How to Make a Water Bottle

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Make a Water Bottle
Make a Water Bottle (Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/snapr/484776493/)

Water is an everyday essential needed for basic bodily functions. Traditionally, one of the basic elements carried by pioneers and pilgrims of the past were homemade leather water bottles. These are the most efficient water bottles you can make at home yourself that require no manufacturing of plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Awl
  • Needle
  • Waxed linen thread
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Wooden dowel
  • Beeswax
  • Pine pitch
  • Pot
  • Stovetop
  • Funnel
  • Heat source
  • Wooden stopper

Draw a bottle in a teardrop shape with a square end onto the leather. The square top of the teardrop-shaped bottle will be the mouth of the bottle.

Cut out the teardrop bottle shape and use it as a stencil to cut out an exact replica of it so that you have two bottle forms.

Use an awl to punch holes around the outline of the form of the two pieces of leather, which will serve as a guide for sewing.

Thread your needle and tie a knot in the thread to hold it in place when you begin sewing.

Begin sewing the two pieces of leather together, starting at one of the corners of the square mouth of the teardrop. Tie off your thread when have sewed through each hole you created with the awl.

Soak the leather overnight in a bucket of water, which softens the leather and helps it begin to conform to shape.

Fill the leather bottle with sand and use a wooden dowel to pack the sand, pushing the sand to mold the bottle outwards into the shape you want.

Continue pounding the sand until you have the bottle molded into the desired shape. Allow the sand to sit in the bottle for a week to set the shape of the leather and allow it to dry completely.

Dump the sand out of the bottle after a week, taking care not to deform or squeeze the bottle. Use the dowel to loosen and remove any stuck sand from the inside of the bottle.

Create a mixture of half beeswax and half pine pitch, enough to pour fill your leather bottle half full. Heat the beeswax and pine pitch in a small pot atop the stove to make it liquid for pouring.

Use a funnel to pour the mixture into your bottle;the mixture will be hot. Fill the bottle until it is half full, and then slosh the mixture around the inside of the bottle so that it coats all of the inner surfaces of it.

Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes, hen pour cool water inside the bottle atop the mixture. If water begins to seep through a place in the leather, then the leather needs more beeswax and pine pitch mixture added to it, in which case repeat Steps 10 and 11.

Pour the water out of the bottle, and hold the mouth of the bottle close to an open flame of a candle, lighter or other heat source, which will cause the pitch mixture to move deeply into the pores of the leather, providing a uniform mouthpiece.

Carve a wooden stopper or cork for the mouth of your leather bottle to close it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tie a leather rope around the neck of your bottle as a way to suspend your bottle.
  • Avoid squishing your bottle when it's emptied as it be become deformed and need to be re-pitched.

References

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