Introduction: Plastic Bottle Beads

Picture of Plastic Bottle Beads

Having attended my college class on Tuesday the tutor made use use shrinking plastic.We then had 2 go home and make some jewelry out of shrinking plastic. But have no cash left to sepend after buying the shrinking plastic off the tutor I discovered you web-site. Sepent a couple of hours messing about with just a plastic bottle I decided to turn them into beads of differnt colours. And now I would like to share them all with you.
Cathy xxx

Step 1: Colouring Your Beads

Picture of Colouring Your Beads

I used felt makers and paint to give the beads more colour

Step 2: Rolling and Holding

Picture of Rolling and Holding

I rolled up the beads and held them in pliers and got ready to use my craft head gun on the plastic bottle to get the bead shape.

Step 3: Beware Hot!

Picture of Beware Hot!

I had to hold the plastic strip rooled up in my pliers, which was very hot! The bead shape began to form itself once the plastic was hot!The inks also ran into each other.I allowed my beads to cool.

Step 4: Beads! Beads! Beads!

Picture of Beads! Beads! Beads!

Here are my plastic bottle beads! Each one is different! And each one gets better the more I do! The ideas are coming thick and fast!
I will never throw away anothe plastic bottle! I cannot wait to get my hands on some green ones and Locazade (orange ones!)


Bubbieboo (author)2016-06-13

l have alarmed collection of plastic bottles. Your beads are a great craft for them. Thanks

hecticshoobie (author)2011-04-15

ugh, I just took out the recycling! I'm running back out and getting that green plastic bottle. I was looking for green beads tonight. This is perfect. Thanks.

gemtree (author)2011-01-03

This is TOO cool! I have to try it!

ashaloo (author)2010-08-17

I really loved this ible!! It's an AWESOME way to recycle!!

mum (author)ashaloo2010-08-17

So glad you like them.

Short One (author)2009-06-25

hmmmm....I think I might try this!

mum (author)Short One2009-06-25

Go on have ago.....cheep and cheerful! I also posted some plastic bottle medallions too! Cath (author)2009-05-28

hey i wanted to try this project and the people at the hardware store told me the heatgun would be too strong and melt the whole plastic, hence unsuitable. i believe they are wrong because you proved it is possible :] how many watts is your heat gun? and does it perfectly melt the edges, combining it so that it looks like a real bead? or does it still have sharp edges?

mum (author)maybe.baby2009-05-28

The heat gun I use is the type you use for embossing cards! and you can buy them from a craft shop. I think you can just about see mine in the piccie (not the type used 4 removing paint!) You have to cut the plastic bottles carefully so you dont get any stick out sharp bits! But once you get going it is all trial and error! My first lot were phoo and crappy, so I just adapted them. I just get some crazy idea in my head and go for it! Whats to lose? I never look at the stuff that has gone wrong as a failure, just a learning curve.

whynotnow? (author)2009-04-10

I'm so anxious to try this! Instructions seem very simple. Always on the lookout for other materials to use in making jewelry. Thanks for this instructable!

porcupinemamma (author)2009-03-22

I thought your ible was really good. Hope to try it really soon. Thanks so much for sharing. Just wanted to share a site with all of you, It's called "Bead For Life" It's very empowering for extremley marginalized women in the third world.

jennibfree (author)2009-03-06

I am so excited about your beads that I cannot contain myself. I didn't have a heat gun so I ordered one from Amazon that is meant for wallpaper removal etc. I have just made my first two beads but am a bit concerned about something. When I am heating the plastic everything is fine. But when I turn OFF the heatgun whisps of pale 'smoke' come out the vent. It doesn't happen when the implement is on and it isn't grey/black 'I'm on fire' kind of smoke. Do you have any ideas?

mum (author)jennibfree2009-03-06

Once you get going why not try these. Hope the link works, but I have posted them on this web-site 2.
I am not as good with the computer stuff (as I would like 2 be) but gettin there.
Just a born 4 messing!
Love and Peace

jennibfree (author)mum2009-03-08

Thank you so much for your help. I have contacted the manufacturer in Germany and am awaiting their reply. Yes I did see the other medallions and thought they were very cool indeed. I have just discovered the site and am afraid that I will be locked up in the house 24/7 trying things out. But am glad that I now have enough to keep me busy in my old age when I finally get there :)

mum (author)jennibfree2009-03-08

Forget old age! Do it now 2! I am so glad I have my own house and am a mum! To Aaron who has autism! it means I don't get out much! Loads of time on my hands (and buzzing stuff 2 do with them!) My iron is not just for fact I haven't ironed anything in years...unless u count my crafty stuff! And I do! Crafty stuff stops me going on Prozac or whatever..... Cath

mum (author)jennibfree2009-03-06

If the heat gun hasn't been used for a while, maybe sitting in a shop or something it could be a bit dusty? If all else fails, try to exchange it! It could be faulty! My heat gun is one of the older models. They don't have a fan in them like an hair dryer, so keep it well ventilated. Mine gets quite hot! I can see the element glow!

jessienilo93 (author)2009-01-29

I made my friend's mother a necklace and earring set using these beads and it turned out beautifully. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful tutorial :D

mum (author)jessienilo932009-01-30

Glad u liked them....I also love making paper-beads, mostly from old fliers (of which there r loads)that are put thou the letter box. Enjoy Love and Peace Cath

getupoutofthat (author)2009-01-08

hi nice instructable, you should enter it into the Tap'dNY Keep the Bottle Contest thing they have going on.

mum (author)getupoutofthat2009-01-11

Tried 2 do that a couple of times but it keeps saying I have no new stuff 2 enter, so never mind. I just like the fact that my ideas are out there giving people more ideas and morphing them to make better stuff!(Which I hop they will share with us when they do! If I needed a waterbottle I would nip to one of my local shops to buy one, cos at the moment my small purchase may or may not help 2wards the recovery of the re-session! I like to think it would!(Plus when have done with it it will not be so hard to use (recycle in2 something else!If I won it, I know it would end up in a draw like some kinda trophy and not be used!!) So as I said b4 nevermind.

mum (author)getupoutofthat2009-01-09

Is there an easy way 2 do it? I am not 2 g8 not computer stuff!(yet!!)

getupoutofthat (author)mum2009-01-10

just sign into instructables, open up this instructable, and up the top right of it should be a box that says "enter into contest". if ya click on that, it'll give ya a list of the contests runnin, and you just click the one ya want. i'll vote for ya

urbanwoodswalker (author)2008-08-24

I have made beads too...the Brazillians have come up with clever can jut the the bottles into rectangles and just drop them into boiling water. Pull out with a slotted spoon almost immediately. You will have to experiment a bit. Its so fun and addicting. :-) Green and clear liter soda bottles wind up looking mettallic and there is no markers or paint involved. There are several artisans on Flickr who make these into unbelievable jewelry!

noornisaik (author)2008-06-23

very nice ... I'd vote for you if this were part of some competition! And I think its really admirable that you could be a special needs mum AND study and still find to share - your teacher just doesn't recognise a gem when she sees one - shame on her!

jumpthejive (author)2008-04-26

can you use a hair dryer?

mum (author)jumpthejive2008-04-26

Sorry but no the dryer doesn't get hot enough but try these on Crafters Community
I hope these help because they have morphed from my original idea and are G8!

sdtacoma (author)2007-09-13

Love the way you did the instructable, writing on the poster board. Great idea for the beads too.

weddy (author)2007-01-27

Greaaaaat ! I am very anxiuous to try this ! Question : what sort of gold paint do you use ? Acrylic ?

mum (author)weddy2007-01-27

I used permanent maker pens/something called 3D pearly paint well I tried anything I could lay my hands on!That dried and stay dried after blastin it with my heat gun!

beecee (author)2007-01-15

what a super idea. I hope I have success when I get around to having an experiment. How do you make sure you have a threadable hole when the plastic shrinks in on itself?

mum (author)beecee2007-01-24

Sorry L took so long to answer your question!Being a mum I have to do other boring things like cleaning up and making teas!(and I have a son with Autisum which takes up alot of my time) When you wrap the plastic around the pliers(like rolling up a swiss roll) the plastic only shrinks that far as seen in piccies 3 + 4, and leaves a hole running dow the lengh of the bead! I hope this helps you! Al my fellow students at college think I mad as well as a cheep skate!

Tigger46 (author)2007-01-13

Wow that's pretty cool! a new and cheap take on Shrinky Dinks! I'm a Kindergarten teacher and with some adult direction we might try this Thanks

mum (author)Tigger462007-01-15

Glad 2 help I only did it to show my college teacher you don't have to visit the local art shop and spend loads of money on stuff! And it also saves on land fill!

spinach_dip (author)2007-01-14


That one has a few extra sources for the special plastic

mum (author)spinach_dip2007-01-15

Any ideas to make clear soild beads? They would be most welcome! I'd have no problem drilling a hole (well I don't think I would)through them and I could really show up my teacher 'cos I sure she don't like me. Cathy

SmartAZ (author)2007-01-13

In the USA, liver is often sold in paper tubs with clear plastic lids. If you ask your butcher for "liver lids", and tell him why you want them, he probably will give you a stack. Another source of the plastic is a department store. Shirts are often packed in boxes with clear lids. They might have some lids if you ask the clerk to check. Be careful about checking their trash, because some stores will call the cops if you are seen snooping around. Color the plastic with felt tip marking pens, remembering you are drawing on the BACK, not the front. That is, your drawing is reversed. Bake on aluminum foil, shiny side up, about 250 F (110 C) or whatever will get them to shrink.

outofthewoods (author)2007-01-13

I've always wanted to try using plastic bottles in place of store bought shrink plastic. Your pictures are a little blurry, but it looks like you got some good results! I'll have to give it a try now.

About This Instructable




More by mum:Plastic Bottle Beads
Add instructable to: