My son drinks TONS of Mt. Dew and bottled water, so I decided to try recycling some of the bottles today making beads out of them.
First I cut the bottoms off of the bottles. Saved the bottoms so that I can make one of those cute curtains out of plastic bottle “flowers” later.
Cut the top off and then cut through from top to bottom to sort of flatten the bottle.
Then I cut the bottle into strips about a half inch to an inch wide.
Grab one end of the plastic with a pair of needle nosed pliers, then wrap the plastic around.
After it’s wrapped around, hold on to it and remove your pliers and grab it again so that you’re holding the end down with them.
I know this isn’t the safest way to do it, but I held the pliers about 4-6″ above a flame on my stove because I didn’t have a heat-shrink gun. You can watch the plastic shrink from the heat. I held it over for probably 20-30 seconds then used another pair of pliers to slide the bead off so I wouldn’t burn my fingers.
This is a finished bead. I may have over-baked it because it has some bubbles on the end.
And here’s my final product! A plate full of plastic beads. I think I’ll collect them until I can figure out what kind of jewelry to make with them.
The clear plastic can be colored on the inside with permanent marker before rolling onto the pliers to add more variety. After doing a couple of them with full strips, I decided to cut the strips in half so that they were about 3″ long.
This would be a good winter activity if you need to get warmed up over a flame!