Making Beads from Toys
A while back while I was out shopping with a friend, I found some adorable tiny devil ducks, I picked up a pair to make earrings out of.
I tried a couple ways to drill holes. The first pair, I used my mini rotary drill on. It spun too fast even with the variable speed, and wound up sanding off a little bit of the soft plastic on the bottom, so then I had my husband drill them. The next pair, I used a large needle with pliers, and just patiently drilled them that way.
Then I put a head pin through, and did a wrapped loop on top of that connected to some chain.
After that, I started looking for things I could drill or that had holes in the design to use for beadwork. I found the little polar bears and dragons above at our local zoo gift shop. They are sort of a soft rubbery feeling material, and pierced easily with a needle. The bears I just push the wire through to make the earrings.The dragons I used the needle I used doing the beadwork, pushed it through, slipped on a bead close to the same color as the dragons, and then went back through the dragon treating it like I would an accent bead.
At the grocery store, I found some cupcakes with decorative cupcake rings on top shaped like butterflies with lots of open areas. I got the cupcakes as a treat for my family, and washed two of the rings, and cut the ring parts off the back and lightly sanded the back a bit more smooth. Since they already had a lot of holes, I was able to use them as findings to hang beads from. I decided with that bright pink plastic, I wanted to use sterling and pearls.
Other suggestions for making into beads, party favors, little erasers, the little record inserts used on 45s back in the day, guitar picks, bottle caps, doll accessories, and dollhouse miniatures. If you can pierce it, drill it or wrap it, you can use it!
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