How to Make a Bracelet from a Water Bottle

08 May 2007

Tiffany Threadgould wrote the greatest article for CRAFT 03 about turning plastic soda bottles into all kinds of useful things. I especially loved her Photo Cuff bracelets.

Ever since that article, I've been eyeing the plastic bottles in my recycle bin, and last night, lightning struck. Here's my bottle-bracelet variation, using felt!

A 16-oz (500 ml) water bottle makes a particularly good bracelet, fitting my wrist comfortably with a little room to spare. Besides, many water bottles have nifty horizontal ridges around their middles, which make for perfect cutting guidelines.

You can use a utility knife or even a sharp kitchen knife to poke through the side of your bottle. (Be very careful with this! Make sure the bottle is on a stable surface, and anchor it so it won’t roll or jump.)

Using the slit you’ve just made as your starting point, cut all the way around the bottle, using one of those ridges as your guide. Scissors will work fine for this -- use the big, tough ones you keep around for the heftier cutting jobs.

Now, make a perpendicular cut (see the blue arrow above). Then choose another ridge to cut along -- based on how wide you want your finished cuff to be. Cut around the bottle again.

Great! You now have a rough bracelet. You'll want to trim about 1/4" to 1/2" off of each end, so there's a little gap in the middle. You'll also want to round off the ends. I used a circle template and traced it with a Sharpie, but you can also trim the ends free-hand.

Now, cut two strips of felt. They should be a little longer than your plastic form, and about 1/4" wider. Decide at this point how you want to decorate your bracelet. There are lots of possibilities here -- you can do felt applique, or bead embroidery, or regular embroidery, or silkscreen, or stencils . . . .

Do all your embellishment on one of the felt pieces. I recommend keeping about 1/2" of felt at each end of this strip unadorned, because you may want to trim it off later. (I didn't do that here, and it came back to bite me . . . .)

Now, put your two pieces of felt together, right sides out. Begin joining them with a whipstitch along one of the long edges. Stop stitching when you reach the rounded end. (By the way, futuregirl has the best tutorial ever on how to stitch felt.)

Insert your plastic form into the felt, and adjust the felt as neccessary so it lies smoothly against the plastic. Wiggle the plastic form a bit so that you have a roughly equal amount of felt at each of the rounded ends of the bracelet. Now, you might need to trim a little felt away from the ends, so that you have about 1/8" sticking out beyond the plastic form.

After that, continue your whip-stitching until you've stitched the felt together completely.

And that's it! These bracelets are lightweight and comfortable to wear, and hold their shape beautifully.

Be sure to check out Tiffany's website for lots more great reclaimed-material projects, including a soda bottle candy dish.

Comments

snifty! i see a church of craft workshop coming on... :)


Hee hee -- yup! This has Church of Craft written all over it.


I LOVE IT! I saw these in _Craft_ and while I liked the idea wasn't crazy about it- but what a great interpretation. Gonna steal it for sure.


Hey, that's fabulous! (Brain churning...)


Great idea! I use duct tape to cover the plastic and decorate with eyelets, gems, ,etc. and even put a snap button to hold the bracelet secure. I haven't tried the fabric version but will try it now! Thanks.


Awesome! I love cheap, DIY crafts. I made a bracelet of my own and totally love it! Thanks!


great idea!!!I love it!!=) thanks:)


That's just brilliant!


snifty! i see a church of craft workshop coming on... :)


Hee hee -- yup! This has Church of Craft written all over it.


I LOVE IT! I saw these in _Craft_ and while I liked the idea wasn't crazy about it- but what a great interpretation. Gonna steal it for sure.


Hey, that's fabulous! (Brain churning...)


Great idea! I use duct tape to cover the plastic and decorate with eyelets, gems, ,etc. and even put a snap button to hold the bracelet secure. I haven't tried the fabric version but will try it now! Thanks.


Awesome! I love cheap, DIY crafts. I made a bracelet of my own and totally love it! Thanks!


That's just brilliant!


great idea!!!I love it!!=) thanks:)


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