Friday, March 27, 2015

Airsoft Pellet Jewelry DIY

The park in my neighborhood is ground zero for a very serious airsoft war among the tween/teen boys.  The evidence is visible everywhere in the form of colorful plastic balls.
Airsoft guns are similar to BB guns.  Instead of shooting metal ball bearings however, airsoft guns project plastic pellets - usually in very bright colors.  If you visit a busy park or neighborhood, there's a good chance that hundreds of these bright pellets are hiding beneath your feet.  
Basically: if you take a moment to collect them, you're helping the environment and now have a fun free craft supply.  Yay for free!  Why not use them to create something lovely and unique?  
At the park, take a minute to explore.  
At first, you may not find anything, but once you begin to see them tucked under leaves and wedged between rocks, you'll start to notice more and more.  It's like a very small scale Easter egg hunt!
Yesterday, I walked to the park and collected all of these in ten minutes.
Most are white (I'm going to start calling airsoft pellets Urban Pearls), but I also found neon colors, translucent pellets, and even a few that glow in the dark!
Wash them with soapy water.
Look at these bright vibrant colors!
I love them, and I especially love that they served another purpose before becoming jewelry.
The accessories I chose to make were entirely based upon the supplies I had on hand: a ring base, earring posts, flat pendant bases (is that what you call them?), and E-6000 glue.  For my projects, the most useful items were these metal bead caps because they add a little 'pretty' to the bold colors.
Before attaching the pellets to jewelry findings, I carefully sanded one side.  
A rough texture helps the glue make a stronger connection, and a flat surface is easy to work with.  
If you are having trouble holding the pellet in place as you sand, consider using pliers.
For the ring, I glued a coordinating bead cap to my ring base, then added a peachy orange pellet to the center. 
Isn't it pretty?  
The pellet is completely transformed.
In the feminine silver ring base, it reads as a round antique stone rather than a plastic ball.  
Glue sanded pellets to pendant bases or any flat surface for a pretty new charm.
I especially like the combination of delicate metal work and punchy neon colors - it's unexpected!
If the round base of your earring posts are small enough, you could glue pellets on for simple stud earrings. If you have bead caps, attach them to the posts first for earrings that look a bit like flowers.
This cage necklace is my favorite airsoft pellet creation.
If you have any hollow metal beads around, check to see if they could be pried open.
If so, pop a pretty pellet inside, close the cage, and add a chain.
There are probably 100 other uses for these tiny treasures.
I look forward to hearing about how you use your urban pearls!