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How to Make a Clear Plastic Tube

Updated February 17, 2017

Clear plastic tubes are used in a variety of projects. They are particularly useful when preparing a science fair project or when making crafts like ornaments or school supplies. A large plastic tube can be decorated and sealed off at one end to create a pencil cup. A smaller tube might be used to move liquids from one beaker to another for a science project. A clear plastic tube is not difficult to make and can be part of fun family projects.

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  1. Coat the bottle's label in cooking oil and let sit for 24 hours.

  2. Peel off label. If the label does not peel off easily, repeat step one.

  3. If the bottle remains sticky once the label is removed, coat the sticky area with cooking oil and let sit overnight.

  4. Wipe off leftover glue and label remnants and wash bottle in soap and water to remove oil.

  5. Use scissors or box cutter to cut the top and bottom off of the plastic bottle to create a clear plastic tube.

  6. If you need a narrower tube, cut through the length of the bottle.

  7. Trim away excess plastic and roll the rest into the tube size that you would like.

  8. Hold edges together and heat with heat gun. This will melt the plastic edges together, securing the tube.

  9. Tip

    If you need to make a tube longer than a water bottle, you can make multiple tubes by following the above steps and then use the heat gun to fasten them together. If you do not own a heat gun, you can also secure edges and tubes with tape or glue.

    Warning

    Heat guns get very hot, so use with caution. If you are doing this project with children, it is best for the adult to perform this step. Box cutters are very sharp. If you are doing this project with children, it is best to use scissors and closely supervise the child or have an adult cut the plastic.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clear plastic water or soda bottle
  • Cooking oil
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Heat gun

About the Author

Based in Portland, Ore., Miranda Sinclair has been writing professionally since 2009. She holds a B.A. in English and theater from the University of Oregon, as well as an M.A. in English and certificate in teaching college composition from San Francisco State University. Sinclair works as a tutor and teacher of writing.

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