HOME NEW Pearl Education Beading Q & A Tools Jewelry Tech Video Jewelry Glossary

Grocery Bag Jewelry

This Instructable shows how to make a macrame bracelet entirely out of grocery bags (and a few beads if you prefer). This same technique can also be applied to making a ring.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need:

Step 2: Cut Bag

Picture of Cut Bag
Cut off the bottom of the bag.
Using your index finger as measurement, start cutting a long, spiraled band from the bag.  It won't really curl, but think of it like peeling an apple in one solid strip.

Step 3: Make a Wrap

Picture of Make a Wrap
Wrap the grocery bag ribbon several times around a bottle.  Double check that the resulting circle will fit over your hand.

Step 4: Start Knotting

Picture of Start Knotting
Knotting1.JPG
Knotting2.JPG
Leave a "tail" of one end of the wrap exposed, and with the other end, start tying a series of half hitches.

Step 5: Knot End and Snip

Picture of Knot End and Snip
LeaveAsIsOption.JPG
Knot the "tail" and the end you've been working with.
Snip the excess.
You can stop here if you like!  Or continue on...

Step 6: Make the Twine

Picture of Make the Twine
SplicinginThreadsforTwine.JPG
SnipSpliceEnds.JPG
SingeEndofTwine.JPG
TwineDetail.JPG
This Instructable does an excellent job of explaining how to make rope/twine out of fibers.  The same principle applies here.
Cut a grocery bag into thin strips.
In groups of 4, start twisting it into twine.
Once you have enough (~12"/30cm), you can snip the beginning end and melt it a bit with a lighter.  This will make beading easier.
If you need extra length:
  • Bundle 4 more strips and overlap with a bit of excess where you've already twisted.
  • Twist the new bundle a few times before adding another bundle to the other half in the same way.  This will keep things orderly with minimal confusion and enough fingers to keep going.
  • Once you've worked through a few twists, you can snip away the excess and continue twisting.
The twine is actually quite attractive!

Step 7: Beading

Picture of Beading
KnotandSnipTwine.JPG
Thread the twine through the half hitch loops and add a bead between the weaving.
Knot the ends and snip excess.
Done!