#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

 “Tutorial for Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet” by Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns


As an Etsy seller I love making jewellery and am passionate about upcycling, so this project combines both – we are making a cuff bracelet from plastic bottles decoupaged with newspaper, decorative papers and whatever extra adornments inspire you.dawn-whitehand_002

Materials Used




craft knife/scalpel


PVA/craft glue

shallow dish for PVA

container of water

(for the above two I use a takeaway container – I use the lid for the PVA & the base for the water)


stiff bristled paint brushes – a range of small to medium sizes

varnish – acrylic, spray, polyurethane

plastic bottles – a range of sizes and textures


AND a SELECTION of coloured paper, tissue paper, paper doilies, gift paper, stamps, calendars, maps, greeting cards, original drawings, children’s drawings, photocopies (not inkjet prints as they may run) and anything else you may think of!

Optional Adornments







wool offcuts

embroidery cotton offcuts

and whatever else inspires you!!



Tutorial Directions

Got all your ‘ingredients’? What’s next….

Choose a plastic bottle that, when cut, will fit around your wrist – be creative – it doesn’t have to be a round bottle, and if it is too big this could be an opportunity to add fasteners (buttons, etc) at the end.

Using your craft knife carefully cut (away from yourself) a portion of the bottle depending on how wide your want your cuff bracelet to be. If you want your end to be rounded or curved use some scissors to trim the square ends. I kept mine square as this is easier to fold your decoupage ends neatly and tightly.



The first three layers of your cuff will be built up using newspaper strips – use newsprint as this will be covered up – unless of course you want newsprint or certain words to feature in your bracelet – in this case reserve those pieces of newspaper for later layers.

Tear the newspaper layers using a ruler, rather than scissors, or simply go with the grain of the paper and tear them manually in about 2 cm wide strips although you won’t see these initial layers in the final product it does lend a textured surface beneath your final layer which will add to the final textural finish.

As you tear the newspaper look at both sides in case there are any colours or patterns you would like to reserve for the final layer.

Next pour a small amount, about the size of a ten-cent piece, of PVA into a shallow dish. Put your brush (approximately size 8) into the container of water and then place the brush in the PVA and mix.



Apply a generous amount to strips of paper, individually, and wrap diagonally around the plastic cuff until the entire surface is covered. (the water makes the paper more flexible and more easy to slide along the plastic). If there are any stubborn edges of paper that won’t lie flat use a small stiff bristled brush dipped in the water/pva mix to encourage it into place – until it does what it is told! The skewer can also be used as a mini rolling-pin to rill any bubbles and surface irregularities out; it can also be used to reinforce any patterns or lines in the bottle (see above picture of plastic bottle with indented lines). If you want to retain these lines they will have to be reinforced by pushing each layer of paper while still wet into the grooves. Use the entire length of the skewer to do this by holding it in the groove and turning the cuff.


Allow to dry – it won’t take very long, but you could use a hair dryer or heater if you are feeling impatient!

Repeat the previous step three times, allowing each layer to dry, and on the final third layer we will finish off the ends of the cuff.


To do this tear a larger square of newspaper that can be folded around the cuff end, tucked in and then folded over the ends – like a square envelope.

As before, apply the water/PVA mix generously and if need be, use a small stiff bristled brush to coax it into place.


Now it is time to think about the final layer we want on the cuff – gather together any reserved bits of patterned newspaper you have, coloured paper, paper doilies, stamps, maps – whatever your vision entails – I have used coloured and patterned newspaper to finish my cuff, positioning the paper in strategic spots to attain the finish I desire.

Use the same method as above to diagonally wind your cuff with strips of paper and finish the ends with enveloped squares as above also…. you can repeat this multiple times in various parts of your cuff till you get the design / colour combination that you like. You can also finish with a final feature of a picture or row of stamps, etc across the centre of the cuff as a feature. Don’t worry about uneven layers as this adds to the textural feel of the cuff (unless you want a less textured look, then you can be more particular about your layers and the layout of paper strips).

Allow this final layer to dry.

To seal the decoupaged surface apply 4-5 layers of the water/PVA mix, allowing each layer to dry, with a final sealing of an acrylic, spray or polyurethane varnish – the reason this project only requires one layer of varnish is so that your cuff will remain flexible enough to put on and off.



Once your cuff is finished you can adorn it with blingy bits….my cuff was a little big for my wrist so I sewed buttons and leather thong onto it as fasteners to fit my wrist – or any size wrist – it is adjustable!


Below are pics of other examples where the bottles I used fitted my wrist so no fasteners were needed. I also made a choker and ring …. the ring was made from the screw top part of the button which I removed using a hack saw as it is thicker than the body of the bottle.



I hope you enjoyed this crafty tutorial, and have a great day with many more to come!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deedeedeesignsaustralia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deedeedeesigns

Instagram: https://instagram.com/dawnwhitehand

Google +: plus.google.com/u/0/+DawnWhitehand

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dawnwhitehand/

Website: dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – Gypsymoondesigns

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – Gypsymoondesigns



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

Gypsy Moon Designs creates handmade jewelry with a bohemian flair.

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

Living in rural Montana I am influenced by its rustic nature. I patina metal to give my jewelry that same rustic feel as my environment.

3. What is it about having your own business that you love? 

I love being my own boss and the master of my domain! (A little Seinfeld thrown in there!)

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

I have been wholesaling my jewelry to many gift shops around the state of Montana. This July and October my jewelry will be published in two magazines!

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I am working on growing the wholesale part of my business.

6. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GypsyMoonDesigns

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/gypsymoondesign/

Twitter: twitter.com/gypsymoondesign

Google +: plus.google.com/+JulieBurns

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – 88editions

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – Kelly from 88editions



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

88editions OOAK art and scarves

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

Austin, Texas relaxed, nature inspired vibe penetrates my creations

3. What is it about having your own business that you love?

Selling worldwide and connecting with other artists!

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

Getting invited to sell in galleries and boutiques.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I’m planning on adding hand printed home decor textiles to my line.

6. What are your social media sites?

Pinterest: pinterest.com/88editions/

Twitter: twitter.com/88editions

Google +: plus.google.com/118093686143190182411/posts

Instagram: instagram.com/88editions/

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – SilverFoxAntiques

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – Robert from SilverFoxAntiques



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

SilverFoxAntiques – I offer a wide variety of vintage, antique and yes some handmade items from recycled items that I just can’t seem to throw out. A love of design and history are strong features in my shop. I am always glad to explain the history of an item.

2.Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

I live in Florida near the sea, originally a New Englander (we don’t throw much out ) and appreciate “Old Florida” and it’s mix of history and flavors as well as the new emerging Florida creating its own sense of history. I am and always have been tied to the water.

3. What is it about having your own business that you love?

The Customers. Many keep in touch just because they can. If I don’t have the needed item at the time, I refer to other Etsy stores, it keeps them returning as buyers, and a good relationship with a buyer is important.

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

I have grown my business in the past year on Etsy, but more than that I have increased my communication skills with customers and with other dealers. Communication on the internet is very different that in person and requires patience, practice, and timing.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

Twofold; Branding, I would like to see it become stronger better defined and promoted with less time devoted to that; and the recycled items are currently worked into the current shop, I am trying to figure out a better way to deal with that and still keep them within the shop.

6. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/silverfoxantiques12

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anteeks4fun/

Twitter: twitter.com/BobClough1

Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/109937604983042236961/posts


#CIJPopUpMarket – DesignedbyAnneliese

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Virtual PopUpMarket – Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese



1. What is name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

My shop is called DesignedbyAnneliese. I love to make things using paper including cards, gift tags, embellishments and paper punches. I also love to try new crafts and I have a couple of jewellery items in the mix! My shop is a bit of a mix of all sorts of paper things.

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

I live in Sydney, Australia in a townhouse with my husband and 2 gorgeous sons. My family is where I get my inspiration from for my creations. We live very close to a lovely park which is great for walking by the river.

3. What is your greatest business achievement?

I have only been open for roughly 4 months. In that time I have had a few custom orders which I love doing. Each time I have an order come through, I am so happy there is someone who likes my things!!

4. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I would love to continue doing custom orders for people. I would like to keep trying new and different crafts and seeing where it leads me!

5. What are your social media sites?

Google + DesignedbyAnneliese


#CIJPopUpMarket – DeeDeeDeesigns

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Virtual PopUpmarket – Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

My shop name is DeeDeeDeesigns. My shop is unique because everything I create is handmade and one of a kind – so you are guaranteed a unique piece of wearable art or home art.

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

I live in a semi rural area of central Victoria, Australia. This environment influences the colours and textures of my creations.

3. What is it about having your own business that you love?

I am a night person so don’t do the 9-5 very well, so having my own small business, especially one I can run from home, suits my bodies natural rhythms.

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

Writing a book about ceramics and having it published.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I would like to continue growing my business and achieve more regular sales through my Etsy shop.

6. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/deedeedeesignsaustralia

Twitter: www.twitter.com/deedeedeesigns

Blog: dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com

Google +: plus.google.com/u/0/+DawnWhitehand

Social Media And Its Impact On Your Small Business

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Social media are  tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.

These tools are a great way for Small Business to network, publish and market their works.

Christmas in July team asked how Social media impact their business and also what they use it for.

Social Media Icons

Social Media Icons

Nancy Duncan of EponasCrystals states:

I use pinterest, facebook, twitter and amazine. Just started on tumblr.

I seem to have the best response on pinterest, but that is also my favorite.

Facebook doesn’t bring in much traffic at all, but I don’t devote much time to it.

I post my items from my shop. Basically use it as advertising, although I do reciprocate with LIKES, follows, etc. I just don’t get much interaction.

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/eponascrystals/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/crystalsbyepona
Tumblr: eponascrystals.tumblr.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/eponascrystals
Amazine: www.amazine.com/user/eponascrystals


AliciasFindings says:

I use my social media accounts to network with other sellers,so I can learn things to help my shop grow.
I also use it to publish my items-usually on facebook and pinterest.

I use pinterest as a marketing helper by finding all kinds of business tutorials and info so I can use it in my shop or for my shop.

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/AliciasFindings

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alicias-Findings/113535328774145

Wanelo: http://wanelo.com/aliciasfindings

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111140267387525827813/posts


Lin Collette of rhodyart lets me know:

I have a love-hate relationship with social media because I really am not sure it’s worth the time and effort.

My Facebook page (facebook.com/rhodyart) is where I really do like to post things, but it’s not just my work I’ve wanted to post. Rather, I like to share information on art and such. Problem is that people don’t seem to be interested – or FB doesn’t like the posts (more likely). But I really would like to see FB as an interactive tool – it’s just not working out that way.

I’m trying to become more enthusiastic about Pinterest (pinterest.com/rhodyart) and need to radically overhaul my boards, clean out the old stuff, add the new.

I also use Twitter but admit to its limited effectiveness because tweets number in the millions – one is lucky to get one view for a tweet I think. I don’t often tweet directly but, rather, have my FB page set up so that FB posts are automatically tweeted. (twitter.com/rhodyart).

I’m still trying to determine what other social media I want to use. I’d like to use Instagram but again, I think the volume of posts outweighs its usefulness. I also hate that I’d have to use my smartphone to post since I haven’t mastered the fine art of copying links anywhere.

I haven’t used Tumblr enough to judge its usefulness either.


Heather of CallunaMuse talks about:

I am a Pinterest addict, so it is a mix for me, between posting my shop items, and pinning my interests like a mad woman. It’s hard to tell how much traffic I get from it, but it is relatively low maintenance, so I plan to continue with it.

I don’t use my facebook business page as much because it hasn’t been the best social media medium for me. I have tried the paid posts in the past and they don’t generate the interest I think paid ads should. And when only five people are ‘allowed’ to see your post, it seems rather silly to put too much effort into it.

I do use twitter quite a bit. I post my items, and I retweet things that interest me. I like using it, but it moves so fast sometimes!

I just started up an instagram, and I am excited to use it more. I have gotten as far as a profile pic so far haha but right now I am just getting used to the navigation, and checking out everyone else’s! I think I am most excited to use this one, as everyone keeps saying that it has made a huge difference in sales and traffic for them.

I am also using other avenues like wanleo, and bestie. Again, I’m not sure of the usefulness yet, but for me, I like to get myself out there wherever I can.


AngsanaSeedsPhoto posts:

Of all my social media accounts, I use my Facebook business page the most. I use it primarily to post my shop items, promotion and share daily photos. I will also pay for Facebook ad depending on the post and response. I also use it to network with sellers. www.facebook.com/AngsanaSeeds

I do use twitter, but mostly to retweet photography-related post. twitter.com/angsanaseeds

I also use Pinterest, but not as much because I find it very addictive and am not sure how much sales it generated for me. www.pinterest.com/angsanaseeds/

Instagram is one social media that I plan to get more enthusiastic with. instagram.com/angsanaseeds/


Dawn Whitehand of DeeDeeDeesigns said:

I use social media to post my new products. I then also share these to groups and communities (facebook & google).

I used to use Facebook the most, but with the changes to Facebook with the visibility of posts to fans I have began exploring the use of other sites more.

I use twitter to promote my products and also to share fellow team mates posts and team posts.

So it is also a networking thing.

This does drive traffic to my shop, though maybe not so much sales – but my understanding is that the Etsy logarithms (which are always changing) take into account traffic. So even if sales aren’t necessarily generated, the increased traffic makes my shop more ‘visible’ on Etsy.

My understanding also is that this increased traffic increases your visibility on Google.

I also maintain a blog where I post general posts about my artwork and also posts specific to my Etsy shop. I also have direct links to my shop from my blog, which I also have on my Facebook page.

I use Pinterest to post my products and cross reference them on boards – for example I have a ‘My Jewellery’ board, but also have a ‘Jewellery’ board where I post other jewellery, but also post my jewellery randomly amongst the other posts. i am also on several group boards, and do get quite a few repins from these boards, and a reasonable number of shop clicks.

My most recent venture has been instagram and have only been on it for about six months…. I do get a reasonable amount of ‘likes’ and am unsure of the traffic drive at this point – but its a fun medium.

Blog dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/deedeedeesignsaustralia
Twitter www.twitter.com/deedeedeesigns
Google+ plus.google.com/u/0/+DawnWhitehand
Pinterest www.pinterest.com/dawnwhitehand
Instagram www.instagram.com/dawnwhitehand