Each year Americans toss out roughly 28 billion bottles and jars, according to the EPA that is. Why not try these ways to reuse plastic water bottles, turning old used plastic into art and craft projects? Instead of tossing your water bottles, try one (or all) of these recycled crafts with your kids. Tie these reuse craft activities to a theme, holiday or go with an eco-friendly Earth Day focus.
5 Ways To Reuse Plastic Water Bottles For Kid’s Art and Craft Projects
Plastic Bottle Puppet Pet Craft
You can also reuse plastic water bottles by turning the bottle over and decorate the outside to create a puppet bunny, frog cat, dog or anything else your little one can dream up. Use card stock paper (the thicker weight stands up better than construction paper) to make the animal out of. Add in a bonus geometry lesson and have your child cut out shapes to make her animal. For example, a circle with two ovals on top is a bunny or a circle with two triangles is a cat. Draw a face on the animal and glue it to the bottle. Drip a few drops of glue into the bottom of the bottle, and toss a bouncy-ball sized piece of modeling clay onto the glue. Use a craft stick or wooden dowel to move the clay into place. Press the stick into the clay to create a handle.
Plastic Bottle Plaster Sculpture Artwork
This plastic water bottle reuse is totally process oriented. The bottle simply serves as a skeleton to hold the plaster in place. Cover the outside of the bottle with plaster strips. You can buy a roll of dry strips at the craft store. Wet the strips and cover the whole thing – like you’re making a cast. While the plaster is still dripping wet, add some color. Press pieces of bright or bold non-colorfast tissue paper onto the plaster. Don’t use non-bleeding paper, or it won’t work. Also, this is a messy activity. You and your child will get color from the tissue on your hands. I ended up wearing plastic gloves – which I never, ever do when I’m making art. When you pull the tissue off, you’ll have a patterned paint-like look left behind.
Plastic Bottle Building Blocks
This plastic water bottle reuse is more architecture than crafty art. It also doesn’t have to stay as a permanent fixture, and doesn’t have to look like “something.” After you rinse and dry your water bottles (completely dry them for every project), get the kiddos to start stacking. Use four or five bottles for a basic wall, or take an empty case and create a castle. Your kids can stack the bottles, knock them down and build again. This also lays a foundation or understanding form vs. function. Ask your child if the water bottle shape allows her to build the house, apartments or skyscraper that she sees in her mind. If you want to make her creation permanent, attach the bottles with duct tape. Pic a pretty color (duct tape comes in every hue and pattern imaginable. Really. Last week I saw macaroni and cheese print duct tape. Plastic bottles can be free building blocks that can build whatever you can imagine.
Plastic Bottle Clay Pot
Making an actual pot or cup structure out of clay isn’t always easy for little hands. Reuse a plastic water bottle (that you cut in half) as a base for a clay pot. Your child can roll pieces of modeling clay to make “worms” or snakes.” Roll a few different colors together for a marbleized look. Paint clear drying school glue on the outside of a dry bottle half (dryness is key to making the clay stick) with a thick brush. Press the clay worms and snakes onto the bottle in rows, starting at the bottom and working upwards.
Plastic Bottle Flower Craft
Reuse a plastic water bottle to make a single flower or have your child craft a garden of water bottle plants. Cut a piece of green tissue paper to fit the height and circumference of the bottle, leaving extra room at the edges. Brush a layer of glue over the paper. Roll the paper around the bottle, tucking the bottom edges under it. Layer four or five pieces of differently colored tissue paper in a stack. Have your child draw a “flower petal” shape. Basically, she can make an uneven oval. Cut the tissue paper out. Help your child to cut a slit in the center that goes all of the way through the layers. Press the top of the water bottle through the slits, fluff the petals and add another piece of tissue to cover the cap.
Which is your favorite craft to reuse plastic water bottles? Let us know if you have plastic bottle reuse craft ideas too. We’d love to hear them in the comments section!