This project begins with plastic bottle caps collected from Seltzer bottles. Bottle caps make great raw materials. You can make bottle caps into beads and you can use bottle caps as bezels. Change the bottle cap and you change the look.

For this project, we embellished the bottle cap with a Menorah to continue our Chanukah theme, but if you do not celebrate Chanukah you can easily create a similar project for your holiday celebration.

After: Upcycled Menorah Earrings by GeltDesigns
Plastic bottle cap
Glue and paper or craft sticker
20-gauge brass wire

Size 51 drill bit
Flex Shaft or drill

Wire Wrapping Tools
Nylon jaw plier
Wire rounder
Round nose pliers
Mandrel or three step pliers
Flush cutter or a side cutter

Step 1
Select to identical plastic bottle caps. We picked two blue bottle caps from seltzer bottles, but you can use any bottle cap.  Plastic is light weight and yet creates a sizable earring. Look for a bottle cap that has little or no lettering or decoration that may conflict with your design.

Step 2
Locate menorah stickers or cut out a piece of paper in the shape of two menorahs (one for each earring) and glue the menorah cut-outs to the bottle caps. We decided to create contrasting yellow menorahs, but you can use any color.

Step 3
Straighten the Wire
Drill a hole in each bottle cap with a size 51 drill bit.

Step 4
Feed the 20-gauge brass wire through the drilled hole and make a loop at the end of the wire using round nose pliers. Adjust the loop so it is centered on the top of the wire. Check to be sure the loop is large enough that there is no way it can slip through the drilled hole.

Step 5
Harden the Ear Wire
Make the ear wire. Straighten 20-gauge brass wire using nylon jaw pliers. Sand the end of the wire smooth using a wire rounder. Create a small loop in the end of the wire using round nose pliers. Wrap the wire around a mandrel (we used our favorite block) or three step pliers. Cut the wire from the spool using a flush cutter or a side cutter.  Bend the ear wire so that it will fit into the loop of the ear wire. Sand the end of the wire smooth using a wire rounder. Hit the formed finding with a rawhide or plastic mallet to harden the wire. Adjust the finding so it is easy for the wire to snap into the loop to secure the earring on
Adjust the Finding
the ear.

Step 6
Repeat to create second earring.

Related Tutorials
Make Dreidel Earrings
Make a Dreidel Pendant
Make Your Own Dreidel

Chanukah Craft Projects for Kids 

How to Measure Wire
How to Use a Wire Gauge
How to Make Your Own Hoop Ear Wires (with or without Beads)

How Use a Wire Rounder
How to Straighten WireGeltDesigns Tutorials by Topics  

Further Reading

500 Judaica: Innovative Contemporary Ritual Art (500 Series) 

Day 17. Week 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: bottle caps
New Jewelry a Day.

Happy Chanukah!

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