Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tubs into Toggles: jewelry clasps from recycled plastic.

Recently I had an email from a new reader, asking me to make something from cottage cheese tubs or other plastic recyclables.  What a co-inkee-dink!  I've had this tutorial germinating in the ruburbs of my brain for ages, and her email got me motivated to write it.  Thanks, Carrie N.!

Toggle clasps: I love love love them!  And sometimes I like to make my own.  I've done it lots of ways: polymer clay, hardware, precious metal.  Today, I want to introduce you to these little guys:


Yep, they are made from recycled tub containers.

So here's what ya do.  Start with a plastic container (or any old plastic, really) from your recycle bin.


Cut out two pieces.  One can be any shape, with a hole in the center - that's your toggle.  (Try hearts, flowers, squares, teardrops - or just go with a classic circle.)  The other is a straight skinny shape - that's your bar. 


The one trick is to make your bar long enough so it won't slip out of the toggle hole.   Maybe take a look at some ready made toggle clasps to eyeball the proportions.  Too long is better than too short, in my experience.
Next, poke a hole in each piece.



On a headpin, stack your plastic bar and a flat spacer...


And make a wrapped loop on the back.  (Wrapped loop step-by-step tutorial here.)



Guess what?  You're done!!!  Just use jump rings or links of a chain to attach them to a jewel that needs a clasp.




This cute blue one was cut from the logo on a cottage cheese tub:



Nifty, eh?  They work like any other toggle.  But they're extra fun, because you made 'em!

While saving the planet.  Raht own!



24 comments:

  1. Una idea genial, tomo nota y guardo los recipientes vacios de plastico. Besos

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  2. eres un genio!!!!es increible, ahora estoy segura que puedes transformar cualquier material en una hermosa joya:-)

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  3. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    Carrie N

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  4. How cute...looking nice..how you refine these edges of plastic..?these edges are looking soft..HOW...!!!

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  5. awesome, awesome, awesome! you are once again my here, I bow down to your upcycling prowess!!!

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  6. cute...n resourceful as always

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  7. Have I told you lately how awesome you are?!? These are fantastic!

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  8. I'm telling you, you need to write a book! Genius!

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  9. I've seen people make jewelry out of plastic before but never toggles. Very clever.

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  10. Hello, stranger! :) I nominated you for this award:

    http://beadsbuttonsbubbles.blogspot.com/2011/02/versatile-blogger-award.html

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  11. Thanks Michelle! That's actually a close up photograph of the inside of one of my magazine bowls I made :)

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  12. I can't even be bothered thinking about a challenge for you anymore, because if you can pull off this one, you can pull off anything. What's the point?
    Yeah, whatever, I'm off to my room to watch some DVD's and mourn the state the world is in. You don't even understand me, anyway. "stomps feet"

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  13. all caps: YOU'RE SO AWESOME!!!!!! Everything you make is a wonder to behold. Do you want to write a book?

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  14. This is the best recycling idea! I love love love it. I'm going to do it as soon as I can find a pretty color container like the blue one!

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  15. That's ingenious! I love making jewelry out of found objects! That's so cool. I found you on the T-shirt Diaries, I have a tutorial on there of a cuff bracelet from pop can tabs and cord. Maybe you can check out my blog too, sometime. I really like yours. Lots of great ideas. Thanks.
    http://www.jneesnest.blogspot.com

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  16. Excellent! Another great idea! The jewelry is gorgeous too.

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  17. there you are again with innovative idea, waiting to see what is next, great work!

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  18. W00t on the recycling! And those toggles are awesome- in fact, I think you just solved two dilemmas for me!

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  19. Genial... your imagination don´t finish...
    Chao

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  20. What an awesome idea...love to visit to see what is next!!!
    Cheers

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  21. You are so creative! Those are awesome! Very cute! Thanks for linking up!

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  22. Soak it in Simple Green for a few days, it should rub right off. Keep soaking it until it does.
    http://www.dynaselimpex.com/stock/plastic-scrap/printed-plastic-rolls-scrap.html

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Why not leave me a little comment? It is great Karma - and every single one is my favorite comment EVER.