If you like to make bold fashion statements on a budget, this recycled jewelry project is right up your alley. I made the earrings above out of a 7-Eleven Big Gulp beverage container that I retrieved from the recycle bin. The patterned plastic makes for a free and interesting adornment.
Even if your fashion sense is a bit more subdued, chances are there’s a little girl in your life who would love to make a new batch of dress-up accessories or a handmade gift for a friend.
The great thing about making jewelry out of discarded plastic is that you can find most of your supplies right in your recycle bin. Inspired by a recycled plastic jewelry tutorial by Nancy Minsky, author of “Denim Revolution” and my guest on CraftSanity episode 99, I decided to show “Take Five &Company” viewers how to make wild earrings and necklace pendants out of plastics from the recycle bin. Everything from shampoo containers to yogurt cups and milk jugs are fair game.
To prep, fish the most appealing plastic out of your recycle bin, remove sticker labels and rinse out the containers. Then grab a scissors, hole punch, leather punch or awl, ribbon scraps, jump rings, lanyard clips and round or square key rings and large kidney ear wire findings if you want to make earrings. (NOTE: You’ll need a tool to make holes in the plastic pieces, but don’t feel like you need to have all the other rings, clips and findings, too. You can make a recycled plastic necklace by simply stringing your pieces onto a lovely ribbon from your stash, so feel free to use what you have on hand.)
Step 1: Cut a variety of shapes out of the plastic with a sharp pair of craft scissors. (This is the part moms and dads need to prep for small children, because cutting through thick plastic can be a bit difficult. Clear milk jugs and soft drink containers are probably the easiest plastics for older children to try cutting themselves.)
Step 2: Arrange your pieces in a pleasing order and then thread them onto a ribbon, key ring, or earring finding. Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of one of some recycled bling. Wear it to the office or club and enjoy the conversations you’ll start whether or not you choose to reveal that you have bubble bath containers dangling from your ears.
Here are some dress-up jewelry pieces that I made last night for my girls:
The recycled charm above was made with a combination of plastic pieces cut from bubble bath, shampoo and milk jug containers that were strung onto a square keyring which is connected to ribbon by small round split keyring.
This bold purple and white necklace charm was made by connecting each plastic piece to a lanyard clip and spacing them on a circle key ring using foam beads from my daughters’ craft stash.
To make the pink necklace, I poked two holes in each piece of plastic with a leather punch. (The leather punch goes through thick plastic easier that my paper hole punch.) Then I threaded the plastic pieces onto a piece of craft thread, knotting each one in place.
The earrings pink, purple and yellow earrings were “made for TV” as they are a bit too big for this crafty lady.
A note about this week’s TV craft segment… In case you’re wondering about my funky get-up, I’m wearing a refashioned apron behind the table made from an over-sized pair of jeans. I laughed when I saw the clip because it looks like I’m wearing a pair of “mom jeans” ripped straight from the SNL skit, which was not the look I was going for. My word! I’ll post a photo showing the whole apron later. : )