Let’s make beads {for free!}

You gotta love free right? Take a look at the lovely beads you can make today:

Nice huh? And they won’t cost you a penny to make because I bet you have all the supplies you need in your craft box: permanent markers (I’m using Promarkers), scissors, round or needle-nosed pliers (grab them from your hubby’s tool box if you don’t have your own) and a heat (AKA embossing) gun. Check out the short (3 1/2 minute!!!) video to see how it is done:

For those of you who prefer written directions here you go:

  1. Cut plastic bottle into strips.
  2. Color one side of plastic with permanent marker.
  3. Wrap it into a tight coil with pliers and use the pliers to hold it securely. Make sure you wrap it with the inked side facing inwards.
  4. heat it for about 20 seconds (or until it shrinks and holds it shape.)
  5. Use your fab new beads on your next jewelery project!

Here are the earrings I made:

My kids loved making these too. I precut the strips and let them color and wrap them. The held the pliers while I used the heat gun. Pleas supervise young children when doing this craft 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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36 Responses

  1. These look awesome Lindsay, what a clever idea!

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  2. Unbelievably clever!!! I am going to rush to finish my 2-liter bottle of soda and start making beads!!! Thanks so much once again!

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  3. These beads are so cool. I made some with paper but never with plastic. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

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  4. Very cool – I’m going to rifle through my recycling bin right now to see if I have a bottle to use! I will point out one thing, though – those are not needle-nose pliers, those are rosary or round-nose pliers. I only mention it in case someone wants to buy a pair.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How very cool!

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  6. Fab idea, I’ve also made paper beads but I’ll definitely give this a try
    TFS
    Claire xx

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  7. Great idea, I am going to try that out!

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  8. Our grandkids are going to love this! THX!

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  9. I think using alcohol inks would also be wonderful to use. You could dab on the alcohol ink or mix colors or even use the metallic inks for this. Oh, this will be so much fun! I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Very cool idea! I just love your blog for all the cool ideas you bring to us! Gonna try it!

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  11. That is spectacular!!! Love the earrings you made! I can’t wait to try this!

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  12. Oh my god, I love it!! I want to do this!

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  13. Live this!

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  14. Very cool!

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  15. any toxins to worry about when heating plastic like that?

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    • I would open a window for ventalation but it did not smell bad. It is food safe plastic so it is not the worst and it is only a small amount. I’d say it is about as dangerous as melting embossing powder. I don’t think it is deagerous but I am not a doctor LOL!

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      • Hi Lindsay. Three years ago I did a lot of melting plastics for our latest book Outside Art

        (http://www.metzpress.co.za/search/results/search&keywords=outside%20art&status=English+Afrikaans&channel=books&order=title+asc&go=go/)

        melting cds, polystyrene and plastic bottles. I became seriously ill the following year with severe lung infections – resulting in lung infarcts all over my lungs (leaving small areas of scar tissue which initially were thought to be lung cancer). The pulmonologist treating me and the cardiothoracic surgeon both told me the dioxins released from burning plastics (i was doing a lot and the weather had been bad so mostly indoors) pass through masks and caused my lung damage. So PLEASE take great care with this and only do it outside – and for limited amounts of time. VERY dangerous as I know now to my cost! I lost a whole year of work having to have my lungs drained etc. Bad news. I also work with dye and cement and other nasties but the docs reckoned it was the dioxins. The others get trapped with the masks (I always wear masks now anyway).

        Love you stuff and thanks for such inspiring posts. I prefer to reuse, recycle and upcycle everything too. IN South Africa we have limited craft supplies so we have to get very inventive too.

        Cheers

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  16. Could,you use a hair dryer set on high heat?

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  17. Amazing! Thanks so much for the tutorial and links x

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  18. This is great!
    Always busy with recycling upcycling reduce and reuse at my place.
    I will try this too. Thank you.
    Italfosa The Netherlands

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  19. Has anyone ever tried rolling these with a paper making bead tool? Will the plastic melt onto the metal??? I want to try it but I don’t want to mess up my tool – but it sure would be easy to roll tightly and make a smaller hole. Thanks for sharing – just love the ones you have made. Lis

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    • Hi Liz, it won’t get so hot it melts to your tool, it just shrinks the plastic so go ahead and try it with a metal tool!

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  20. Thank you !

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  21. I just tried this and got white foam around all the edges? Cute beads 🙂

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  22. Would this work in a blowtorch? I want to try but I don’t have a ‘heat gun’. Thanks!

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  23. these look so fun!

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