Save My Oceans Top Five: Upcycled Plastic Beads

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The projects submitted to our Save My Oceans contest were innovative and inspirational and were all great examples of the brilliant ways our readers reuse plastics. Each day this week, we’ll highlight one of our top five entries, and we’ll announce the Grand prize winner next Monday. Be sure to check out the entire Save My Oceans Flickr pool for even more great projects.
Upcycled Plastic Bead Jewelry from Steven James.

See more pictures of Steven’s jewelry here.
Project Description:

Creating amazing components for jewelry is an incredibly easy process. In this case I used plastic two-liter bottles to produce tubular beads that were strung into bracelets and necklaces. My slogan for my upcycled jewelry projects: Cover yourself in plastic, not the ocean. The key to converting the plastic into beads is adding a colorful design and manipulating it with the heat of a toaster oven. Through my research I’ve discovered each part of a two-liter bottle will yield different results for jewelry. This project was created using the center section of the bottle. I’ve opted to string the beads in a very specific way, but others might approach their designs differently. Either way I think the message that two-liter bottles can become fashionable jewelry is one worth listening to.

Project Inspiration:

As a craft and jewelry designer I often try and source new materials that are readily available to everyone. Lately, I’ve thought about precious metals and stones and more importantly how much of it does the Earth really have left? What happens when (and if) we run out? How will people adorn themselves? This project answers that question. I think this project is a few steps removed from the whole “junk to jewelry/found object” look because I believe the outcome is incredibly stylish and the source material is well disguised. I also believe the pattern of the blue jewelry reminds me of water, waves and the feeling one gets when they think of the ocean. Furthermore, I really enjoy the idea of having others wear a piece of this jewelry because it is so far beyond it’s original look. Most people just can’t tell this jewelry was made from two-liter bottles. The surprise that this project was made from plastic really allows the wearer to have an honest conversation with others and hopefully convert them into upcycling their own plastic in to useful things for themselves and their home!

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