Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Make a Cuff Bracelet from a Plastic Bottle

Before: Plastic Bottle
Plastic bottles from your recycling bin are great sources of raw materials for jewelry making. Plastic bottles can be cut up into beads for stringing into pendant, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Plastic can also be easily shaped and molded with heat. In this project we turned an old, empty, rather large shampoo bottle purchased at Costco into a cuff bracelet.

After: Cuff Bracelet by
Plastic bottle

Xacto knife
Pyrex measuring cup

Step 1
Wash out the bottle. Remove all labels. Rinse away residue from glue.

Step 2
Cut the plastic using a craft knife or scissors. The side of our bottle had an interesting texture designed to give the bottle a better grip. We centered the textures grip when cutting so it would be prominent when we formed the bracelet.

Put plastic in hot water
Step 3
Heat water in a Pyrex dish to just below boiling. Place the plastic into the hot water so it becomes soft and pliable. Do not overheat the plastic to the point of melting.

Step 4
Form the plastic into a cuff bracelet
Remove the plastic from the hot water and form the plastic around a mandrel. You can use a bracelet mandrel or another household item. In this photo, we used the base of a stainless steel coffee cup as a mandrel.

Related Tutorials
How to Make a Soda Bottle  Bracelet
How to Make a Knitting Needle Bracelet
How to Make a Record Cuff Bracelet
How to Make a Pop Top Bracelet

Further Reading
"500 Plastic Jewelry Designs: A Groundbreaking Survey of A Modern Material (500 Series)"; Lark; 2009.
"The Art of Jewelry: Plastic & Resin: Techniques, Projects, Inspiration"; Debra Adelson; 2008.
"Shrink Art Jewelry (Klutz)"; Karen Phillips; 2007.

Day 67.  Month 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: plastic bottle
New Jewelry a Day.

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