You can turn an empty water bottle into a range of different items. Simple projects include maracas, noisemakers and other basic instruments made from plastic bottles. More advanced projects include beads made from strips of plastic cut from a water bottle, water bottle purses and containers and woven plastic water bottle vases. Tools and materials you may find useful include sharp scissors, a hobby knife, pliers, a crafter's heat gun, hot glue and permanent markers.
Maracas, Noisemakers and Drums
You can make simple percussion instruments from water bottles. A small bottle with grooved sides can be used as a scraper: just run a stick or pencil across the grooves. Large water-cooler sized bottles can make good drums. Fill bottles with dried beans and decorate them with masking tape and paints for maracas. Alternatively, fill a transparent bottle with colorful plastic beads. Decorate with permanent markers and tie ribbons around the neck.
Ocean in a Bottle
Make an ocean toy from a transparent water bottle. Fill halfway with water. Add a little blue and green food coloring. Add one or two small floating toys: fish, boats or sea creatures. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with clear mineral oil -- a funnel will be helpful here. Seal the lid with glue or tape. Turn the bottle on its side and shake it to make waves in the ocean.
Water Bottle Vase
Cut the top off a plastic water bottle around the shoulders. Cut slits down the sides, from the edge to about halfway down the bottle, making strips of equal widths that are attached at the base. Fold each strip over at a 45-degree angle, weaving it under the adjacent strip. Continue until you have woven a pattern all around the edge of the vase. Trim the strips. Decorate your vase with permanent markers.
Water Bottle Purse
Cut the bases from two water bottles. Attach them together with a fabric or duct tape "hinge" stuck or sewn inside both bases. Sew or hot glue one side of a colorful fabric zipper around the inside of one bottle base, and the other side of the zipper around the inside of the other base.
Recycled Water Bottle Beads
Cut strips from plastic water bottles, a half-inch or one inch wide and three or four inches long. Color the strips with permanent markers. Wind a strip around one jaw of your pliers, gently closing the pliers to hold it in place. Heat with the heat gun until it melts a little. Allow to cool, then remove the bead from the pliers.
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