Raid Your Recycling: How To Reuse Plastic Bottles In Your Crafting
We all know we should do more to reuse and recycle. Luckily, as crafters, we are often presented with ample opportunities to do our bit for the planet by turning the old and unwanted into the beautiful once again! At Create and Craft, we just love it when you crafty lot come up with clever ways to get creative, not only with off-cuts and scraps from previous crafting projects, but also with household items most others would simply throw away!
So we were super excited to discover that the main ingredient in this gorgeous jewellery project by the lovely Lou Collins was actually a plastic bottle! Want to know exactly how she did it? Check out the step-by-step instructions below, and see what you could create using the things you might otherwise have thrown away!
- Empty bottle
- Fabmatic die cutting machine
- Floral dies
- Alcohol ink pens
- Heat gun
- Foam mat
- Glue gun
- Jewellery findings and embellishments
Find an empty plastic bottle that has the number 6 in a triangle embossed on it – this means it can be heated and moulded well! Some plastics will shrink, and some will simply curl up a little.
Cut the plastic into strips and, with the Fabmatic Die Cutting Machine, cut out 4 layers of Tattered Lace Swift Peony Flowers.
Use alcohol based pens to colour the layers of the plastic flowers. Try a different colour in the centres to the edges, and colour the smallest layer all in one darker colour. Remember to allow a few minutes for the ink to dry, before handling.
Beginning with the largest flower, work on a heat resistant mat and heat evenly using a heat gun.
Do this until all the petals are starting to curl, but do not allow them to fold over onto themselves.
Once thoroughly heated, quickly place the flexible flower onto a foam mat and press the centre down into the mat using the end of a paintbrush or pencil. Hold for a few seconds until the plastic has cooled and hardened.
Repeat with all the layers of flowers, lifting the petals up more with each layer, going from the largest down to the smallest centre layer.
Using a hot glue gun, carefully glue the layers together. Use hot glue to also add a metal hoop on the reverse to thread a chain through. For comfort, cover the reverse of the flower in a coordinating felt.
Finish the flower pendant off by adding some feathers and metal embellishments.
1.When die-cutting plastic, you may hear a loud cracking noise. This is perfectly normal and means the cut is going well!
2. If you are die-cutting a thicker material in the Fabmatic and the machine is not happy with the thickness of the plate combination, try removing the magnetic shim for a little less pressure.
3. If you decide to make less dimensional flowers without heating and moulding them, you could add texture by running the plastic through in an embossing folder after die-cutting instead.
4. Different plastic packaging will react differently, so it is a good idea to test by heating a small square piece first before die cutting all your flowers.
5. Whilst heating the flowers, hold the centres still with a pokey tool to keep your fingers from getting too hot.
6. For different flower styles, use different coloured plastics and different dies.
7. Heat one flower or petal at a time as they cool and harden very quickly, and you will have only around 10 seconds to mould each one.