Guest post by Ana of Babble Dabble Do
Every Halloween my kids bring home handfuls of glow stick bracelets from class parties and trick or treating, and every year I face the same dilemma, what do I do with them once they stop glowing? Glow sticks are not recyclable because of the chemical used in the glowing liquid and this eco-conscious crafter feels pangs of guilt as I toss them into the garbage, until now! I finally found a way to upcycle them into something beautiful….My daughter was clamoring to make and wear these as she saw me creating them. They are a fun and easy alternative to friendship bracelets, easy for kids to make and a great lesson in upcycling. Plus I’m pretty sure no one will ever guess there is an old glow stick underneath!
I’m Ana, a former architect turned stay at home mom and blogger- I write over at Babble Dabble Do where I focus on art, science, design, and engineering for kids. I’m thrilled to be with you today on Make and Takes, I love the breadth of ideas that Marie brings to her readers and it’s one of the blogs I personally have been reading the longest. Thanks for having me!
Upcycled Glow Stick Bracelets
- Used glow stick bracelets
- Colorful yarn Variegated works well
- Colorful thread or embroidery floss
- Small beads
- 12” piece of tubing (3/16” inner diameter)
- Hot Glue Gun/Glue
- Step One Cut a ¾” piece of tubing for each bracelet you are making.
- Step Two Cut a long strip of yarn. Insert one end of the yarn through the tubing with ½” sticking out the opposite end.
- Step Three Insert the used glow stick into the tubing alongside the yarn. This will secure the yarn to the tubing.
- Step Four: Begin wrapping the glow stick with the yarn. The easiest method is to hold the top of the stick loosely with one hand and twist the bottom of the stick with your other hand. The yarn should simply roll around the glow sick. Gently press the yarn up and tight against itself to cover the glow stick.
- Step Five When you reach the end of the glow stick insert the open end into the tubing to create a round bracelet. You may either continue wrapping the yarn around the tubing or stop at the tubing. Tie a knot in the yarn. Add a dab of hot glue to secure the yarn in place. Trim any loose yarn ends.
- Step Six Cut a piece of thread or embroidery floss. Tie it just below the tubing.
- Step Seven Wrap the thread around the glow stick, occasionally add a bead, and continue wrapping.
- Step Eight Continue wrapping thread as desired to create an overlaid criss cross pattern on the bracelets.
You’re done! Make a few and wear them as a set. No one will believe these are old glow sticks!
- Make sure the glow stick is tightly inserted into the tubing. You don’t want the bracelet to open up after it’s been wrapped!
- After placing a dab of hot glue on the end of the yarn, very careful wrap the yarn over the hot glue to cover it up and help secure it in place.
- The more layers of thread, yarn, and beads you add, the more boho chic the look.
- You can also use the plastic connectors that come with glow sticks in lieu of the tubing. I opted not to use them because they pop out easily. If you use the connectors be sure to hot glue them in place to the glow stick.
- Try wrapping other items around your bracelets! Here are a few ideas: fabric scraps, ribbons, crepe paper.
If you enjoyed this upcycling project I’ve got more ideas of them over on our blog:
Turn leftover chalks bits into CHALK ROCKS
Use plastic fruit packing as SIMPLE LOOM
Turn used crepe paper into PAPER PULP CHARMS