#2 Toothbrush Bracelets
Project maker: Tori
Project link: hsmag.cc/natHmj
Tori has found another crafty use for the toothbrush handle by moulding them into bracelets. To replicate her build, you’ll need to make sure you use toothbrushes with plastic handles. Start by plucking out the bristles. Tori suggests you can ease the process by sticking the bristles in hot water to loosen their holes. After removing the bristles, carefully submerge the entire toothbrushe in a boiling pot of water for about three to five minutes. Use pliers to remove the toothbrushes from the boiling water, and place them in hand towels.
Now, pick the softened toothbrushes with the hand towel, and bend them into the shape of a bracelet. When you’re done, place them into a bowl of cold water for about five minutes, until they harden once again. If you’re not satisfied with the shape, you can place the bracelets in the pot of hot water, and reshape them once they are malleable again.
#3 Stacked Hanger
Project maker: Shipra
Project link: hsmag.cc/WHhotR
Even when the business end of a toothbrush (i.e. the bristles) are worn out, you still have a sturdy handle that hasn’t lost its usability. That’s exactly what went through Shipra’s mind when she decided to craft a stacked hanger using old toothbrushes. She neatly clipped away all the bristles, and then used hot glue to tightly wrap a piece of jute string around three toothbrushes. She then took two lengths of the jute string, and made a loop in the middle that would be used to dangle the hanger.
Next up, she attached the toothbrushes to the string on both sides of the loop, using a combination of knots and hot glue to hold them in place. Watch the video for a visual guide to create the knots and stack the toothbrushes. Snip any remaining string at the end. When you’re done, use the top loop to hang the stacked hanger
Project maker: Lenore Edman
Project link: hsmag.cc/wgwYjw
ibrobots are a simple class of robots that are driven by a vibrating motor. They are easy to build, and very popular because of their simplicity. Designed by the makers at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, the BristleBot is a type of vibrobot that uses the bristle-end of a toothbrush. “BristleBots are inspired by the seeds at the end of a stalk of grass which, if you squeeze them gently, will push through your hands in one direction, but won’t move backwards,” shares Lenore. The team looked through all kinds of brushes and brooms that would show off that kind of directional motion: “Eventually, we found the right thing in modern toothbrushes, which were starting to experiment with pointing the bristles in a variety of directions.
From there, it was easy to put a vibrating motor and a battery on top.” The BristleBot was an instant success: “At the 2008 Bay Area Maker Faire, we had a table for BristleBot building. We wrote out a set of instructions, set out materials and tools, and put out a tin with a slit in the lid and a label suggesting a $2 donation for materials. We lined the edges of the table with empty IC tubes, to provide a barrier to keep bots from zooming off the table. There was often a crowd around the table, and there were usually several BristleBots buzzing around.