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  • How to Recycle Plastic to Create Hat Trims

    I am really excited that the team at Hat Talk announced an Upcycled Hat Contest. I love using recycled or upcycled materials for my hats. I often search through thrift stores for hats that have been tossed out because they are too small (child size), crushed (straw) or just not needed anymore (lots of church hats)! Often times the materials I find are higher quality than I can purchase. They are definitely less expensive and always perfect for testing a new block or cutting up to salvage trim.

    For the contest, however, I wanted to stretch myself and learn some new skills. I have often been inspired by bags or jewelry I've seen created in countries like Africa or Brazil made from from soda cans. In my research for ideas, I came across a Nestle Water's website that was promoting plastic bottle recycling. I was inspired by the artists they featured and that lead me to look for how-to videos. Here is that site and some good videos I found:
    • Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water Recycling click
    • Pop Bottle Flowers by Luvleescrappin click
    • Make Jewelry from Plastic Bottles by Juneocto click

    Okay, so here are the steps you can take to create some dramatic feather shapes from a plastic bottle.
    2-liter plastic soda bottle
    Sharpie (any color)

    Tea light

    Step One:
    Empty, clean and dry your bottle. Remove the label so the plastic is clean for a smooth surface. You can cut out the bottom and use later to create a flower.

    Step Two:
    Cut 1-2 inch strips of plastic at whatever length you want your feather to be. I cut all the way to the end of a 2-liter bottle.

    Create a point on the end, if you like. I also cut 1/2 inch slits into the side of my feathers.

    Step Three:
    Color one side of the plastic with the sharpie. It didn't seem to matter which side but you might have a preference to test on a scrap.

    Step Four:
    Hold the edges of the plastic feather over a tea light candle until your feather curls the way you like it. Be careful because it curls very quickly. You can apply heat to the reverse side if you want to correct the shape.
    Just heat the edges

    Plastic curls from the heat

    More curling

    Collecting the feathers to attach to my hat

    Flowers from bottom of bottle

    When the contest launches, I'll post pictures of my hat. I am really excited about using these new techniques to see what else I can make. And my next project will experiment with colors.

    Thanks for stopping by!!!