Earth Day – April 22 – was started in 1970, and is widely recognized as a day of environmental service and awareness in the U.S. and throughout the globe. In more recent years, the entire month of April is reserved for educating people (primarily students) about the importance of limiting our carbon footprint and protecting the Earth’s wildlife.
April is just a week away, and one of the most fun ways of incorporating greener habits into your lifestyle and kick off Earth Month is something called upcycling.
Upcycling – the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new products and materials of higher quality or for better environmental value.
One organization that excels at turning trash into treasure is TerraCycle, whose sole purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste. They accept all types of trash and recyclables and turn them into useful products such as fences, recycling bins, backpacks, wallets and fertilizers. They partner with schools, companies and individuals to collect the waste materials and even offer upcycling ideas on their YouTube channel. To find out more about how you can donate your trash items, click here.
This project idea didn’t come from TerraCycle. It was actually the brainchild of TheStylish host, Mark Montano and YouTuber Meghan Rosette. The materials are easy to find (check your local craft or hardware store), it saves a bottle from a landfill and makes a great gift for friends and family.
I used a cranberry juice bottle, but any thicker plastic should do (you may be able to use the plastic from electronics packaging). The whole process took about an hour, but once you get the hang of melting the plastic just right, it shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes.
The cuff is really comfortable and light and looks great when paired with an all black outfit. The alcohol ink gives it a stained glass effect that makes it a really unique conversation piece and it looks like something you’d see for sale at a museum gift shop.
And, for one lucky subscriber, I’m giving away a custom bracelet! All you have to do to enter is subscribe to my blog, like my Facebook page and leave a comment below with your color choice. I’ll pick a comment at random and announce the winner on Earth Day, April 22nd! So, make sure to enter and good luck!
If you’d like to make this project yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
1 empty juice bottled, cleaned and dried Scissors Gold leaf sheets Minwax polycrylic Spray adhesive Alcohol inks Paintbrush Tea light candle Lighter Tweezers First, remove label from juice bottle and puncture a hole near the top. Starting from the hole, cut into strips approximately 2-3 inches wide. Cut off the sticky part of the strip and place around wrist to measure the length of the bracelet. Cut off excess plastic, leaving a little allowance (the bracelet will shrink when you heat it up). Light the tea light and, using the tweezers, hold the plastic near the flame. Avoid burning the plastic by keeping a distance from the heat source. Once you reach your desired shape and texture, allow to cool. Place on your wrist and place over the flame to make any adjustments. With a small paintbrush, place a few drops of the alcohol ink onto the cuff and paint over the entire surface of the bracelet. Repeat until you achieve your desired shade. Allow to dry for 5 minutes and spray the top section with the spray adhesive. Using the tweezers again, remove one sheet of gold leaf from the package and place on top of the glue. Press down with the tweezers until the gold meshes with the plastic. Immediately paint a thin coat of the polycrylic onto the gold leaf and the rest of the bracelet. Allow to dry and rock with an chic black outfit for an edgy and artsy look.