Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Recycled Plastic Valentine Hearts

Make cheap and simple valentine decorations from old plastic food containers and nail varnish.
Recycled plastic Valentine hearts
This is an idea I originally shared as a contributor over on The Pinning Mama last year and as Valentines Day is looming I thought it was time to share the full tutorial here in case you want to have a go at making some easy Valentine decorations from old plastic food tubs.
Valentine hearts made from old plastic tubs

All you need is:
Old plastic tubs
Nail Varnish
Water
Plenty of scrap paper, kitchen roll and nail varnish remover for cleaning up afterwards!

You can use pretty much any food tubs that you have, the effects you get may vary a little but that is all part of the fun!
Valentine hearts made from old plastic containers
I had a white plastic margarine tub and a clear plastic ice cream tub that I used for my marbled nail polish hearts.

Unless you are lucky enough to have a tub with no pictures or writing on it the first thing you need to do is remove any print.
I found the easiest way to do that was to give it a good scrub with a kitchen scourer and a cream cleaner. Here in the UK we have something called Cif (it used to be called Jif back in the day) which worked a treat.
Now just cut out your heart shapes, I drew round a cookie cutter first but you can freehand if you prefer.
Punch a hole now if you want to be able to hang your hearts.
Now the fun bit....
Fill another old plastic container with water and drip some nail varnish on the top.
Add as many colours as you want, play around, experiment with what you have.
DO NOT try to stir the nail varnish to make patterns - it will stick to whatever you are stirring with. You just have to be brave and go for it!
Valentine hearts recycled from old plastic tubs
Dip your plastic heart in, then pull it out. That's it!
Now leave it propped up on some scrap paper to dry for a few minutes.
You need to add more nail varnish drops to the water for each heart, a little may be left on the water but not really enough for another dipping.
It's quite messy, you may find you marble the end of your finger like I did.
I found metallic nail varnishes showed up best on clear plastic, the results on white plastic were a little disappointing. It's so quick though, that if you don't like how one turns out you can just wipe it off with nail polish remover and start again. 
Recycled plastic marbled valentine hearts
Recycled plastic valentine hearts with nail polish marbling
These could make good card toppers, or maybe gift tags too. Don't be restricted to just hearts for Valentines day either, you can cut out any shape that takes your fancy.
This marbling with nail polish is SO much fun and it really does feel like magic when you lift out your item and the pattern is just there. You don't know quite what you are going to get which is not ideal for those who like control, but I loved the surprise and to be honest most came out WAY better than I could ever have planned.

You might also be interested in:
Red and White Heart Decoration
Red and White Heart Decoration
IKEA Cactus Gift Wrap
IKEA Cactus Gift Wrap
Recycled Pen Pot Tutorial
Recycled Pen Pot Tutorial
Gold Heart Pot
Gold Heart Pot
I'll be sharing this project at these link parties
Sum of their Stories
Sum of their Stories

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.

45 comments:

  1. So cute! I've seen this method done with coffee cups but never thought to make something like this. I bet this would be great for winter Christmas ornaments! I could see some great green and red candy canes or even some sparkly snowmen!

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    1. Oh yes, Christmas decorations would be great, what a fab idea.
      I saw the mugs too but I wasn't convinced they would last which is why I though I'd try the technique on something that doesn't need to be washed regularly.

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  2. These are gorgeous and look so easy. Would be a fun project to do with older kids too.

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    1. They are really easy, and inexpensive. Slightly older kids would be able to do this no problem.

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  3. Julie, These are so cute and such fun to make! Thanks for sharing them with us at the Valentine's Day Link Party! Pinning.

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    1. Thanks Laurie I'm glad you like them. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Such a cute idea! My boys and I will have fun with this!

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    1. Is it fun .... and cheap so you can have lots of practice goes!
      Be quick, just dip in and out - thats my top tip.

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  5. This is such a lovely idea! I wonder if they would shrink and thicken up in the oven like shrink plastic? Maybe not with the nail varnish on due to the fumes! x

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    1. I don't know. When we were kids we used to shrink the foil lined crisp packets in the oven like shrink plastic and make beautiful necklaces but sometimes they would smell pretty bad. Maybe shrink proper shrink plastic first then add the nail varnish marbling afterwards. A half dipped look might be good, with some sort of shrunk design underneath.

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  6. I love this. I am going to have a go. Jo x

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  7. Julia, I might have to try this with my grandkids. They would love it.

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    1. I'm sure they would, it's a great inexpensive thing to try. You'll be looking round the house for other things you can marble afterwards!

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  8. Really effective and love the ways the marbling has worked on the hearts

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    1. It came out way better than I could have hoped Caroline, it's definitely one you don't plan too much!

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  9. What a great idea, love the reuse of old packaging, cute craft too!

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    1. It's nice to find a use for them, rather than just taking your lunch to work in them, putting leftovers into the freezer, or worse having to put them in the bin!

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  10. Cool idea! Great way to use up some old nail polish!

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  11. Hi Julie! This is such an awesome project. I love how you recycled and reused materials to make something fun! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It :)

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    1. Glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Wow - these are beautiful - and what a great way to recycle what would otherwise be trash! Would love to have you share on the Pleasures of the NW's DIY party!
    http://www.pleasuresofthenw.com/do-it-yourself-link-up-41/

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    1. Thanks, I love finding ways to use things that would otherwise just e thrown away.

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  13. Such a cute decoration for Valentine's Day! Thank you for sharing :)
    #CreativeMondays

    Sarah Bell
    Trendy & Tidy

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  14. Great recycle project. This would be so much fun to make with my kiddo. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party

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    1. Thanks Vanessa, it's nice to make soemthing out of soemthing that would normally just get thrown away.

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  15. Aww these are sweet. Love these Julia, very creative :) Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays blog hop.

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    1. Thanks Claire, glad you like them

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    2. Thanks again lovely. You are one of this weeks features later on this weeks blog hop :)

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  16. these are so cute! I love that they are recycled!

    stop by and chat with me :) http://storybookapothecary.com

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  17. This seems so fun!! We have rests of nail polish that we can use to make some. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. It's a fun way to use up those old bottles without just throwing them in the bin.

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  18. I really like the end results, they look great. Thanks for sharing with #CCBG

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  19. I love them, thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

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  20. These are so cute and it looks like a fun, if messy project. :) It's on my to try list. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Pinning to my Valentine's Board.

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  21. Julie I just love these! What a great way to recycle some old plastics and turn them into these beautiful hearts <3 Thank you for linking these up to the Inspirations Galore Project Party. You are one of my features tomorrow over at Recreateddesigns.com. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. That's lovely news Lisa, thanks so much.

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  22. Yes, Jif, haha. These are adorable. Love the way they turned out. /Madison

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    1. Ah yes, to me it will always be Jif (and Starbursts will always be Opal fruits) it must be my age! It's useful stuff and great for removing print from marg tubs - who knew?

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  23. I have seen this swirled effect and there are so many things you can make.
    Would love to have you drop by and share on my #OMHGWW to linkup!!
    Have a great week!

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    1. The technique works on loads of things apparently but I'm not sure how durable it is. That's the main reason I tried it on something that doesn't need washing, and won't get much wear and tear.

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  24. Great idea! I collect nail polish, and sometimes I need an excuse to delete a bottle from my collection. I can't wait to try this!

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    1. It's loads of fun Lisa, I hope you enjoy it. It's a great way to purge that nail polish collection with out feeling you are just wasting them. Perfect for the gloopy ones!

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