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
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.
gemtree4 years ago
This is TOO cool! I have to try it!
ashaloo5 years ago
I really loved this ible!! It's an AWESOME way to recycle!!
mum (author)  ashaloo5 years ago
So glad you like them.
Short One6 years ago
hmmmm....I think I might try this!
mum (author)  Short One6 years ago
Go on have ago.....cheep and cheerful! I also posted some plastic bottle medallions too! Cath
maybe.baby6 years ago
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.baby6 years ago
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?6 years ago
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!
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. http://www.beadforlife.org/
jennibfree6 years ago
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)  jennibfree6 years ago
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 mum6 years ago
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)  jennibfree6 years ago
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 ironing....in 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)  jennibfree6 years ago
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!
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)  jessienilo936 years ago
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
hi nice instructable, you should enter it into the Tap'dNY Keep the Bottle Contest thing they have going on.
mum (author)  getupoutofthat6 years ago
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)  getupoutofthat6 years ago
Is there an easy way 2 do it? I am not 2 g8 not computer stuff!(yet!!)
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
I have made beads too...the Brazillians have come up with clever ways...you 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!
noornisaik7 years ago
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!
jumpthejive7 years ago
can you use a hair dryer?
mum (author)  jumpthejive7 years ago
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!
sdtacoma7 years ago
Love the way you did the instructable, writing on the poster board. Great idea for the beads too.
weddy8 years ago
Greaaaaat ! I am very anxiuous to try this ! Question : what sort of gold paint do you use ? Acrylic ?
mum (author)  weddy8 years ago
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!
beecee8 years ago
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)  beecee8 years ago
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!
Tigger468 years ago
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)  Tigger468 years ago
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_dip8 years ago
also: http://www.instructables.com/id/EIW10VHVUOES9J6JE0/?sort=OLDEST&comments=all#comments

That one has a few extra sources for the special plastic
mum (author)  spinach_dip8 years ago
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
SmartAZ8 years ago
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.
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.