Thursday, January 27, 2011

Make a Bracelet from a Plastic Bottle

Before: Plastic bottle
Yesterday we made a cuff bracelet from a used shampoo bottle taken from our recycling can. The bottle was one of those tank sized bottles purchased at Costco so it was easy to make a cuff bracelet.

After: Boxed bracelet by
Today we are used another plastic bottle taken from the recycling can and used the plastic to make diamond shaped charms for a bracelet. Same technique. Different look.

Plastic bottle
Jump rings

Xacto knife
Center punch or automatic center punch
Flex shaft, Dremel or drill press
Micro-drill bit set (#61-80)
Pyrex measuring cup
Mandrel (optional)

Step 1
Select the bottle. We used a bright green bottle. Remove all stickers and clean the bottle.

Step 2
Cut the plastic using a craft knife or scissors. We cut our diamonds about 1-1/4 inch square, but you can make the plastic charms any size you want.

Step 3
Mark the plastic where you want holes with a center punch or automatic center punch. Drill holes in the marked spots.

Step 4
Flatten and form the plastic. Dip the plastic in hot (but not boiling) water to shape the plastic charms and soften the edges of the plastic. We used a mandrel to get a slight bend in the plastic charms so the bracelet would fit better when worn but many household items (including a stainless steel coffee cup) can be used to form the plastic charms.

Add jump rings to create chain
Step 5
Feed a jump ring through each drilled hole. Connect the charms with additional jump rings to make a chain. We used gold filled jump rings and findings (because we liked the color contrast and that is what we had) but you can use any size or metal findings you like for your design.

After: Upcycled Bracelet by
Step 6
Add the clasp. We used a spring clasp, but you can use any clasp you like.

Related Tutorials
How to Determine Bracelet Sizes
Make a Cuff Bracelet from a Plastic Bottle
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 Bracelets: An Inspiring Collection of Extraordinary Designs (500 Series)"; Lark; 2005.
"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.

Day 68.  Month 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent to date: 0
Found materials: plastic bottle
New Jewelry a Day.

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