Monday 26 October 2009

Tooth brush rings

One of the things you learn in Scouting, apart from knots (not tatting!) is to save the most extraordinary things, in the hope that one day they may come in useful for handicrafts. This is especially relevant, if like me, you are with the younger section, Beaver Scouts who are aged 6-8 years old. Twenty years ago it was difficult to find decent craft supplies, unless you were prepared to pay a lot of money for them, so over the years I have looked at disposable household items such as packaging etc and thought, what can this be used for? Corks from wine bottles are very versatile, although nowadays they seem to be mostly plastic, the original cork ones though could be turned into trains, dogs and even the beaver animal. So it sort of became a habit to collect items that showed potential! That is why I collected the plastic rings from the Oral B electric toothbrushes, not for Scouting but for my own use, and now they have been re-incarnated into earrings!

I’ve been influenced by the patterns that others have designed using plastic rings and thought they looked great, many using HDT. Initially I took the tooth brush rings on holiday and had a play around, my first attempt was given to Tatskool and it is only in the last week or so that I’ve come back to the project with earnest, mainly because I would like to give some earrings away to friends for Christmas. So here are the results.

It wasn't until I made the purple pair that I got the pattern as near to perfect as possible.

Being constantly nagged by big sister I have even written the pattern down! Jane then gave me a few tips on how to write some of the instructions, and the result is the pattern below. I’m not planning on designing much as it is very time consuming and frustrating and I don’t have much patience. But the absolute delight in seeing a pattern that I have designed written down and in a readable format, instead of on a scrap of paper is wonderful! I hope someone may be inspired to have ago at this pattern and tell me if they do not understand anything, after of course they have cleaned their teeth!

Oh and here are the little plastic rings, just in case you
don't know what I am talking about.


Materials required (size 20 cotton)
2 shuttles, 13 seed beads, plus 8 seed beads and a larger bead for bottom dangle
split ring finding.
A plastic ring, I used the plastic ring from the Oral B tooth brush! But any small plastic ring will do although you may have to adjust the stitches to cover it.


CR centre ring
Cl close
R ring
+ join
P picot
+ B add bead to picot before joining
VLP long picot
seta a first half of p
B Bead
seta b second half of p
Roch Ring on chain
Wsh 1 shuttle one
Wsh 2 shuttle two

6 beads Wsh 1 one plus split ring finding, 7 beads Wsh 2

Using both shuttles cover ring (wsh 2 at this stage is the ball) 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 this should cover the ring when completing all the way round the ring start with 1 SR continue as follows:

1 SR: 2 B 2 / 2 – 2
Wsh 2: Ch 4 B 3
2 R: 3 + B 3 + CR 3 – 3
Ch: 5 B 3
3 R: 4 + B 4 + CR 4 – 4
Ch: 3 seta a, 3 seta b (3 times)
4 Roch: 3 VLP slip seed beads + large bead + seed beads take bead from core thread move into ring and attach VLP to other side 3 Cl R
Ch: 3 seta b, 3 seta a (3 times)
5 R: 4 + B 4+ CR (as R3) 4 – 4
Ch: 3 B 5
6 R: 3 + B 3+ CR 3 – 3
Ch: 3 B 4
7 R: 2 + B 2+ CR 2 B 2
Ch: 5 B from core thread (3 times) 3 - 2 + with shuttle thread to remaining p of CR
8 R: wsh 1 2 + Ch 6 split ring finding 6 - 2 Cl take wsh 2 and shuttle join to CR
Ch: 2 + R8 3 B from core thread 5 B (twice) 5 attach to SR cut and tie


  1. Hey great way to recycle! I love your design.

  2. They are great - but what pattern link?

  3. Well I'm trying to sort out the pattern link at the moment but can't quite get it set up - soon be up and running!! I hope

  4. Hi Sally, The earrings are Lovely!!! How creative you are. And recycling those little rings is a super idea. Who ever would have thought those little rings could be so beautiful when recycled.

  5. Love those earring and just today I saw one of those little rings on the floor and thought, What is that? then realized it was from my electric toothbrush. My second thought was, shame it's too small to tat over.
    How wrong I was. These are lovely thanks for sharing.

  6. i share your sentiments about saving some of the strangest 'scrape'... and my hubby often says i'm a junk collector! well, we know how useful these junk can be LOL.

    love those earrings. i'll certain give your pattern a try when i have the chance to start on tatting some earrings. thanks for sharing this, Sally. :)

  7. Lovely earrings! And a great idea to save the scrapes!

  8. Sally, well done! I have an Oral B Toothbrush so I know what rings you are talking about, but these end up being rather expensive rings, don't you think? LOL!

    Other than that, they are the perfect size and your earrings are probably some of the loveliest earrings I've seen that involve a plastic ring!

  9. Oh Sally, these are lovely! I'll have to find some small rings and make these for sure!

    Good for you!

  10. Well done. I knew you could do it!!!! They just get prettier.

  11. Whoooo! now I can show what you gave me, I knew you could do it. They are lovely, must go and inspect me never used electric toothbrush....and Oh! do I know what you mean about hoarding bits for my Brownie pack...just trying to stop the habit and declutter!!

  12. As everyone knows, I don't wear earrings; but after reading of the idea on someone's blog recently, I think I will make your toothbrush pattern and turn it into a bookmark! The medallion is really pretty, with the beads. John uses an electric tooth brush, I must have a look at the packaging to see if it's Oral B!
    Congratulations on writing down the pattern,it's a double sense of accomplishment I should think!

  13. Terrific! Thanks for sharing this lovely pattern. All the earrings are so pretty!
    Fox : ))

  14. The earrings are lovely, but I would have to substitute another kind of ring. About what size are those Oral B rings?

  15. Wow thanks for all the lovely comments - Connie what a coincedence finding a toothbrush ring on the floor

    Val please don't stop collecting junk!

    Tatskool - I don't think you will succeed in de-cluttering once you've got the bug - thats it!!!!

    Well Tattingchic I'm now asking everyone I know if they use an Oral B toothbrush and if they do can they please save the rings?!! Do you know it seems so personal asking this question!

    Ah thats a good idea Maureen

    Martha the rings are nearly 1/2 inch almost the same size as the small plastic rings, what makes them look smaller is the fact that they are thinner so it makes the work look dainty.

  16. This is too cool... and by the way...

    Congratulations, you've won the 6th choice prize on my blog giveaway!

  17. Hi Sally,

    These earrings are - as the kids say - Way Cool! Thanks for sharing the pattern! I'm very lagging in experience tatting with beads and covering rings, but I've bought some rings to practice with. Are the toothbrush rings similar to the stitch marker rings in knitting?

  18. Hello Kathy - Sorry I can't tell you if the toothbrush rings are the same as the stitch marker rings in knitting although I have just googled them and it would appear that they are fatter! The toothbrush rings are quite fine. Adding beads to tatting just widdens the horizons - only you end up with so many beads to spill!!!!

  19. Your earrings are wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing with us your work.

  20. A lovely pair of earrings with a fun name and eco too! Many thanks for sharing. I just linked on my blog!

  21. WOW What a magnificent idea and the earrings are gorgeous...thanks for sharing your lovely pattern.....I am so pleased that I found your blog
    Joy in OZ


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