upcycle Home   about us About Us   upcycle in the media Media   commissions Commissions   contacts us Contact Us   subscribe to upcycle Subscribe   crafty corner site search Search    

Green sponsors

For only R50 you could have your banner here as your contribution to helping us make the planet a better place.

Recycled Coke bottle Sun Catcher

Easy step by step instructions showing how to make your own upcycled sun catcher by recycling plastic Coke bottles.

For any questions contact: Winnie@upcycle.co.za

This is a wonderful way to transform and upcycle your old plastic 2 litre Coke bottles into an attractive piece for your garden. Hang one of these in your tree or make several and place them in various spots in the garden to add colour and sparkle.

coke bottle sun cathcer coke bottle sun cather

What you need to make an upcycled Coke bottle sun catcher:

  • One or two Coke bottles
  • Thick needle
  • Assorted colour beads depending on your preferance (we chose green)
  • Nice decorative bead for the end
  • Nylon thread or fishing gut (strong)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife

Step 1

Wash out your recycled Coke bottle and remove the label. Keep the Coke bottle label as we have other projects we could use these for. Make an incision into the Coke bottle using a knife just big enough to get your scissors in. We can use our scissors for most of the project, but it's nice to have a craft knife just to get the first cut in the bottle.

wash and cut coke bottle

Step 2

We are now going to cut our bottle using a scissors as we have more control and it is easier this way. Cut out as many 2cm by 2cm square bits of plastic as you can. They don't have to be perfectly smooth as we will be melting the edges later to add detail, but flat sections of plastic from the bottle are easier to cut.

Cut up as much of your Coke bottle as possible to prevent waste. Again, keep the tops and the left over bits... we can use these for other projects on another day.

cut with scissors

Step 3

Once we have all our little 2cm by cm squares we need to make a hole in the centre of each one.

You can do this by using a sharp needle that is quite thick. If you make the hole too small it will be harder to bead, but don't make the hole too big either, just enough to comfortably thread your nylon thread or fishing gut is perfect. Also, if the hole is bigger than your small beads the beads might slip through the hole.

coke bottle bits

Step 4

To start off your sun catcher you need to put one small seed bead onto the length of gut and tie a loop behind it. This loop is where you will hang it up from so make it quite big. Then add one of your Coke bottle squares.

loop start your coke bottle sun cather

Step 5

We are going to randomly add some green beads and then a Coke bottle square at even spacings. I have chosen to do my Coke bottle sun catcher in random green beads. You could do the same or you could use the same type of beads in various colours. Use your creativity and you will be amazed at what you can come up with!

add beads to your sun catcher add more beads

Step 6

Continue to add beads and squares until you have a string of beads as long as you like. We are going to end off by first placing a silver crimp and then placing quite a few beads on the end starting from the largest bead to the smallest.

near end

Step 7

We are now going to add our last few beads to end off the sun catcher. I have chosen a silver cap bead for the top of my long pendant green bead, so I am going to thread this one on first and then the green pendant.

silver cap bead green pendant

Step 8

After threading the green pendant onto the suncather, thread the gut back up through the silver cap bead. Thread it back through some of the other beads and then into the silver crimp. With your pliers you now need to squash the silver crimp and trap the two bits of gut so that they cannot slip, securing the beads into place.

back through pendant through other beads

Step 9

Once you have closed off your string of beads you can use a candle to gently melt the 2cm by 2cm square plastic Coke bottle beads. To do this, hold the string on either side of a bead and making sure your hands are far away from the candle that you don't burn yourself.

Hold the bead above the candle just long enough so that the edges curl slightly. The candle will melt the bead quite quickly and if you hold it there to long you could end up burning your nylon string.

You don't have to melt the bead if you dont want to, but I like the texture and character that it gives to the sun catcher.

melt your beads

All that remains now is for you to find the perfect spot in the garden for your handmade recycled Coke bottle sun catcher!

bottle top sun catcher