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How to make boats out of plastic bottles

Updated February 21, 2017

Plastic bottle boats are a fun and easy craft project for children. After the initial process of making the boat, children have the opportunity to use their own creativity to decorate the water craft. Once the construction process is complete, the boats can be sailed in the bathtub or in a small pond. The activity can also be turned into a lesson about recycling and reusing something that might otherwise have been thrown in the trash.

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  1. Remove the label from the 2-liter bottle. Rinse out the bottle completely and allow to dry for several hours.

  2. Lay the bottle on its side. Draw an oval shape with a marker, starting just below the neck and down to about one to two inches above the base of the bottle. Draw the oval on the top side of the bottle, and make it 3 to 4 inches wide.

  3. Poke a hole in the bottle along the oval shape with a pair of scissors or a knife. Cut the entire oval out and be careful not to make the hole too big, causing the boat to sink. Remove the oval from the bottle. Tighten the cap of the bottle.

  4. Repeat the steps to attach a second bottle, if needed. Draw and cut an oval of similar size and shape in the second bottle. Place the second bottle next to the first and attach the two bottles together by winding electrical or masking tape around the front and back of the boats.

  5. Add a small lump of Plasticine or modelling clay to the bottom of the boat. Press the clay into the front tip, which will help stabilise the boat, and prevent it from rolling over.

  6. Decorate the exterior of the boat with stickers or colour it with markers. Wait for the markers to dry before putting the boat in the water.

  7. Warning

    Adults should supervise children during the cutting steps.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 or 2 plastic 2-liter bottles
  • Markers
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Electrical tape
  • Plasticine or modelling clay

About the Author

Kelly Gray
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