Recycle Plastic Container

Reduce * Re-Use * Recycle
One of my favorite parts about crafting and up-cycling is that it trains your brain to look at the usefulness of all objects, instead of the uselessness of treating everything like waste. It is not just about consuming trendiness and well-marketed craft supplies, but rather, a contemplative way of observing and re-imagining the objects around you. A broken chair becomes a table, an old dress becomes a fancy shirt, and in this case, left-over containers are turned into jewelery.

I also really like this project because you really get down to the geometry and design of an object that you would usually take for granted. A yogurt container. It has colors and shapes, curves, slopes, and designs.

The Supplies

  • Light-weight plastic container, I’m using a large yogurt container
  • Heavy scissors, kitchen shears
  • Small hole punch
  • Basic earring/jewelry findings
  • Small pliers (for the jewelry findings)
  • Optional paint: opaque nail polish, paint pen, spray paint

A note on the paint: I really love the look of the unaltered plastic- original design of the label is lost and you are left with the colors and you can mix the colors from different containers. I made some paint swatches to see how different types of paint would stick on the plastic if you wanted to paint them. From left to right: acrylic paint, opaque nail polish, thin nail polish, Sharpie pen, Sharpie Paint pen, Paint pen with acrylic on top, spray paint.

The ones I recommend the most are the opaque nail polish and especially the spray paint, although you should probably put a clear coat over anything you paint as to seal it in.

The Method

1. Cut the plastic container into rings. I found it easier to cut mine into 1 inch rings at first and then cut them to a smaller size. The rings will make concentric circles if you lay them on the table on top of each other. The smaller rings will have a sharper curve.

2. Decide the longest length for the earrings and cut that length from the largest ring. Cut a smaller length from the next size ring until you get to the last ring with the smallest length.

3. Cut the pieces in half lengthwise so you have two sets of each- one for each ear.

4. Use the hole punch to make a small hole in the top of each piece.

5. Paint if desired.

6. Arrange in concave series or mix it up. I like the mixed-up version the best!

7. Wear

Bonus Artsy Photo:

Happy Recycling Times!



Clutter Monster #4: Cork Board Organizer

Back to the organizing!

Here is a simple Cork Board/Earring Organizer for those, like me, have too much stuff for all those cutesy earring organizers one sees on craft sites. I mean, come on, I know you like twine and lace and all, but I own way more than six pairs of earrings. I’ve made more earrings than that. Don’t get me wrong, these are cute, and if I had a place to use them for decoration I would- but in terms of raw practical storage, I needs more room! I also realized that I keep a lot of bits of paper for things- notes, coupons, schedules, lists. So I also needed to be able to keep track of those without them taking over my table. I had some left-over cork sheets from a dorm decorating kit from years back- bingo! Crafting is equal parts figuring out what you need and creatively using what you have.

The basic idea here is to use a sturdy mesh inside a frame to give you many spots to hang earrings.

The mesh I like best- for practical use and price, is the plastic cross-stitch sheets that you can get at the craft store (plastic canvas). Sturdy and full of holes. You could also use leftover screen from a screen door, a loose weave fabric (like burlap or cheese cloth), and even peg-board would be good.

For frames, a regular picture frame works great. I have one made with the plastic mesh and plain frame that works fantastic. Recycle old frames, or pick one up from a thrift store. For this particular project I wanted to use my left-over cork sheets, and if you want to make one out of cork you can get the same kind of sheets at the craft store or in the dorm section of Target. I needed to back the frame in order to give it depth so that the backs of the earrings had somewhere to go- for this I used thick foam sheets, also cheap and also at the craft store.


  1. Cut-out square from inside cork sheet with a sharp box cutter or exacto knife.
  2. Cut plastic canvas to fit over square with overlap on the margins.
  3. Use hot glue gun to adhere plastic canvas to cork.
  4. Cut foam into strips smaller than the width of the cork frame.
  5. Use hot glue to adhere foam strips to create a back-frame.
  6. Decorate cork: I used acrylic paint and a stencil.

Look at all the room for activities!