Friday, April 30, 2010

Recycled Craft: Plastic Bag Beads

 I've really been getting into making recycled crafts lately... and when I saw this, I knew I had to try it.  Here's how I made myself a plastic-bag bead bracelet:

I used:

  • a plastic bag
  • Mod Podge (or any other glue)
  • tape
  • plastic straw
  • nail polish
  • old t-shirt

Start with a plastic bag.  Cut the handles and the bottom off (save these and toss them into one of those plastic recycling bins at the grocery store).

Flatten the bag out, and cut it in half so that you've got two big "sheets" of plastic.
Put one aside, and cut the other in half.

Again, put one half aside.  Now smear some Mod Podge right in the middle of the sheet.

Fold the bottom up and smooth it out.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

Add more glue if you need to and fold the top edge down to the bottom edge.

Now fold it in half 'hot dog' style, and glue it in place.  Now you've got one long strip.

Cut the strip in half (I guess now hamburger style), put aside one strip half, and grab a straw and some tape. Place the straw at the bottom, and use a little tape to attach it to the plastic.

Smear some more Mod Podge on the plastic, and roll it up on the straw as tightly as you can.  Then slap on a good coat of glue.  Sometimes you need a little tape on the end of the plastic, if the glue doesn't hold it down.

Let the glue dry for at least a few hours.  I whipped up a bag's worth of beads, stuck the straws in a jar of sea glass (which I have sitting around for another project), and left them overnight.

When they're dry, snip the straw off where it meets the plastic.  Here's the base of your bead.  You can leave it as it is, which can be pretty cool with letters and color showing through... but I wanted some color and sparkle.  Considering I have a bag full of nail polish that I hardly ever use...

Obviously you can use whatever colors you like.  I chose a cute robin's egg blue, bright pink, black, and a shimmery- clear color.

I stuck a bead on a thin wood stick to paint.  Paint it your base color- you'll need two or three coats.  Let the polish dry between each coat.

When the last coat was dry, I used a toothpick to paint a swirly-dotted design in black.

I also brushed a coat of shimmery polish on top, but forgot to take a picture.  Oooops....

Once the beads are all painted and dried, all you need is a way to wear them.  I cut a strip from an old t-shirt that was a little bigger than my wrist (big enough to wrap around and bed able to tie a knot).

String the beads onto the t-shirt strip,

tie a knot, and you're done.  Yay for recycling!

13 crazy awesome comments:

Anonymous said...

everything i have laying around the house. i think i'll give this a try!

Rita alias alatvian said...

Love to recycle! Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

our instructor asked us to make a business plan about plastic products and i really don't have any idea what kind of products will i choose and then i found this on youtube and it brighten up my mind! yey hope my prof would be happy to read my B.P :)) THANKS A LOT! <3

Anonymous said...

Fabulous idea!

SweetPepperRose said...

how wonderfully unique! glad to see another great way to UP cycle something that would otherwise be in a land fill - I may give this a try

Hopelessly Addicted said...

Oh yeah! DEFINITELY trying this one out!! I'm cooking up an awesome Christmas gift idea for my teenager who only likes "unique and unusual" things. This'll be PERFECT!

Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

fantastic idea

Anonymous said...

love this idea. i am headed home to give it a try!!

Ѧαяʏ-Ǥιиɢɛя© said...

Ηi, I would like to have your approval please> is it ok with you if I translate into Greek (my mother tongue) and re-present this tutorial in my blog with link to your posting of course. Thanks in advance for the approval :)

Anonymous said...

I thought you should know that my anti-malware software keeps blocking something on your page. You might want to go through and make sure you aren't linked to something containing malware.

Thanks for the tutorial - can you explain what you mean by hotdog style and hamburger style when you are talking about the folds? I dont' really understand what that means.

Anonymous said...

I am doing this right now with spray adhesive instead of Modge podge and it's turning out great

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