With Earth Day around the corner, there's no time like the present to get crafting with recyclable materials. The Chip Wrapper Purse is one of the most popular projects in my Craftcycle book. Unfortunately many crafters don't have the time to commit to making the whole purse. I decided to pare the project down to it's gum wrapper bracelet roots. This way you can try out the technique and be able to wear your new creation in about an hour. I substituted the wrappers for long lasting coffee bags that can easily survive hand washing.
Foil Coffee bags, the more colors the better! Some high end pet foods are also packaged in the same type of vacuum sealed bags.
Rotary cutter, cutting mat, and clear ruler
Cut the bottom seal off the bag and then cut open one side of the bag along the seal. Flatten the bag and use a paper towel to remove any coffee bean residue. Working over your mat, cut the bag into 1 1/4" x 3 1/2" strips. You'll need approximately 26 strips.
Follow Gary Duschl's Gum Wrapper folding directions to fold your strips into links. Continue to following the instructions to connect the links. Test wrap the bracelet around your wrist to gauge the size, you don't want it to be too tight. Make sure you have an extra half inch of length so the bracelet can slide over you hand. Make necessary adjustments by adding or removing a link. The final link is the hardest to place, prefold it, then open it and weave it through both the first and last links. Your goal is to have it fit seamlessly into the existing pattern.
Once you get the hang of this technique you'll be folding up bracelets in no time, experiment with different color combinations, repeated patterns and/or solid colored bracelets.
I'll be teaching this craft as a free teen workshop at the Curtis Memorial library on Earth Day, Thursday April 22nd at 3:00pm.
My friend 'eco' Heidi Borchers has some great online tutorials on green jewelry making at to Cool 2Craft, it's the time of year to check them out! Wearing green creations is a great reminder to live as green as we can.