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Make a Recycled Plastic Cup Washer Necklace

7 February 2011 114,893 views 64 Comments

by rhonda

A few days ago I went to a little party, one of those fun get-togethers where someone comes and does product demonstrations and all of the guests plow through catalogs wishing their husbands had let them leave the house with more cash.  My friend who hosted the party served a lovely little buffet of snack foods and made some delicious punch which she served in red plastic party cups.

Ever the good hostess, she wandered the room gathering empty plates and cups from her guests.  When she asked me if I was done using my cup, I told her that I was planning to keep it.  She gave me an odd look.  "What are you going to do with it?" she inquired.

"I think," I replied, "that I am going to turn it into a necklace.

Every eye in the room was suddenly cast sideways at me.  I could see the concern on their faces.   They were thinking, "is this it?  Has she finally gone completely 'round the bend?" Call me crazy, but I think it came out fabulous!

Project estimate:

  • Plastic cup (#6 plastic), on hand
  • Permanent marker, on hand
  • Oven, on hand
  • Baking sheet or cake pan, on hand
  • Parchment paper, on hand or $1 and up
  • Flat-bottom drinking glass, on hand

Total:  Free and up

Make  sure the plastic cup you are using is made of #6 plastic.  (This is the same type of plastic that Shrinky Dinks are made from.)  Most plastic cups have ridged rings around them, which you can use a s a guide for cutting and decorating in straight lines.

Cut the bottom off of the cup.

Use an Xacto or utility knife to cut out the center of the bottom of the cup.

With a permanent marker, draw a design on the cup.

Place the cup upside down on a baking sheet or cake pan lined with parchment paper.   Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F.

Once you put the cup in the oven, keep a very close eye on it.  It should start to melt within 30 to 60 seconds; the time will vary with different cups.  The cup with shrivel and flatten out.  Leave it in the oven until it is laying almost completely flat and has stopped moving.  Immediately upon removing it from the oven, press it completely flat with the bottom of a drinking glass.  Press and hold with the glass for about 15 seconds.  Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes to cool completely.

When it has cooled, loop a chain through the center of the charm.  No one will believe you when you tell them what you used to make it!

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  • Michelle L. said:

    Amazing! Gotta go do one right now – it’s beautiful, Rhonda!

  • We Are Rooted » SHRINKY DINKS… said:

    […] dollarstorecrafts.com via Natalie on […]

  • Brittany said:

    I just did this after reading the post. So much fun and a great project for kids if you precut the cups! Had a little trouble getting the edges straight with exacto knife so I filed the edges a little. My kids just enjoy playing with them ;)

  • Dollar Store Crafts » Blog Archive » Make a Recycled Plastic Cup Rainbow Suncatcher said:

    […] love melting plastic cups.  (Remember our recycled plastic cup washer necklace?)  Knowing that number 6 plastic is shrink plastic, Erin from Life in the Nuthouse stocked up on […]

  • Emily said:

    @Karen – I haven’t made this yet, but off the top of my head I would say coat the whole thing front & back with Mod Podge! That is my go-to sealer for everything.

    I’m going to try this myself, with the Mod Podge after it cools and let you know!

  • Susan McAdams said:

    I see this has been up for over a year, but was just lucky enough to come across it today! I love the idea and it has really sparked my creativity. Thanks for the great idea and inspiration!

  • Annie said:

    Can’t wait to try this!
    A friend from high school used to make shrinky dinks with her mother’s old vinyl albums – she turned them into fruit bowls.

  • DIY: Solo Cup Crafts | Broke-Ass Stuart's Goddamn Website said:

    […] Necklaces: Red Solo cups are made from plastic #6 which – as we’ve mentioned before – can be baked down like ShrinkyDinks. So decorate your cup, cut it down and turn on the oven. Alternatively, you can cut out shapes and punch holes in the pieces before baking down to create chunky pendant necklaces. […]

  • Barbara said:

    Oooooh… so awesome! I cannot wait to try this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Haruka Sugita said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed something unique for a creative project at school and this gave me an idea! Awesome! :D

  • Joni Giarratano said:

    Just happened to stumble on your site… Was really excited to see that you were using “Red solo cups ” ! Twenty years ago I was selling a ” Hobby Product”…..and we used to bake ” Liver Lids”.. you know the little plastic lids that covered liver and potato salad in a Deli ! We used the paint that I was selling… an oil based paint in a tube….. but now I think you can used any type of marker.. ( obviously ) to decorate them ! We also used a hole puncher to make a hole so we could connect them with jump rings… Everything OLD is NEW again ! HOORAY ! Joni in Pueblo, Colorado

  • Dollar Store Crafts » Blog Archive » Five Jewelry Projects Using Dollar Tree Materials said:

    […] [Recycled Plastic Cup Washer Necklace] […]

  • Shannon said:

    I just made this, and like the others I tried making it with the cheapie cups from Dollar Tree. You need to use brand name and crank it up to 300. Hefty has cool colors and I made mine neon pink (cup) and black (Sharpie).

  • Cheryl said:

    My daughter, grand daughter and I did this they turned out very cute but they just didn’t get quite flat enough I think I took them out a little too soon.