How to Make an Airplane From a Plastic Bottle

Written by ryn gargulinski
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You don’t need a fancy model kit or even knowledge of aerodynamics to make an aeroplane. Heck, you can even make an aeroplane out of a plastic bottle. The plane can be of any size you choose and looks especially dashing hanging blithely from a ceiling or tree. A few supplies will have you flying high when you make an aeroplane out of a plastic bottle.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Plastic bottle with lid
  • Snips
  • Sheet metal strips (optional)
  • Hammer and thick nail to poke holes
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Hat pin or thick straight pin
  • Glue
  • Bottle caps or round objects for wheels

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Rinse and thoroughly wash your plastic bottle with warm soapy water and allow to dry. Your bottle can range from the average size water bottle to a 2 litre soda bottle, depending on how large you want your plane to be.

  2. 2

    Cut the bottle to create the aeroplane’s pieces. Use snips to cut the bottom half of the bottle away from the top half. Cut the very bottom rounded end of the bottle off. You should be left with three pieces: the top half of the plastic bottle, the bottom end of the bottle and the strip of plastic that went in the middle of those two pieces.

  3. 3

    Make the propeller. Slice triangular pieces out of the bottom end of the bottle, as if you were creating spokes on a wheel. The larger part of the triangle should be on the outside of the round piece, with the smaller angles reaching towards the middle. Stick a pin through the centre of your wheel spokes and into the pencil’s eraser. Poke a hole through the bottle’s lid, large enough to push the pencil through but not so large the pencil flops about. For added measure, dab a little glue around the lid’s opening to keep the pencil securely in place. You can forego the pencil and secure the propeller with a thin strip of sheet metal stuck through the hole.

  4. 4

    Create the wings. Use the remaining strip of plastic to make your aeroplane’s wings. Slice a small section from the middle of the plastic loop you’ve created and set it aside. Lay the remaining plastic flat. Cut two small notches in the middle of the plastic strip so your wings are separated but still connected with a thin strip of plastic in the middle. Dab some glue on the centre strip and secure to the top of your aeroplane’s body.

  5. 5

    Give it a tail. Using the small section of plastic you have left over from the wings, cut a triangular shape, adding a notch so you can fit it into the bottom of the aeroplane’s body. Glue in place, with the most angular part of the triangle facing upwards.

  6. 6

    Fashion your wheels. Use bottle caps, metal or plastic washers or any other miscellaneous round objects. Search the garage or a hardware store to find something that has the perfect size for the size bottle you chose. Glue one wheel on each side of the plane’s body, somewhat near the front so your plane tilts towards its tail in a sitting position.

  7. 7

    Adorn and paint as desired. Leave your aeroplane au natural or paint it brilliant colours with regular acrylic paint or a can of spray paint. Draw designs, windows or an airline logo on the clear plastic using permanent or paint markers. Gluing gems, patches, debris or photos to your plane is another option. Decorate to your heart’s content.

  8. 8

    Hang it up. Poke a hole through the top of the plane’s body or wrap the cord or wire around it for hanging. If you poked a hole, string a cord or thread through. Knot or secure the end of the string inside the aeroplane and hang it somewhere around the house or yard.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to remove the label from a plastic bottle and it won’t come off easily by pulling it off, soak the bottle in hot, soapy water overnight and the label should peel off in the morning.
  • If you are still having trouble removing the label glue, use a product like Goo Gone, sold at hardware stores, craft stores, pharmacies and even supermarkets. That should whisk the glue right off.
  • Don’t hang your plane so low that people constantly bonk their heads on it and it falls down or makes the people mad. Folks may smash your plane in disgust if they hit their heads once too many times. Then you will cry.

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