Introduction: Recycled Plastic Bead Bracelets
Make gorgeous satin or jewel tone beads out of old plastic cups, plastic soda bottles and milk jugs – just about anything thin enough to bend cut and bend. I combined the plastic beads I made with recycled glass beads and a few findings to make beautiful, recycled bracelets. They’re fun, easy, and almost free!
Shown: Soda bottle bead bracelets and a tray of beads made from assorted containers.
Step 1: What You Need for the Beads
Plastic cups, soda bottles, milk containers etc. (Cleaned and dry!)Top to bot
Permanent markers (colors you like)
Metal pliers (preferably with smooth grips)
Something to wrap the beads on like skewers, round toothpicks etc. You only need a couple.
A well ventilated work space.
Step 2: What You Need for the Bracelet
The beads you made
Any additional beads or findings you like
Stretchy string – I like the really heavy size for this project, .75 – 1mm thickness
Jewelry glue (Like E6000)
Step 3: Prepare the Plastic
Cut open a plastic container top to bottom and then into sections as large as possible. You’ll want to end up with pieces that are at least 4-8 inches. I usually my containers into 4 sections before I color them.
If there is a curve to your sections, the inside of the curve is the inside of your beads. This is where you’l apply color. If there’s no curve, it won’t matter which side you color.
Step 4: Color the Plastic
This is fun and really easy.
Use your permanent markers to color the insides of your plastic sections. If there’s no inside, just choose a side. You can make color blocks, patterns, stripes – or just scribble. I mostly scribbled with colors I like and the beads cam out great. (Yes, kids can do this part for you. There’s really no messing up.)
When you’re done coloring, cut the sections into strips. These will be rolled into beads.
Step 5: Cutting the Bead Strips
The shape of the plastic strip determines the shape of the final bead. Straight strips make cylinders. Angled cuts make diamonds and ovals. You can experiment with different cuts to see what you like.
The length of the strip determines the thickness of the final bead. The longer the strip, the thicker the bead.
To start, cut strips at least 4-8 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide. Roll one up with the color on the inside and see how it looks. Measurements are different for different materials. When you have the right size, cut the rest.
1 strip = 1 bead
Step 6: Heat and Roll
I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of plastic strips for this step, but it’s really easy.
Take one strip at a time and heat it with the heat gun. You can lay it on any nonflammable surface and aim your gun. The strip should be softened, but not floppy or bubbling.
Carefully wrap the soft plastic around the skewer (as shown with the paper strips above). Watch your fingers, it could be hot. (Use pliers if it’s too hot for you to work with.) This will be your bead. It will cool as you see it at this point. If you need to adjust the shape or tightness, just reheat the spots you want to work on. You can use pliers to help shape the bead. Hold the rolled strip in place gently with pliers until the plastic cools.
Note: Heat the plastic in a well ventilated area!
Step 7: Make the Bracelet
Cut about a foot of stretchy string. Make sure it’s at least 5″ bigger than you want the finished bracelet.
String on your new plastic beads, along with whatever other beads, spacers and bead caps you like.
Try it around your wrist for size and add or subtract beads until it’s perfect.
Remember: You don’t need to leave room for a clasp. This will stretch over your hand.
Then knot the two ends using a surgeon’s knot. (Knot instructions/video links are in the comments of my other bracelet instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Beaded-Bracelet-with-Clasp/
Put a dot of glue on the knot and when the glue dries, trim the ends.
Step 8: Milk Jug Bead Bracelet
Step 9: Pete’s Coffee Plastic Cup Bead Bracelet
I didn’t color these since they already had a design.
Experiment with different types of containers and markers.
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Milk Carton Duct Tape Wallet
It is very unusual for us to do this, but this week we are featuring a craft that can be found on the Family Fun website. It is the Milk Carton Wallet, and it’s usable and functional! We wanted to feature it because our friend Brooklyn made a bunch of them and we loved the way they turned out. Brooklyn is in the fourth grade. You can visit the Family Fun website HERE to download a template. We’ve mapped out a few of the steps below so you will know what you are getting into!
First you’ll want to save some juice or milk cartons and wash them thoroughly!
Then you need to download the template, lay it on the carton and cut.
You’ll need to score the sides to create accordion folds, and carefully cut out a hole to fit over the spout.
Now for the fun part! Cover the whole thing with duct tape! Use different patterns for the inside and outside and edges. The inside of your wallet will end up looking something like this:
Look at how cool that is!
The wallet you see here is super sturdy. It is currently being used at summer camp! Thanks Brooklyn for sharing this cool craft with us!
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I was getting ready to buy a pill box the other day when I realized it was crazy to pay for something we could make at home. So here is a new craft with the Altoid box, only this time we used Altoids Smalls tins.
Altoids Smalls boxes Beaded chain Pieces of fabric Metal Scrapbook Letters Gems Strong Glue (We used Crafter’s Pick: The Ultimate)
Start with an empty Altoids Smalls tin Cut out a small lid-sized rectangle of fabric Coat top of box with glue Apply fabric Run beaded chain around box and secure with glue Add letters and gems as desired Done in a jiffy! Now it’s ready for trinkets, pills, paperclips, or pins.
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- Categories Decorative Boxes, Recycled Crafts, Uncategorized
Altoid Box Suitcase: Crafts from THE BOY PROJECT
Hooray! THE BOY PROJECT (Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister) , a humorous middle grade novel from Scholastic, was released TODAY! In honor of the book’s release, we are featuring some of the crafts Kara mentions in the book on the blog. Kami Kinard, the book’s author, is the mother of CLM, this blog’s creator. The Altoid Box Suitcase was one of our first posts. Kami liked the idea so much that she included it in her book! Click on the book in the sidebar to learn more about it!
Make a realistic looking suitcase for your doll.
This craft is a little more difficult, but we loved the result!
Sheet of blank paper
Brown shoe polish
long bead or several small beads
Small picture-hanging nail
Fold sheet of paper until it is slightly smaller than top of Altoids tin. This will cover the embossed letters, if present. It will also provide dimension.
Center the folded sheet on top of Altoids tin and secure with masking tape.
Continue to place pieces of masking tape on box until the entire surface is covered.
Using a soft rag apply brown shoe polish to the masking tape. Wipe off excess with clean rag. Repeat process for darker color.
Have an adult puncture two holes in side of Altoids tins that is opposite from the hinge. Use picture hanging nail and hammer for this. (Each of our holes was approximately two centimeters from the edge.)
Thread one end of coated wire through hole.
Add bead or beads.
Bring Wire through other hole and twist to secure.
Decorate your suitcase with small stickers, postage stamps, or home made stickers (directions below.)
To Make Travel Stickers:
Tiny printouts of travel pictures (we used Microsoft Word clip art)
Print out small travel pictures. Pictures should be narrow enough to be covered by a single piece of transparent tape.
Color pictures with markers.
Cut out pictures.
Place sticky side of tape over colored side of pictures, leaving edges of the tape exposed.
Carefully cut around pictures leaving a small area of sticky side of tape around the edges.
Apply these picture-stickers to surface of suitcase.
This blog page contains the instructions for you to make a wrapper purse using recycled materials such as candy wrappers, chip bags and even paper.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
chip wrapper purse instructions
Folding instructions for each piece can be found at www.gumwrapper.com/build.htm …….. start with #3 on the instruction sheet because your pieces are already cut to size.
Once you have 60 wrapper pieces together you need to join them into a circle.
Take the first wrapper piece off and put into the other side by unfolding and putting the raw edges into the last chain (green piece in photo)
Follow the pictures. it’s like your making the chain backwards.
SEWING ROWS TOGETHER
Put two chains together as I described with the positive and negative. You will be sewing down thru a chain, over slightly to the right and down thru the next chain, up thru the next chain and down thru the next one. Follow the pictures………You will continue to do this until you get all the way around to where you began sewing.
Continue sewing in an up and down motion until you go all the way around. Make sure you pull the thread tight so you do not have any gaps or see the thread.
add the next row. remember to position positive to negative
SEWING THE BOTTOM
Squeeze the bottom together and start sewing. You will only be able to sew the outside of this row. There is not enough room on the inside of the purse to sew like you did on the other rows.
I can’t really explain how to sew the bottom, but once you squeeze it together just start running your needle thru the rows to hold them together. It doesn’t matter how many times you go around a square because you will never see the thread. The only place that you can see my thread is in the very corners. You will have to sew around the corners a couple of times to pull them tight. The bottom is harder to have a consistant sewing pattern because your sewing the positive to positive. You’ll totally understand what I’m talking about once you begin sewing. 🙂
Continue sewing along the bottom. You will be tucking in one wrapper square at each corner. Once you get it tucked in, it’s not going anywhere because it’s so tightly wedged in to the corner.
Doesn’t matter what type of zipper you buy. just so it is long enough to go across the purse. You will cut the excess off when you are finished sewing onto the purse if it is to long.
Catch the very edge of the zipper and then run your needle down thru a chain and up the next one.
If you look really close at this picture, the needle is running down thru the chain of red wrapper with the yellow strip through it. The needle will come back up through the white chain.
This picture is a little blurry but what I’m trying to show is the needle coming back up the white chain. You will catch the edge of the zipper at every “v” around the chain.
Do both ends of the zipper like the picture. It doesn’t really matter how long the zipper is because once you tuck the ends inside the purse you can cut the zipper off.
The folks in my house love cereal. It is a favorite for morning, noon and even a Good night snack. With that said, I often have a large amount of cereal boxes in my recycle bin to choose from when it comes to crafting. And why let something cool and colorful go to waste? So I made paper beads from cereal boxes!
I just love the colors on these beads. And they were simple enough to make too!
Both the hubby and his dad enjoy a late night snack in front of the TV every evening. Ralph has a thing for cereal too, apparently.
I tell you, the cereal boxes are piling up!
During my last trip to Walmart, as I put the week’s cereal selection in the cart, I took note of how colorful those pretty boxes were.
Next thing you know, the guys were eating out of the bags! Ha! I don’t even think they noticed…
Because those pretty boxes were confiscated and getting prepared for my next project!
For this project I used:
14 gauge wire
Clear glossy Mod Podge
Begin by opening up the box along all the seams so it lays flat. Then cut off the top and bottom tabs so that you have a rectangular piece of cardboard.
On the back side, use a ruler to draw a pencil line lengthwise along the box, starting at 3/4″ wide on one end and ending with 1/8″ wide on the other. Cut along the line.
Cut out as many cardboard strips as you like.
I used a piece of 14 gauge wire to start the bead out. Begin by wrapping the wide end of your strip around the wire, and then begin to coil up the cardboard around it.
About halfway through, you can remove the wire and keep on wrapping. Once you reach the end of the narrow part of the strip, add several dots of tacky glue or white glue. Hold tight for a few moments until it adheres.
Each bead looks different from the last. I had a lot of fun with the colors on these boxes!
For the final touch, after the beads had dried, I lined them up on the piece of wire that I had used earlier which was stuck into a piece of styrofoam. This makes it easy to add a coating or two of clear glossy sealant on all sides of my beads. Once they are dry, simply separate them.
Oooh the possibilities! Key chains, bracelets, necklaces….
I went with a pretty bracelet. Simply stringing them onto some elastic string that I found in the jewelry section of the craft store. Pretty. Would you ever guess it started out with a cereal box?
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Healthy Living in Fragile Environments
Potato chip bags are something we’ve all handled and then thrown into the trash.
If your conscience has you wondering if there are alternatives to sending that bag into the landfill, you’ve come to the right place.
If you simply want to try to reduce your chip bag footprint, just make your own easy microwave chips using Rock Farmer’s simple method. If you want an oil-free recipe with a few more steps, give this one from the Kitchn a try.
Reuse and Repurpose:
1) If you’re not able to resist purchasing snacks in crinkly bags, then use your bags as gift bags! It’s easy to do: Turn your chip bag inside out, wash it with dish soap to get rid of any grease. Dry it out. Then reuse the silvery or white side as a mylar-style gift bag. We do this all the time and reuse them over and over. We just attach some pretty ribbon like these pictured here which we found on the beach (no kidding) hanging beneath a deflated helium balloon all twisted up in seaweed. These ribbons last forever, they’re made of plastic, and look as good as new even after years of floating in the open sea. I’ve picked up so many of them on the beach, I’ve had occasion to give a bag of them away on my local Buy Nothing group, with the caveat that the person agrees to keep the ribbons on indoor gifts and not set them free with a helium balloon. When you’ve seen them wrapped around the necks of baby seals and sea turtles, you can’t help reconsider why we risk sending them into our seas via floating balloons in the first place. But I digress.
2) Make a shoulder bag. Some chip bags have a cool vintage look to them and could make a great shoulder bag.
3) Make a gum wrapper-style chain bracelet. Remember making paper chains from gum-wrappers? If you employ the same method with chip bags and candy wrappers, you can craft some amazing things. First step is making a bracelet.
4) And when you’ve mastered the gum wrapper-style bracelet, you’re ready to move on to the purse.
5) Craftbits has a tutorial for a nice clutch.
6) Make a potato chip bag mini scrap book. At making-mini-scrapbooks.com, you’ll learn how to make your own cool books that would also make excellent gifts for friends.
Mini Potato Chip Bag Scrapbook, Photo © making-mini-scrapbooks.com
7) Instructables has a tutorial for a chip bag wallet.
8) Craft a baby crinkly square to appeal to baby’s need for tactile and aural stimulation. We think a snack bag would make some good crinkly sounds for your little one.
Baby Crinkly Squares Can Be Made With Potato Chip Bags, Photo © Joy’sHope.com
Remember the Sunchip compostable bags and how loud they were (95 db)? Maybe stay away from those. They’ve been discontinued, apparently, but consumers certainly had fun with the deafening chip bags. Even a Facebook group was started, called SORRY, BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THIS SUNCHIPS BAG. We were excited to see that compostable snack bags were being tested on the market, yet when we did our own compost test of the Sunchip bags in a commercial composter for a month, the bags, surprisingly, were still intact — no decomposition visible.
9) Make an adorable robot from the silvery side of your bag.
10) Yet another Instructable. This time it’s a pencil case. Who needs Terracycle when you can upcycle your own stuff?
11) Cover over an old bracelet with delightful snack bag colors to make a new one!
I figure that’s enough to keep you busy with your snack bags, but let’s face it, all of this will end up being tossed in the landfill eventually. Although my kids love to occasionally have a junk food fix of chips, we’re continuing to do our best to stop buying foods that come in unrecyclable bags. Until chips can be sold in something a little more sustainable, we’ll do our best to just say no, or make our own.
Remember those ear-damagingly loud Sun Chip bags? They were a massive eco-friendly effort to be t he first 100% compostable potato chip bag—and were swiftly ditched after complaints that the bags were so loud they could cause hearing loss.
Chip and other snack bags present a hell of a problem for recycling facilities because of their mixed materials. J udging by the various plastic types it contains, it’s safe to say Cheetos bags are way more complicated than your usual food container.
How to Properly Recycle Your Plastic Yogurt Containers
When it comes to recycling, we all make mistakes.
More often than not, chip bags are made of a number of various layers, but mostly polypropylene , or #5 plastic as it’s identified by its resin code; the outer and inner layer of polypropylene plastic in chip bags help provide a moisture barrier for chips so they’re kept crisp . (You might also find polypropylene in things like yogurt containers .) The inner layer of polypropylene is given an aluminum coating to help strengthen the plastic, and in between these polypropylene layers is another kind of plastic called polyethylene , giving the bag a sturdy but flexible hold.
Once the bags are ready to be shipped, they’re also pumped with nitrogen so the chips remain intact ( unlike, say, oxygen, nitrogen doesn’t affect the taste of chips ). Together, this entire process creates a complicated hybrid of plastic materials that’s not all that easy for some facilities to recycle—though you can always use Earth911’s locator to find out a facility that might accept your bags or do an online search for your curbside recycling program’s rules.
Along with school shopping and choosing a new lunch box, one back-to-school tradition is covering your school books. Some schools require it, some don’t, but your kids are sure to get a kick out of customizing their books with covers made from recycled materials.
You can use a variety of destined-for-the-dumpster materials to make unique book covers that, along with duct tape, will be sturdy and protect textbooks when they get shoved into a locker or a brimming backpack. I used two potato chip bags, but you can also use cereal bags, paper sacks (an old standby), or a variety of other product packaging. With the addition of colorful duct tape, book covers become almost indestructible! Using recycled packaging also teaches kids about recycling, and demonstrates that it’s a good idea to reuse things whenever possible.
Bonus: you can find patterned duct tape (like the plaid in the photo above) at big box stores right now. I found the plaid at Target, and some tie-dye printed tape at Wal-mart. Clear packing tape is also a great choice because it will allow the artwork on the recycled packaging to show through.
Time Needed for Project: About 15 minutes per book.
- Recycled packaging, such as a potato chip bag (I needed two to cover my medium-sized book.
- Duct tape in one or more fun colors (or packing tape)
- Book to cover
- Dish soap, water, and sponge or washcloth
- Optional: Stickers
Preparing the Packaging:
- Cut off the bottom of the bag above the sealed seam.
- Cut off the back seam.
- Wash bag thoroughly with dish soap and a sponge or washcloth to remove all residual oil and crumbs. You can do this in your dishwater if you wash dishes by hand!
- Wipe both sides of bag dry. Make sure bag is completely clean and dry before you begin covering your book.
Here are my two chip bags, all clean and dry.
Note: if your kid isn’t jazzed about the idea of using an old chip bag for a book cover (disclaimer: my kids are 3 and under, so they think everything is cool! I don’t know if recycled chip bags will fly with your middle schooler!), let the inside of the bag face outward, and they can decorate it with stickers or duct tape as they prefer.
Assembling the Book Cover:
Tape your two packages together using a piece of duct tape. Allow the tape to extend over the edge of the package.
Turn bags over and wrap tape over the edge. See how the two bags don’t perfectly line up? Don’t worry about that because you will be folding this part again anyway, and it won’t be seen. You can also tape the inside of the bags where they overlap, if you want.
Lay your book on your prepared chip bags. Make a crease in the bag along the top of the book, as a guide. Remove book and fold chip bags at the crease, keeping fold as straight and even as possible.
Lay book on top of folded edge (leave a tiny bit of room at the top of the chip bag to make it easier for the book to slide into the book cover once it’s assembled). Crease chip bag at bottom of book to make a guideline. Remove book and fold bottom at crease, keeping fold as straight and even as possible.
I taped each folded section in the middle, but not at the ends (you want to leave the ends open so the book covers can slide into them). Chip bags don’t maintain the folds as well as paper does, so the tape helped keep everything in place.
Close book cover over book, and check the placement of any artwork you want to show on the front of the book. Fold end over the edge of the slightly opened book cover to make a crease.
Insert one side of book into the folded end of the book cover.
Tape to secure (make sure you aren’t taping any area where the book is, and that the book cover is able to slide when opened and closed.
Repeat process for other side of book (trim book cover if necessary, before you put it onto the book). I found that it was slightly more tricky to coax the book into this side.
You can stop here if you want, or add additional decorations like stickers or cut-out pictures covered in clear tape, or a nametag or book label.
I added a couple extra pieces of duct tape just for fun.
I really wanted to try my new plaid duct tape out!
Heather Mann is a regular contributor at Make and Takes. She’s is the mother of two boys under age 3, and another boy on the way. She publishes Dollar Store Crafts, a daily blog devoted to hip crafting at dollar store prices, CROQ Zine, a print magazine devoted to hip crafting, and also CraftFail, a community blog that encourages crafters to share their not-so-successful craft attempts.
Heather Mann, a mother of three boys, is a kids crafts contributor at Make and Takes. She publishes Dollar Store Crafts, a daily blog devoted to hip crafting at dollar store prices, CROQ Zine, a print magazine devoted to hip crafting, and also CraftFail, a community blog that encourages crafters to share their not-so-successful craft attempts.
Making your own Recycled Beads
The beads that I’ve made
I like quite a few of those.
PERFECT for personalizing Kandi [for you P.L.U.R.ries out there].
I’d LOVE to see your versions of it! So just comment with a link to your versions
DISCLAIMER : the beads in the picture are all quite long, but the beads that I make now are shorter, kind of like AMber’s. The ones in the pictures were the first that I made, so they are much worse looking than I make them now. I’ll get pictures when I can, but I’m on VACATION now, lol. 😀
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You Will Need
1] Water bottle, or some kind of hard plastic that you can easily cut
2] a pair of cutting impliments [like scisors]
3] Needlenose Pliers, Tweezers, something like that [it’d be good to have an extra on hand]
4]Colours [if you want to make them colourful]
5]Heat gun, or if you are ghetto like me, a lighter 😀
Cut the bottom and tops off the water bottle [I use the the bottoms to put the made beads in, and the top as a little water jug, so that after I melt the plastic, I can dip it in the cold water, and it will harden faster and stronger]
Then you cut the water bottle, either horizontal, or vertical, depending on whether you want a thick bead, or an easier bead [because some waterbottles have those stratta like structures, if you cut those into the stips, it makes it easier to twist around the pliers].
Next, you color the inside of the strip of plastic [or you can get a strip of paper that is shorter and smaller in width and turn it upside=down into the inside of the strip of plastic]
then grip the very end with your pliers [or the end and the paper>make sure they are lined up. and start twisting the pastic around the pliers.
Keep hold of the wound plastic tightly and take the tweasers out, then grip the bead from the hole in the middle, and the top near where the plastic ends.
Take the heat gun, and aim AWAY from anyone, and blast the plastic until the end has molded intself into the rest of the bead. [If you have an extra pair of pliers on hands, you can shape the drying plastic to make sure the holes are circular and stay open.
Let dry or dip it in some cold water, and then you’ve got your first bead
omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg omg awsome awsome awsome awsome awsome