The next August 16th, Debian will turn 20.
What are you planning to do to to celebrate?
Being a DIY geek, I decided to create some craft projects dedicated to the Universal Operating System. I'll publish them, one per week, on this blog with a detailed tutorial, released under a CC:BY-SA 3.0 license.

If you have an original project dedicated to Debian (from cookies and cakes to knitted socks, from beaded earrings to handpainted mugs, from plushies to pottery, from glass arts to lettering and so on) join me!
Post a tutorial about your project on your blog (or if you don't have one, send me a mail and you'll publish it here as guest post) with the hashtag #debcraft and a free (as in freedom) license. Bonus points for project using recycled material :).

Ready to start? Below my first one: swirl charms from plastic bottles.


please, do try this at home

a couple of finished swirl

This is a little tutorial on how to create swirl charms for keyrings from plastic bottles.
The project is really easy and quick to realize, the materials very common and the result quite pretty.
I found out that there are tons of tutorial in the Internet about how to make jewelry from PET bottles, and I'll surely give them a try (earrings, in particular, seem a good idea).
If you want some inspiration, I suggest you to check out the amazing work of Turkish artist Gulnur Ozdaglar who creates ethereal jewelry and everyday objects from plastic bottles.

"What is PET bottle?
A domesticated bottle kept for companionship or amusement."
Gulnur Ozdaglar

What you will need

tools and materials needed

  • one or more plastic bottles
  • metal keyring
  • jump rings (I made my own ones with metal wire from a spiral block note)
  • red nail polish, or acrylic paint (only for the painted swirl)
  • red thread and needle (only for the transparent with red embroidery)
  • scissors
  • a lighter
  • pen and paper (if you want to use a paper swirl as guide while cutting)
  • a pin (to punch holes)
  • pliers and cutters

In the pic there's also a soda can, because I thought it could be a good material too.
After some tests, I decided that soda cans would probably need some resin to make the edges less sharp and avoid cuts, so I think I'll experiment a bit more with them.

Step 1

step 1: cut the swirl from plastic

First of all, you'll need to cut out the swirl from the bottle.
I cut it in the upper part of the bottle, using a paper swirl as guide to cut the swirl shape as regular as I could.

Step 2

step 2: melt the edges

As the edges of the cut are a bit raw, I decided to lightly melt them with the lighter: be careful as if the plastic melt too much it will ruin our nice swirl. Also, remember to open a window while doing it: it's not a lot of melting but better safe than sorry.

Step 3

step 3: punch a hole for the jumpring

With a pin or a needle punch a hole in the upper part of the swirl, where the jumpring will be set to connect the swirl with the keychain ring. Now you need to decide which type of swirl do: for the painted one, follow step 4a; for the transparent one with the red embroidery, follow step 4b.

Step 4a

step 4a: paint the swirl

Paint your swirl red, or of your favourite colour (I experimented a bit here, having lots of nail polish, and made also a purple one).

Step 4b

step 4b: punch more holes and sew with red thread

With a pin or a needle, punch a series of holes, in the middle of the swirl, following the swirl shape.
Then embroider it using backstitch.

Step 5

step 5: add the jumpring

Add the jumpring, if you have a ready made one.
If not, use a pair of cutters to cut a little bit of metal wire and the pliers to create a ring with it, insert in the hole and close it.

Step 6

step 6: add the metal keyring

Connect the jumpring and the metal keyring.

Congratulations: you now have a swirl shaped keycharm!