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How to Make Bugle Beads from Recycled Plastic Bottles | Plastic Bottle Cutters

Bugle beads are made by drawing long tubes of molten glass out until they are fine enough. Once cooled, they are then chopped up into the desired lengths.  You too can make your own bugle beads without having to work with glass! You can use them for super light upcycled jewelry or perhaps a craft item of your choice.

This upcycled project cleverly turns narrow strips cut from plastic water or pop bottles into bugle beads.  The tutorial is by Plastic Bottle Cutter

The first thing is to cut the strips. 

The instructor uses a plastic bottle cutting tool - more about those at the end. His homemade wire coil (and drawplate to size the wire coil) helps him keep the strip steady and in shape as he pulls it through above a hot air blower. The heat curls the strip which then folds over itself in the confined space inside the wire coil.

The width of the strips and the size of the wire coil will dictate the diameter of the bugle beads. 

The video tutorial is in Russian - the English closed captions do not work. But you can still get what he is doing.

There are other tutorials on Youtube which show how you can make your own tube cutter. Like this one by romanursuhack RomanUrsuHack. The open blade though makes me nervous!

Another tutorial is

Commercially available cutters like this one allows you to cut widths from 1- 15 mm. Safely.

Or these from the Grim Workshop which specializes in unique survival tools. They range from key tag to credit card size.  Very compact. The smallest one costs $12.95.  Watch this video on the 3 models. Looks like they only cut one width size. 

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
 Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 


  1. Very cool! I love using plastic bottles for jellyfish, will have to try this.

    1. That is neat molding plastic bottles for jellyfish!

  2. When I first came across the first video on how to make bugle beads I was delighted!
    I purchased one of those plastic bottle cutters when they came out. I have read that there's been some modifications to it that help make cutting the bottles easier (it's difficult with the first one put out).

    I feel that the amount of plastic bottles in the world is going to smother the planet and we'll just be a glowing ball of plastic if seen from space.
    It's interesting to see there are other companies coming up with ways to reuse plastic bottles. We need that.

    1. Thanks Aims for your comment about the old and new cutters! The strips are so handy as string around the house, just as is.

  3. Fascinating!! Another way to help reduce the clutter on the planet. Is there anything available commercially to use for forming the tubes? I'm so bad with tools that they won't let me near a wheelbarrow.

    1. Not that I know of. But you can get coiled wire if you are not inclined to coil it yourself. Try the Ring Lord for coils.

  4. Another great recycling idea!

  5. the videos made me want to start a survivalist kit, even though I don't even camp-out anymore! so clever! I agree with aims, we are going to be overrun by plastic bottles around the planet. :(

  6. Fascinating tool. I hope people who create the strips are mindful about any they might dispose of. Wouldn't want sea life getting tangled up in that plastic.


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