Thursday, March 3, 2011

Make a Necklace from Plastic Bottle Caps

Before: Bottle cap
Bottle caps are the recycling cans gift to jewelry makers and upcyclers. Bottle caps are shaped ideally to be used as bezels or to be made into beads.

Today's project began as a collection Vintage Seltzer bottle caps. We kept the necklace plain because we liked the bright colors..... but the design is easily adapted by filling the inside of bottle caps with resin or polymer clay or embellishing the outside of the bottle caps with paint, ink or even stickers (as we did when we made our holiday inspired earrings in December 2010).

After: Bottle Cap Necklace by
Bottle caps
18-gauge brass wire

Drill and bits
Round nose pliers 
Wire cutter
Needle files
Chain nose pliers
Steel bench block
Plastic mallet

Step 1
Drill bottle caps
Drill two holes in each bottle cap. The holes should be the same size and they should be directly across from each other.

Step 2
Feed wire through bottle cap
Feed a piece of 18-gauge brass wire through the holes drilled on both sides of the bottle cap. Make a loop on the end of the wire outside the bottle cap using round nose pliers. Make a second loop on the other side of the bottle cap. Cut the wire off the spool using a wire cutter. File the ends of the wire with a needle file until smooth.

Step 3
Repeat to create needed number of bottle caps. the number of bottle caps needed depends on the size of the bottle caps and the length of the necklace.

Attach the bottle cap links
Step 4
Attach the links using chain nose pliers.

Step 5
Feed the 18-gauge brass wire through the final drilled bottle cap in the chain. Make a very small loop at the end of the wire. Form the hook portion of the hook and eye clasp. Create a loop on the other side of the bottle cap as you did for the bottle cap links. Attach the hook to the last bottle cap.

Finished plastic bottle cap necklace
The ring on the end bottle cap serves as the eye.

Step 6
Place the hook of the clasp on the steel bench block. Hit the hook with the plastic mallet to harden the wire and allow the wire to retain its shape.

Related Tutorial
Make Chanukah Menorah Earrings from Plastic Bottle Caps

Further Reading
"Fantastic Recycled Plastic: 30 Clever Creations to Spark Your Imagination"; David Edgar, Robin A. Edgar; 2009.

Day 103. Month 5. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: bottle caps
New Jewelry a Day. 

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