Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Make a Bracelet from a Knitting Needle

Vintage plastic knitting needles get a new modern look when they are made into a bangle bracelet. With a few simple tools you can upcycle old knitting needles into fantastic jewelry.

Vintage plastic knitting needle(s)
Pot of boiling water
Bracelet mandrel

Step 1
Select a plastic knitting needle that you want to turn into a new bracelet.

Step 2
Boil a pot of water.

Step 3
Place the knitting needle into the water until it softens and can be formed, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 4
Measure your wrist and gather a mandrel in the appropriate size. Women have different wrist sizes, so it is important to measure for size before forming. Chose your mandrel based on the size you need. An average bangle size is about 8" inner circumference (20 cm inner circumference). If you do not have a bracelet mandrel, look around your house for a substitute. Baseball bats, certain canned goods, jars, a fallen tree limb and similar round objects can all be used a mandrels in a pinch.

Step 5
Carefully remove the knitting needle from the water using tongs or tweezers and wrap the knitting needle around a mandrel to the size you desire for your bracelet.

Step 6
Allow the plastic to cool on the mandrel or, to hasten the process, remove the bracelet from the mandrel and place it in a bowl of cold water to set.

Step 7
Adjust the bracelet. If you are not happy with the shape you can put the knitting needle back into the boiling and repeat the process until you are pleased with the result.

Note that the colors may change or fade when boiled. You can use the same technique to make a knitting needle ring. Substitute a ring mandrel for the bracelet mandrel.

If you do not like working on your stove top, you can preheat an oven (or toaster oven) designated solely for crafts to 350 degrees F and then bake the knitting needles for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the plastic is pliable.

Take care when working with boiled water.

Be sure to use proper exhaust and ventilation when heating and forming plastic.

Do not reuse pots for food after using for crafts.

Take care that knitting needles used are not sharp. File away any burrs, sharps or items that could catch clothes or injure the wearer.

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