How to Make a Sailboat Out of a Plastic Bottle

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Spend an afternoon making a sailboat out of a plastic bottle, producing a toy that can be used over and over again. It is a way to recycle old plastic bottles, and can provide a fun experience for children of all ages. These boats can be sailed in any water source, from the bathtub to a local brook.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bottle
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Paint
  • 1/4-inch diameter wooden dowels
  • Hot glue
  • Lightweight fabric

Select the type of boat you would like to make based on the type of plastic bottle you have. For example, a soda bottle would make a long, thin boat, whereas a gallon milk jug could make either a flat, squared boat or a long, pointed-bottom boat.

Cut the bottle, being careful to avoid sharp edges. For soda bottles, cut the bottle in half lengthwise. For gallon jugs, cut around the bottle about 2 inches up from the bottom. If the edges seem too sharp, dull them with sandpaper.

Cut a wooden dowel so that it is a few inches taller than the depth of the boat. Glue the dowel upright in the center of the boat. Glue either a second dowel or a thin wooden craft stick perpendicular to the first dowel, about 3 inches down from the top.

Cut a piece of lightweight fabric to fit the new mast you have just created. Glue the sail along both pieces of the mast. The sail can be any shape you want, whether a triangle, square or other shape.

Decorate your boat with paint, markers or other decorations. Be careful not to glue anything to the outside of the boat, as it could either wash off in the water, or affect the way the boat sails.

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