In an attempt to go green and be kind to the environment there are always more ways to recycle. You can even recycle your old toothbrushes by creating colorful bracelets. Follow these steps and you can make a toothbrush bracelet with a few simple materials.
- Old toothbrush
- 1 or 2 quart pot
- Needle nose pliers
- Oven mitt
- Glass jar
- Plastic bowl
- Select the toothbrush. You can make a bracelet out of any plastic toothbrush but those made from clear plastic or with glitter in the handle make the best bracelets. Choose a toothbrush and rinse it under warm water before beginning the process.
- Bring pot of water to a boil on the stove. Watch the water but do not put anything else into the pot before it begins to boil.
- Remove bristles. While waiting for the water to boil, remove the bristles from the toothbrush. The easiest way to do this is to use the scissors to trim them then pull the bristles out using the needle nose pliers. If you cannot get them all out, you can try again in step six but the best option is to do so before heating the brush.
- Place the brush into the water. Place one toothbrush into the boiling water. The plastic should soften in about five minutes of rapid boiling. Watch closely because smaller brushes may soften faster. You don't want the toothbrush to melt, just to soften.
- Remove the brush from the water. Use tongs to remove the toothbrush. Hold the brush out of the water for approximately thirty seconds to allow it to cool slightly.
- Shape the plastic. Grasp the end with an oven mitt. The plastic will be very hot, so do not touch it without the mitt. Bend the toothbrush around the bottom of a glass. Shape to the look you prefer. Note: If you could not remove the bristles in step three, they need to be removed now. With the plastic warm, the holes that trap the bristles will have expanded so you should be able to pull the bristles out of the plastic using the pliers with ease.
- Prepare ice water bath. Fill the plastic bowl with ice water.
- Place the toothbrush into the ice water. The cold water will cause the plastic to cool and stiffen into the shape you have designed.
- Dry the plastic then wear the bracelet. Once the bracelet has hardened you can remove it from the ice water and dry it. Then it is ready to wear. Slide it on your arm and you are ready to show off your recycled jewelry.
Making toothbrush bracelets is simple if you follow these steps. Choose brightly colored, clear plastic toothbrushes for the best bracelets and use these steps to make one bracelet at a time. Do not try to make several at the same time unless you plan to twist and wrap the plastic pieces together which takes more practice and repeated dipping of the brush into the boiling water while shaping. Try to have fun and create cheerful accessories using recyclable plastic toothbrushes.