Bracelets From Water Bottles

Featured by Craftgawker on 8/16/12 (link).

This one was quite a learning curve. I’ve seen a fair amount of water bottle / soda bottle bracelets and figured it couldn’t be too hard.

This is what not to do: 1) use Mod Podge, 2) try using heat to seal it, unless you’re better with an extinquisher than me; 3) use paint on any item that’s likely to spring back towards you when you let it go, unless you want paint all over you; 4) work in an area heavily contaminated with animal fur; 5) wait till after you’ve made the bracelet to think about closures.

Having put all that to one side this is what did work:

Plastic bottles are surprisingly resistant to being cut, due mostly to their ability to squirt out of your hand while trying to grip them. In the end I found the most effective methodology was to stab the little bastards with a craft knife, then get my scissors in before they knew what hit them.

You want two of these of the same size. You’re going to put one inside the other and make a kind of front and back (like a book) using tape as the spine.

Then you get a bit of duct tape: I recommend the newly available sheets rather than the rolls. The sheets come with backing paper & are much easier to control. It also means you can work slowly along the edge, pulling back the paper as you go. You want to end up with something like this:

At this stage you can open the bracelet like a book. Then you can put in the ribbon, paper, photos of your choice.

I went with ribbon because there are so many pretty ones that I just don’t get to use any other way. So, I cut two pieces and slotted them in back-to-back. Then you just do more duct tape on the other side and on the short ends:

For the yellow one I used a magnetic pop closure: you poke them through the plastic, then flatten the tabs on the back. If you do this before you duct tape them together, then the ribbon & duct tape can cover them nicely.

I also made another one with a kind of mesh ribbon and used raffia string as a closure method.

So there you have it. I like having a way to utilize all the pretty ribbon that I’ve somehow accumulated, and once you get the hang of it these are pretty easy to throw together.

Let me know how it goes for you if you try it. And keep crafting, regardless.

Love, Em


Bracelets From Water Bottles — 13 Comments

  1. These are adorable, although I don’t understand what you mean by ‘slot the ribbon in’. However, they are still adorable, and the opening paragraph made me laugh out loud.

  2. I mean slot it in between the two bits of plastic. When you tape the two bits of plastic on one side it opens like a book and you put the ribbon in between. Does that make any sense or am I talking gibberish?

  3. Definitely a winner! And a good way to use up a part of plastic bottles (you can still recycle the rest of the bottles). Would look great with maps, also those hilarious strips of photos you get from a photo booth where you and maybe another are making idiots of yourselves when the flash goes off unexpectedly. Especially if you have some from the distant past……………..

  4. “the most effective methodology was to stab the little bastards with a craft knife, then get my scissors in before they knew what hit them.”

    ROFL……Hhahahahahahaha….love it!

    • Had to look up ROFL, feel very proud and pleased, nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, thanks.

  5. Pingback: How to make recycled plastic bottle bracelets · Recycled Crafts |

  6. I love it! Definitely gonna try it, i have here some plastic bottles just waiting to be used. I like the photos idea, maps, comic strips.
    I dindt get how u did
    The first clisure method, but this was probaly my bad english, lol
    And I just have to find out exactly what is this duck tape here in Brazil and I’m all set to make me lots of bracelets.
    Thank u for the diy!

    • Hi

      Yay, I want to see what you make! The magnetic closures come in two parts. Each part has two prongs on the back that you poke through the material and then spread apart. I cut little slits in the plastic poked the prongs through them and one piece of ribbon and opened them up. that way when I put the second piece of ribbon in it covered the opened prongs. Does that make sense. If not I will attempt to draw a diagram (but as you will see from other posts my drawing skills are limited) :)

      thanks so much

  7. These are great. I used scrapbook paper and ribbon as fillers. Punched through all the layers with a big pro-sized paper punch and then just tied the bracelet on. (Too lazy to add snaps.) Running this a kid craft at our public library today. You’re brilliant. Thanks!

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