How to Make Jewelry Out of Recycled Plastic Bottles

    by Christi Aldridge

    About the Author

    Christi Aldridge has been writing professionally since 2009. She graduated from Texas Christian University, where she was a featured contributor for several campus publications and won an award for best columnist.


    Most of us try to do what we can for our environment. Recycling glass, paper and plastic by putting them in recycle bins is good, but recycling things at home into all new items is even better. Many household objects that can be used for something else are needlessly thrown away. Get creative with these items and the possibilities are endless. Plastic bottles, for example, can be transformed into beads to use for jewelry. Making jewelry from plastic bottles is a great project because you're recycling and you'll have something new when you are done. Older kids learning about recycling will love this supervised project.

    Things You'll Need

    • Scissors
    • Markers or paints
    • Pliers
    • Heat gun
    • Jewelry cord or wire

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    Cut the top and bottom off of your plastic bottle using scissors. Now cut the bottle strips approximately 1/2 inch wide. The strips don't have to be even. You can vary the width of the strips for different bead looks if you like.

    Color the strips with permanent markers or paints. Get creative with different colors and designs. Use colored soda bottles for a more interesting base color or for a neat overall color. Decorate both sides of the plastic for brighter colors.

    Form a plastic strip into a loop and hold the loop with pliers.

    Hold the pliers with the plastic loop in one hand and a heat gun in the other. Apply heat evenly over the surface of the plastic with the heat gun so that the plastic melts just enough to form a bead shape. Don't touch the plastic with your fingers until it's cool.

    Repeat the process to transform all the plastic strips into beads.

    Allow the beads to cool completely and string them onto some craft cord or wire to make a necklace or bracelet.

    • Draw seasonal designs or appropriate colors onto the plastic strips to make beads for holiday ornaments.
    • Young kids should not use a heat gun; older children should be supervised at all times if you deem them responsible enough to use the tool.
    • Be careful with the scissors and the cut edges of the plastic bottle.