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.

purple nail polish heart.jpg

All you need is:

  • Old plastic tubs

  • Nail Varnish

  • Water

  • Plenty of scrap paper, kitchen roll and nail varnish remover for cleaning up afterwards!

reculed plastic hanging heart.jpg

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!

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.

plastic lid.jpg

Now just cut out your heart shapes, I drew round a cookie cutter first but you can freehand if you prefer.

draw shape on plastic.jpg

Punch a hole now if you want to be able to hang your hearts.

cut out and punch hole.jpg

Now the fun bit....

Fill another old plastic container with water and drip some nail varnish on the top.

drip nail varnish in.jpg

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!

Recycled plastic valentine hearts

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.

leave to dry.jpg

It's quite messy, you may find you marble the end of your finger like I did.

marbled finger.jpg

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. 

hanging marbled hearts.jpg
Upcycled plastic Valentine Hearts

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.


I'll be sharing this project at these link parties