Break out the crimper and pop a back-when-she-was-fun Madonna tape in your Walkman, baby, cause bright and crazy bangles are BACK!

Kinley and I have been on a recycled craft craze lately. It started with Earth Day and it's only gotten better (or worse?) since we've been participating in @get.creative.with's recycled container Insta-challenge this week. We recycled some of our own art into other kinds of art, turned a garbage box into a little tiny buddy sight-seeing cable car, and made a family of bees out of an old egg carton, but I think these bracelets are our best trash art yet!

So terrible mom confession time. I let K watch YouTube Kids. Don't hate on me. Everyone needs a little peace and quiet sometimes, right? She has a few favorite vloggers that she keeps up with and my favorites, of course, are the crafty ones. I glanced over her shoulder a few months ago and saw something incredibly cool -- someone in the vlog-o-sphere was making a bracelet out of trash and an iron! I've been wanting to try it ever since 💜

Now, I apologize in advance for some of these pictures. I wasn't planning on blogging this craft so I wasn't really focused on great how-to shots. I'll try to get them redone and eye-poppingly pretty for you soon!

To make these super rad accessories, you'll need:

  • plastic bottles (I used one small Diet Coke bottle for the big thick pink one, and one of those flavored-water bottles for the other four)
  • heavy-duty scissors (I used kitchen shears)
  • an iron
  • nail polish or acrylic paint

First, grab those scissors and get to cutting. This is definitely a parent or big responsible kid job. Cutting thick round plastic is not an easy task. You are gonna cut the top and bottom off of your bottle first, and then cut what's left into rings. Don't make them toooo skinny, you've got to melt the edges a little here in a minute and you want there to be something left to paint. But now that I'm thinking about it, skinny ones might look super cool! Do you, baby.

Oh, if you've got any jaggedy edges, trim them off pre-iron step. I left them on my first one thinking the iron would melt them back down, but I was wrong and they were super scratchy.

See, here's what I meant about a terrible picture. I had to jack it from my Instagram story from today because I didn't take any other pre-craft pics. As the great Homer Simpson once said, DOH.

Okay, now that your bracelets are cut, heat up your iron. You don't want any steam! I set mine to the cotton setting because our iron is strange and doesn't have low/medium/high, just fabric choices. If yours has heat settings, choose medium. That should get the job done. This is another step for responsible humans...I don't want anyone getting burned on my watch! 😉

When it's hot, hold each bracelet one at a time on the iron. You can spin them a little to keep them from melting too much if your iron is hotter than mine was. In the video she spins them, but I had to kind of hold them in one spot until they melted a little and then spin until they were even. Just have to do a little trial and error with this step. Do both edges of all of the rings this way. It's really satisfying and super fun to watch them all melt perfectly into bracelets.

If you feel like being kind and sharing the best part with your little humans, now would be the time to call them, but I totally don't blame you if you want to let them iPad and craft in peace. No judgement here, man.

Open up all of those nail polishes that have been gathering dust up in the medicine cabinet since you were 7 months pregnant (who has time to paint their toes anymore? Not me, that's fo sho. And that doesn't even stop me from wearing flip-flops. What has become of me?!) and start decorating. You want to paint inside the bracelet. It gives it the effect of being a true solid plastic bangle, plus it keeps your fingers wayyy neater. Nail polish is not the easiest substance to wash off!

Try stripes or sparkles or dots or whatever your cool brain comes up with. I had Kinley at nail polish. She would have done any kind of craft I dreamed up today when she saw that stuff sitting on the table. What is it with kids and nail polish I wonder? 

When I was little, my mom gave me two bottles of Love My Nails polish: one red, one lilac. I spent an entire Sunday afternoon painting the entire counter top in my bathroom with those pretty little bottles. HA! I mean, what did my mom think I was doing for all that silent time? It was before the days of YouTube Kids, after all 😉 She was probably just doing what all of us moms do -- enjoying the silence until she had to deal with the consequences.

Once they are dry, you are good to go! No more steps necessary. Your new perfectly 80's bangles are ready for your next night on the town, important meeting, yoga class, or you could just throw them in the dress up bin. Yeah, that's probably best.

If you make some of these beauts, show me! Just tag me (@raising.kinley) on Instagram and I'll be there in two shakes of a lamb's tail to heart that arm art.

I just managed to find the link to the Innova Crafts video I saw, so I'll leave that here just in case you wanna check it out, too! I totally get Kinley's obsession with watching vlogs -- it's like reality TV that's actually reality. I could probably get lost for a couple of hours myself, but there would def be consequences, right? Like hot purple and red nail polish sink kind of consequences haha

Ahhh, mom life. Happy crafting!


  1. This is the COOLEST CRAFT YOU HAVE EVER DONE!!! Ever ever. I want some. Someone would pay a lot of money for those. Brilliant.

    1. Girl, stop! I'm blushing over here :) Thank you! You have got to make some of these things -- I made a couple yesterday with green plastic and regular craft paint and they are AWESOME so Buck and Chuck could use that kind of paint if you don't trust them with fingernail polish yet ;)