I Love to Create: Recycled Fabric Bangles

My favorite holiday of the year is this month – Secretary’s Day! To celebrate every Thursday for the entire month of April we are giving away a copy of The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girls Guide to Handmade Jewelry. Not just that, each Thursday our I Love to Create column will be all about how to recreate a project from the book with a new fresh spin. First up we are reworking the Shredded Junk Mail Bracelet into Recycled Fabric Bangles.

Spent Roll of Packing Tape
Pinking Shears
Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage
Crafty Chica Little Chica Paint Packs
Fabric Scraps
Sponge Brush

Using your pinking shears cut your fabric into small squares approximately 1”X1”. I chose to use all random blue scraps, but feel free to use whatever colors tickle your fancy. Thinner fabric with smaller prints make for a more interesting design.

Apply your fabric squares to your spent tape roll using a sponge brush and Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage. Make sure your fabric squares wrap around the edges of your tape roll and overlap covering the entire thing for a finished look. Allow to dry completely.

Once your fabric squares have dried it is time to finish off the inside of your bracelet. Using Crafty Chica Little Chica Paint Packs and a sponge brush carefully paint the inside of your bangle. Allow to dry completely.

All that is left to do is wear your new bracelet out on the town. Not only is this bangle A-doorbell it is also totally green using old tape rolls and fabric scraps. Both items that might have hit the trash now end up adorning your wrist.

Wanna win yourself a signed copy of The Naughty Secretary Club plus some Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage? All you have to do is leave me a comment letting me know what some of your favorite recycled crafts are? Love purses knit from plastic grocery bags? Do dresses from pillowcases curl your toes? Are purses made from placemats all the rage in your town? We wanna hear all about it and get a copy of the book and decopauge into your hot little hands!

56 Responses to “I Love to Create: Recycled Fabric Bangles”

  1. WireMySoul

    I’ve crocheted a shopping bag out of plastic shopping bags and fused plastic shopping bags into thicker plastic and sewn them into small envelopes, which is fun. I’ve also crocheted shredded tee-shirts but what really makes me go WOO right now is the recycled water bottle jewelery and light fixtures I’ve been seeing online. Can’t wait to try some upcycled jewelery soon!

  2. Melisa Taylor

    I love how that came out! I would like to add, for those of us with freakishly tiny wrists, I have seen some folks do this with the part of a plastic water or soda bottle. Just cut the part out of the bottle that fits your wrist size and decoupage over it or cover with fabric. Also, you can cut it into wavy shapes or weird funky irregular shapes if you want. 🙂 It’s something I plan to do

  3. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    I love the idea of using a plastic bottle!

    On a side note does anyone watch Big Love? Did you see the part where Margie, who now sells jewelry on TV, went on a diatribe about how all women think they have small wrists. It was funny because I always thought I had a small wrist too.

  4. Chel

    I love love love love making paper beads (and then jewelry), especially from the scraps of my three-year-old’s masterpieces. They are fun, bright, and gives me the chance to wear some of her art work on my wrist/neck. Plus, it’s a forever keepsake.

  5. Heather - CROQZine.com - Dollarstorecrafts.com

    I have a really hard time passing up vintage sheets at the thrift store! I like to reuse just about anything, though. Sometimes I have a hard time throwing junk away because I think I might be able to make it into something…

    p.s. I have big wrists! I have always had a hard time fitting in bangles, etc.

  6. Guille Hernandez

    Right now I’m working on a project making book/magazine holders from kitty litter boxes. I had so many I didn’t know what to do with them, but I didn’t want to toss them.I cut the boxes diagonally, glued on crumpled paper bags, and then painted them to look like faux leather. I’m really happy with the results. They’re really sturdy, too.

  7. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    Guille – I need to see a picture of these magazine holders, they sound rad. I’m assuming you mean the boxes the litter comes in not the box the cat poops in.

    Shar – I never thought I would look forward to running out of packing tape, but now I do.

  8. Hippie Missy

    My favorite thing to recycle is old jeans. I have made a poof chair, rug, curtians, and bags with them. I love how durable they are.

  9. Candi

    I have done so many different crafty things with left over stuff it’s hard to pick just one! I love taking the lids from baby food jars and making them into trivets for hot pots and pans. I am always a sucker for an old wool sweater felted down and making a new blanket, or bag, or little stuffed animals, then I needle felt all over them. It is a blast!

  10. Melisa Taylor

    Heather: I have that problem, too. I had to recently put my own foot down and stop myself, because I’m running out of room for all my “I can make something out of this” rescues. 🙂

    Chel: what a great way to save your child’s memories! 🙂

    Jennifer: Here’s a collage bracelet I did a while back with a leopard print gift back and a blank wooden bangle from Michael’s craft store

  11. Knit Purl Gurl

    We like to cover old cereal boxes in colorful duct tape or contact paper after cutting a top corner and down a bit to create a magazine storage container. The kids jazz ’em up and have a place to store all of their Highlights Mags.

  12. Franstuff

    It drives my roommate and my kids crazy that I have a hard time throwing ANYTHING away!! Right now I am obsessed with wallpaper sample books. I cut them up into scrapbooking sizes, ATC sizes, make envelopes, beads, notecards, you name it. I inherited about 50 books from someone else who was obsessed with them, but unfortunately got to sick to use them. I always make sure I give her the first

  13. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    I’m so jealous of your wallpaper sample books! I always look at them on ebay but the vintage ones are super expensive. Ya I have a hard time throwing much of anything away hence why my studio is always a mess. Funny I do end up using most of the junk eventually!

  14. stacysews

    I love this project – I think I may give this a try when my daughter is out of school next week… Now I wonder how fast I can use up some tape?

  15. amy

    the bangle is super cute! i just found a beautiful pair of vintage pinking shears, this looks like the perfect project to use them on!

    my favourite recycled crafts are all about the fabric! i love making bags out of old linens and curtains, making scarves and hats out of fulled sweaters, making skirts out of atrocious 80s dresses, etc!

  16. The Mad Craftwoman

    I love the bracelets!

    This is really off the wall, but I love using old paintings that people throw out. I dismantle the canvas from the wooden frame, then make beads which come out amazing with all the different colors and designs. It’s always original!!!

  17. Mel Gruver

    This is great! I love projects that take minimal “ingredients” but maximum punch.

    Waco was a little slower on the reusable grocery bag kick, so I got in the habit of turning oold t shirts into grocery sacks. I cut off the sleeves, put the arm holes together for straps and then after sewing the bottom shut, I cram A LOT of stuff from the HEB into those babies!

  18. Penny Morgan

    I collect vintage tablecloths and hankies, which I love to create into fabric projects. Made a shelf scarf from old hankies laid out diagonally and then tacked to a muslin base. Covered up an ugly shelf and looked great with twinkle lights underneath.

  19. CraftyHope

    I also decoupage as a recycling craft. As I read/review magazines, I snip out images, words, pretty colors, and other pretties that catch my eye. I then collage these items to make pendants or other jewelry pieces.
    I also use old books to doodle on and incorporate these into the jewelry as well.
    I’ve also been saving some plastic salad boxes to use as shrink plastic. Fun Fun!!

  20. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    Craftyhope – shrink plastic out of salad boxes? what kind of salad boxes I want to know more!

    Madcraftwoman I love the idea of using old canvas. My sister just paints right over them and my friend Alisa once told me you could recover furniture with the canvas material ones – but beads is an awesome idea.

  21. Liz

    I've heard you need to look for number 6 plastic to shrink. I haven't tried it yet myself, but I've been saving up all the number 6 plastic I can find & I hope to try it out soon.

    I also like to save plastic from those really hard-to-open blister packages to incorporate into craft projects. Very sturdy – you can cut it into all sorts of neat shapes – just beware of the

  22. Kristen

    I like to recycle or reuse anything possible. I love to collage it up mixing intentional craft pieces (buttons, ribbon, etc.) with magazines, flyers, wrappers, and anything else that inspires me. I’ll make cards, clipboards, binder covers, art for the wall, something for an empty frame…whatev. 🙂

  23. CraftyHope

    Liz has it right – it’s the #6 plastic that is used for most “take-out” boxes. It’s clear and easy to cut. Basically, you use it just like Shrinky Dinks clear.
    I’ve got a stack of boxes to cut and have only tried to use them once. It didn’t turn out so great as I was attempting to mold it too. I think sticking with flat designs may work best. Here’s a like to dabbled’s experiment with it –

  24. Judy Streger

    I have fused Easter Grass (the stuff you put in the bottom of an Easter basket) and it comes out looking like faux Angelina fiber. I make wings with this fused material. There is a complete description and photos on my blog if you would like to read more. judystreger.blogspot.com I have also heated Punchinella and formed it into beads. There are photos of that in the same post. Next week all

  25. Jennie C.

    I keep everything. It’s an illness. Lately I’ve been turning all my stashed fabrics into messenger bags and selling them to raise money for a family member’s adoption expenses. Small amounts of yarn can be turned into glovelets and wrist bands. Now I can’t wait until the next roll of tape runs dry.

  26. Casey

    I am an altered clothes mama (last summer’s outgrown dresses become this summer’s skirts), so I have plenty of little scraps around to make that brilliant bracelet! Empty packing tape rolls? You are brilliant!!!! (now what do I need to tape so I can get that roll…)

  27. luv2design

    Oh my goodness where do I start? I am actually creating a website with my recycled crafts. Watch for my website to arrive soon with a unique name and designs. I love felted sweater bags/purses, clothes created from vintage, secondhand stores and items in the closet that may be “out”. I also love to use the fabric from clothing to design and create. I love to make chandeliers from wine bottles

  28. dena miller

    I recently made candle holders from empty brandy bottles. Using torn masking tape adheared to the bottle until it is covered. Then rub shoe polish that comes in the tins into the taped bottle. It gives it an old world look and texture. You can then paint a design…I chose a bunch of grapes and vines. When dry, modge podge the whole thing to seal. It looks really cool. I wrapped twine around

  29. Melisa Taylor

    Re: the recycled plastic take-out containers for “shrinky dinks”. I, too, have been saving up tons of it and can’t wait to have time to try it out. I’m told you need to sand it down, so it has some “tooth”, and then draw on it with Prismacolor-type pencils, then bake/srhink and seal.

    I have also been saving tons of soup cans for something… maybe little lanterns, or organizers/

  30. Nikki

    I like to save all my fabric scraps, threads and batting and stuff them into a pillow case form, quilt over it all and donate it to my animal humane society for kitty blankets.

  31. Bernadette

    That’s fantastic! We are so going to make those with our Future Crafters. Thanks for that great idea.

    My mom always said our tiny wrists were our link to the aristocracy. No peasant wrists for this peasant!

  32. quilterliz

    Love the bracelet idea! I will have to try it so that I can use up some scraps. I like to make T-shirt quilts for my kids. What a great way to recycle the shirts and the memories. I have also made them for friends as graduation gifts.

  33. luv2design

    I forgot to mention one of my favorite recycle projects on m y last comment which is to use jeans and other clothing to make rugs in a latch hook form. I buy the base from the fabric store and cut jeans or other cool textured clothing items into strips (the size depends on how big of rug I am making)Then I tie off the strips to the base. (I forgot the name of this type of material, but it is

  34. He Is Crafty

    I love using old paint chip samples. I’ve used them to cover journals, make wall art and even did some paper “quilting.” They are so versatile. They make great paper to use with punches!

  35. ozlynda

    Hard to choose just one favourite recycling craft.
    I think taking old jeans and making bags from them is my best but cutting old towels and tees and knitting them into bathmats and rugs is close too.

  36. Anonymous

    being that i like to craft but just don’t have the $$ to create
    so on and so forth I can only collect inspiration from blogs, books, the internet and crafty girls such as yourself could I still enter for your give away? even if I don’t have anything crafty to show off but you could click on my inspiration for all things crafty her post/blog is similar to your crafty necklaces

  37. baglady

    i like to recycle my boys’ jeans to make purses or rag quilts to sit on while I watch them play hockey- they are quite heavy and very warm. Love the bracelet!

  38. Mousey

    I totally know what the kids and I are doing tomorrow – this looks so cool!
    We like to recycle pretty much everything. I make ATC backings from cereal or biscuit boxes (or easter egg cartons!) and the kids like to make bangle from toilet paper rolls.
    I do have an old pair of holey jeans sitting in my craft drawer waiting for some inspiration though.

  39. Judith

    I love your ideas about using fabric in jewelry! In my crafty life, fabric has been for sewing things and jewelry is made of metal, glass, crystal and gemstones. The idea of crossing over is just what I've been looking for; I love the ideas on this page and hope to win the book and find even more ideas to incorporate fabric into my jewelry.

  40. chuy

    thank you, thank you, one more project i can do by recycling. now I have got to get this book for more ideas and inspiration. thanks again.

  41. toole

    I knit swimsuit bags (keeps wet swimsuits from transferring moisture or mildewing) from PLARN, make quilts and rugs from recycled jeans and t-shirts. The rug from jeans is made by cutting 1 x 3-inch strips (really scraps, sewing them side by side lengthwise right down the center on a rectangular denim base cut the size you would like the finished rug to be. Repeat in very close together columns

  42. Sublimation textile printing

    Oh my gosh! This is the most awesome thing! My lil sister loves to wear different designs of bangles and next week her birthday is coming. I was very confused which item to gift her but now I know what to gift her. Thanks for sharing such helpful blog!!


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