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10 mins

beyond bangles.
Years ago I made some lovely bangles out of cute, pink 15cm rulers, after finding some beautiful bright knitting needles in a charity shop that are far too precious to sit at home I thought I'd give melting plastic another shot.
Caution, this post contains accidental solvent abuse, so make sure to open a window at the first whiff of plastic.

Posted by Frocktopus Published See Frocktopus's 6 projects »

  • How to make a recycled bracelet. Knitting Needle Bangles, Headbands And Ear Stretchers - Step 1
    Step 1

    Put the needles in a pan of boiled water for 5 minutes, less for thin needles. I do mean boiled NOT boiling, this is how the bear and me accidentally got high (great name for a kids book, not so fun in reality.) If you take a while and the water cools take the needles out and replace with boiling water from the kettle. I found the ends came off the really old needles as the hot water melts the glue, I glued mine back on afterwards with a hot glue gun and any glue that holds plastic should do the trick.

  • Step 2

    Hold with pliers at both ends and bend the needle at the bottom, then the middle, until you can fit the whole needle underwater, kind of like cooking spaghetti. Make sure you're bending them away from yourself so if they try to ping back straight they don't splash hot water at you, I learnt this the hard way. Once there leave them for another 5 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Test them with the pliers to check they won't straighten up too much if moved, then quickly pull them out (with the pliers) and bend immediately around the jar into a bangle shape, this takes a bit of strength and practice but you can bend them by hand which helps, they cool down enough to handle almost instantly.As soon as it's in shape put it under a cold tap, keeping a firm hold of the bangle round the jar and trying to hold the ends fairly close together at the same time (see, I told you it'd take practice.)

  • Step 4

    If they bend but they're not quite the shape you'd like you can return them to the pan and try again. I found the needles that didn't bend enough for bangles are perfect for headbands, just mould them to a rough headband shape, trying it on for size every so often until it fits comfortably. It helps to have one to hold them against while you bend (your head is always a different shape and size to what you think.) These you don't have to rush quite so much and can play about moulding them for a few minutes out of water.

  • How to make a recycled bracelet. Knitting Needle Bangles, Headbands And Ear Stretchers - Step 5
    Step 5

    I even managed to make an ear stretcher out of one very pliable tortoiseshell plastic needle. Use two pliers and carefully bend it into a spiral one corner at a time from the middle outwards. If it doesn't lie flat get it the spiral shape you like and hold it in the water for a minute, holding it together with one pair/both pairs of the pliers (otherwise it unrolls) then place it quickly under a jar/can to flatten.

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Frocktopus · 7 projects
Cheers love, please put. Pc up if you make one, I'd love to see what people do with this.I'm loving mine, as I forget to wear a stretcher for ages I can never tell what size I'll be and innevitably when I get the urge to wear one I can't find one at home that fits. No shops let you try them on due to hygiene but no charity or knitting shops have been too fussed about me putting the knitting needles through my ear, then I can always make a couple for under a quid. X
IDreamOfArizona · 1 project
Nice! I really like the ear stretcher idea Happy

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