Many people think that plastic bottles can be recycled indefinitely. In fact, this is only partly true. Plastic can be recycled about six or seven times; after that, it has to be mixed with virgin material, thereby lengthening the time that recycling can continue. But what if we would like to recycle creatively and spend some pleasant time with friends, for example? What can we design with plastic bottles? Here is a list of ideas that could enlighten our imaginations and help to decorate your home for holidays.
You must get some bottles, possibly green in color (or you can spray paint the bottles with green, if you want a pastel effect). First remove the caps and labels, and then split the bottles by cutting them in half and then cut the plastic at the neck of each bottle so as to obtain small strips (to be flattened with your hands) which will act as branches. The other half bottles that we will cut later will have to be gradually shortened. By cutting lengthwise the body of a bottle we obtain a rectangle of plastic that we are going to roll into a cylinder, which will become the trunk of our tree. The trunk will be fixed on a base and on it we will insert the various bottlenecks fitted with the prepared branches.
As a finishing touch, you can adorn your tree with bows or small decorations, securing them with hot glue. This tree is perfect to be placed on a small table next to the sofa or in a cabinet at the entrance of your home; it brightens the environment by helping to bring into your home the magic atmosphere of a creative Christmas.
What to do with empty jars of yogurt? Try making a hole in the bottom so that you can enter a string of lights. To create a flower effect and make lanterns you can crop more cans in order to obtain many petal-shaped tabs, which you can paste with a drop of glue on the edges. Remember to use LED lights or other low-consumption bulbs, so that the plastic does not run the risk of burning. Draw a zigzag line, then cut along the line. Remember that by using colored bottles you get different color effects, and you amplify the electric light.
Cut the bottom of the plastic bottle as suggested: with this part you can make a lotus flower, to use as a centerpiece or a bright, creative decoration.
You can layer two pieces of different sizes, cut zigzag, or create a lotus flower of recycled plastic by inserting at the back a strip of plastic cut in the same way. Insert in each a candle and you’re done, your basic flower is ready. Fill a bowl with water and you have the lotus flowers on the surface, along with some scented garland: the perfect centerpiece for a dinner rich in atmosphere.
What to do with the upper part of the bottle? Do not throw it away! Cut out a series of holes of different sizes: it will help you to achieve a bright decor with a captivating chiaroscuro effect.
Taking great care, we cut the plastic bottles about 10 cm from the bottom, so as to divide them into two parts. Take half a bottle from the bottom half and begin to make cuts creating strips that remain still attached to the bottom. We cut out from each strip the shape of a petal, but only on the side opposite to the bottom of the bottle, in such a way that the petals remain attached to the bottom itself.
With a candle or a lighter we heat the edges of each petal, trying to bend outwards, taking care to keep the plastic hot, but not by touching the petals with the flame of the candle, which otherwise could blacken the plastic. We create with this procedure several pieces, perhaps using bottles of diverse types of plastic to create the play of colors.
You can create a bunch of them and place them on the center of a table: the effect will be very interesting.
Wash the bottle and if possible remove the label. To make the perches, use a drawing pin to punch 2 holes opposite each other near the bottom of the bottle and cut small holes with scissors. Insert a stick so that it passes through one hole, through the bottle, and out the other side. Repeat this to make the other perch just above the first (see diagram). Now you’re ready to make the feeding holes. Use a drawing pin and scissors to make a small hole about 4cm above each perch (about ¾cm wide). Keep in mind that the seeds will just fall out if the holes are too big. To make the hanger, poke a hole in one side of the bottle neck and then the other. Thread the string through the holes in the bottle neck and tie them together at the ends. To do at home: remove the cap and fill the feeder with sunflower seeds or mixed seeds. (A small household funnel will make this easier to do.) Screw the cap back on and hang the feeder from a tree branch or hook outside. Keep clean and replenished! The birds will be thankful for your support!
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