Upcycled Jewelry - Create a Bracelet With Colorful, Quirky "Green" Style

Got Plastic!

Have you ever really looked at a plastic shampoo bottle? The colors are so deep and rich, so pretty it's hard to throw them away or even recycle them. You don't have to if you make them into jewelry...

I won't bore you with talk of green lives and landfills. But I promise if you follow these simple instructions, you can turn some of that pretty plastic into a colorful, fun and quirky bracelet. Your non-crafty friends will be so inspired by your eco-friendly jewelry style, they'll want upcycled jewelry too. They might even make it themselves.


  • Pliers
  • Sturdy scissors
  • Hole punching tool: sturdy paper punch (office supply or craft store), precision punch (riogrande.com or firemountain.com) or hand drill (about 3 dollars at craft stores)


  • Colorful Plastic: bottles, used credit or gift cards, coffee can lids, etc.
  • 25 to 30 Base metal jump rings or spring rings from a craft store like Michael's.
  • Wire for trim (Optional)
  • Fine line marker
  • Bracelet length chain with clasp. Links should have openings big enough to dangle a jump ring. Keep it inexpensive; remember you're creating a fun, plastic bracelet, not a family heirloom. Here are a few options:
  • 1) Try digging through your old jewelry for a chain.
  • 2) Buy an inexpensive base metal chain from a craft store.
  • 3) Make a simple chain by connecting jump rings or spring rings together and adding a a clasp at one end.
  • 4) Or follow the Figure 8 Chain instructions in "3 Simple Wire-Working Jewelry-Making Secrets."

Prepare Plastic and Create Plastic Shapes

  • Clean and cut your plastic into large workable pieces. 
  • Use the marker to draw 25 to 30 shapes on plastic (hearts, flowers, circles, etc) more if you like.
  • Cut out shapes with scissors.
  • Punch holes in your shapes. The paper hole punch will work well with thin, flexible plastic. For thicker plastic try a hand drill or precision hole metal punch

Finish Your Bracelet

  • Slip a jump ring through the hole in a plastic shape and add to chain.
  • Try layering two colors before adding.
  • Continue adding pieces, as many or as few as you desire, spacing them evenly along the chain length.
  • Add wire trim if you choose.
Stay crafty,
Carol, The NIce Lady

Updated and reprinted from her article previously published on Yahoo Voices


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