Making Plastic Bottle Animals

Written by ryn gargulinski
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Making Plastic Bottle Animals
Plastic bottle pig (Photo and plastic bottle pig by Ryn Gargulinski)

Recycling and going green is all the rage, so it's only apropos to make craft projects from plastic bottles. One fun project is to make animals out these highly recyclable items. You can use water bottles, 2-liter soda bottles, shampoo or conditioner bottles or any other disposable plastic container to hook up a whole zoo or farmyard of fun animals. Here's how.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic bottle
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Paint and paint pens

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose and prepare your bottle. Remove the bottle's label and rinse in warm, soapy water. Use a razor blade or GooGone to get rid of any adhesive from the label that will not budge. Rinse well and dry thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Decide on your animal. Since most plastic bottles are fairly cylindrical, such as a water bottle or 2-liter soda bottle, they work well for the body of most animals. The bottle will be the body of the animal, with the bottle top and lid acting as his nose. The cardboard will be used to cut out ears, feet, tails and other details. Pick an animal that would be best served by a plastic bottle body, which includes many. Good choices are a dog, cat, pig, cow, rat, alligator or javelina. Oddly shaped animals, such as starfish, just aren't going to work well with a plastic bottle.

  3. 3

    Cut out your cardboard details. Let's say you decided on a pig. The water bottle will serve as his body and you'll need to create the rest of his body parts from cardboard. Cut out two small circles for his ears, a curly-q for his tail and short, stocky rectangles for his four legs. Draw the shapes on the cardboard first to make sure they are accurate and leave little tabs on the ends of them where they will be glued to the bottle.

  4. 4

    Glue on the cardboard details. Bend the tabs you've left on the cardboard body parts so you can apply glue to the tabs and stick them on the bottle. Allow to dry.

  5. 5

    Paint. Spray paint is the easiest way to get an all-over base coat for your animal. Place the animal on newspapers or another protective surface and paint away. The pig will look good in a hearty pink. Once the paint is dry, use paint markers to add other details, such as the pig's two eyeballs, two dots on the bottle cap as his snout and a big, fat grin.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to paint your animal several colours with spray paint, allow the first colour to dry, protect areas that you don't want painted with painters tape, and then apply the second or subsequent colours.
  • You can make a bottle in the shape of a pig, but just make sure you don't write "Aunt Bertha" on it.

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