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