Suggestions for 2 liter bottles

ohiovalleygardener(5/6)July 4, 2010

Iknow I can use 2 liter bottles for winter sowing and for terreriums. I seem to remember someplace seeing butterflies or bugs or something cut out of them. Anyone have suggestions for making something artistic and gardenlike from these things? We go through lots of them and I could never ws that much stuff. Thanks all and Happy 4th. Vicci

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I've been wanting to make a fence out of them. You can also make a greenhouse out of them.
If you cut them a certain way, you could make flowers out of them, with the bottle opening as the center of the flower and the petals radiating out.
You could also make goofy critters out of them somehow. I'm working on collecting bottles to make a giraffe. The link is for someone that used detergent bottles and caps to make a critter.
Best of luck! Post what you decide on so we can see :o)

Here is a link that might be useful: Bottle critter

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:22PM
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Is that cute, tbledsaw! Be sure to post a picture of your bottle critter when it's done.

I really liked the butterflies made out of plastic bottles. Other than that, I can't think of anything very attractive that can be made out of them. I have seen the bottoms of the smaller plastic bottles cut off and hung like a mobile. They end up looking like flowers. I can't remember if the bigger 2 liter bottles have the same flower-looking bottom.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:21PM
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I looked up some ideas for you/me :o)

Idea # 1

Idea # 2

Idea # 3

Idea # 4

Have fun :o)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:39PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I did a search at Instructables for plastic bottle.
Here is the link to what came up.
The very beautiful butterflies were an instructable you could get them quickly by searching the I site for plastic butterfly probably.

Here is a link that might be useful: Instructables with Plastic Bottles

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:22AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I got dh and I a soda maker for Christmas this year. I highly recommend them. No more lugging big plastic bottles for me. or recycling them. However we drink very little soda pop - we love to mix soda water with juice. Its great to make soda water when ever I need it.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:37AM
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I like this idea from FamilyFun. I think I'll modify it to make "layers", so there are more petals. And use more colors so they can be used in the garden instead of a bicycle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spinners

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 2:23PM
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For the 2 liter bottles harps google
and it will give you the instructions for the wind harp.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 3:28PM
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nursemaid4(P’cola, FL)

I don't remember where I got these instructions, but I have 3 versions saved. I hope it comes thru okay.

Bottle Butterflies!

step 1Materials
You really really need:

*Old plastic bottles (esp 1 liter ones...they have a bigger surface for more butterflies, but any bottle with straight sides will do)
*Push pins (thumbtacks)
*A piece of wood that you are able to push the thumbtacks into
*Acrylic paint
*Sandpaper (220 works best for me! :D)
*Polymer clay (browns and blacks mostly)
*Strong glue (I have used hot glue, but it doesn't seem to be strong enough. I suggest gorilla glue or some kind of epoxy)
*Sharp scissors or an exacto knife

You only sorta need:
*Clear spray varnish (preferably oil-based)
*Pearl Ex-which is a mica-based powder that makes the wings shimmer!
*Black wire
*Small black seed beads
*Gel acrylic medium (matte)
step 2Prepare the bottle
To prepare your bottle for being turned into a butterfly, first wash the label off. I do this by soaking it in my sink with some dish detergent, and then picking any bits off that don't come right off. If there is still a thin strip of gluey goo stuff, don't worry about it.

Cut around the top of the bottle to get the top off-all you want to use is the straight part of the bottle-no curves. Do the same to the bottom. As soon as you have a cylinder of plastic, cut down the side with the gluey goo to create a rectangle of plastic.

Now, you have to sand the plastic so that your paint will stick to it well. The side you will sand is the side that was on the outside of the bottle. I use 220 grit and sand in a circular motion until the bottle appears "frosted" or matte. You can also work to 400 grit, but I only use 220 because i want my bottle to be rougher, so that the paint sticks better.
step 3The set-up
Now you want to figure out what kind of butterfly you want to paint. I just google imaged pictures of butterflies to get ideas...there are some incredible tropical butterflies out there! I have also made local butterflies, such as monarchs, as well.

Once you get an idea of what kind of butterfly you want, print out some pictures of them. Then, cut out the outline of the butterflies, and trace them onto your plastic with a permanent marker, making sure that they are set up so that the tips of the wings are parallel to the top of the plastic, so that when you fold the wings, they wont be all funny! (see picture) To trace easily, weigh the ends of the plastic down with something heavy.

Now, you need to pin your plastic to your piece of wood. To do this, lay it down flat on the wood and push in pins wherever you can find space-but NOT inside or on the butterfly shapes! You want your plastic to lie fairly flat so don't hold back on those pins! :D (Good workout for your thumbs too)

step 4Painting the base layer
Now you will paint a base layer for your butterfly. If you have gel acrylic medium (matte), paint it on first. Your brushstrokes should always go from the center of the butterfly out towards the wings. Let this layer dry before moving on.

Base layer: You will want a base layer to block some light and make a better surface to paint on. I suggest using a light color of paint, because white is a colloid and will look more solid. If you know the color of the bottom of the butterfly's wings that you want to paint, go ahead and use that color. Again brush from center to wings, but stay inside the lines! Some practice will make you better at this.
Let your layer of paint dry before adding the next layer; I use a hair dryer set on LOW to speed this up because I tend to be an impatient artist. :D

Next layer: background
Look at the picture of your butterfly, and paint the butterfly on your plastic with that color. If your butterfly is 2 colors, like a monarch, paint it the lighter color (It's easier to paint over).
step 5Add the details
To really make your butterfly look good, you should add some details. Veins, in particular, really add to the finished effect. Use a very fine-tipped paintbrush for your veins, and either a lighter tint or a darker shade of the color of your background to make the veins. Since I'm doing whimsical butterflies for this example, I just put dots wherever I felt like it, but if you're painting a realistic butterfly, it's best to look at your picture as a guideline. Again, using a fine paintbrush will make your butterfly that much better!

While your masterpieces are drying, make your butterfly bodies:
Look at your picture, and form a body like the one in the pic. I use a toothpick to add details like lines to it, but that's optional, depending on how realistic you want the butterfly to look. To make antennae, cut short lengths of the black wire and stick them in the body. To add eyes, use black seed beads and press them into the clay. You can also make eyes out of the clay as well.
Fire your bodies; most polymer clays bake at 275 degrees F, but check the temp and bake time just to be sure.

step 6The last details
If you want your butterfly to shimmer like some real butterflies do, Use pearlex powder to add some sheen. Take a clean paintbrush and make it damp, and dip it into the powder. Then, in careful strokes, add some sheen to your butterfly.

When your butterfly is dry, cut out the outline with sharp scissors. Then, you need to spray them. I use oil-based enamel spray to make them shiny, but if you don't want shine, you can use matte spray. DO NOT SPRAY BODIES!!! Oil-based finishes and polymer clay react in such a way that the polymer clay just stays sticky and it's really annoying.

Anyways, when you get your butterflies sprayed, and they dry, you are ready for the last step: putting it all together. Use super glue or epoxy to glue the body too the area inside the wings. Ta Da!!! Lovely butterfly!
step 7Uses for your beautiful bottle butterflies
There are many uses for the lovely butterflies you have just created:
· glue a loop of wire onto the back and make an ornament or a gift wrap tag thing
*glue a push-pin onto the back and make it a wall decoration-just push it wherever you want
· glue a dowel with a sharpened end to the back-awesome plant stake!
· glue it onto painting (what I usually do) It adds a great 3-D, whimsical touch
· glue it onto a picture frame
· glue a suction cup onto the back-window decoration!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:56AM
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nursemaid4(P’cola, FL)

Well shoot, the pictures didn't post with the article.
If you want the instructions with pictures, email me and I will send it to you.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:00AM
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I made upside down planters with a few of them. It's hard to see the plants growing out the bottom in this photo, but you'll get the idea. I cut off the top and bottom, painted them in acrylics with a clear coat. Punched holes in the top to string them to hang, and planted them. I just harvested my first tomatoes from them.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:19AM
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wow, now those I like a bunch better than those ugly ones for the tomatoes growing upside down..
and to think of all those 2 liter bottles that I've tossed out..knowing full well there was a good use for them.

hmmmmm I wonder what they would think, over at the recycle center, if I nose dived into the pile of plastic.....

I don't think I'd do that but I for sure will be saving all the pop bottles from now on..
got to enlist a few family and friends to keep some for me, too.

thanks for that picture..and your backyard is awesome~~~

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:43AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Sugarshack you did a beautiful job painting your bottles. What are you growing out of them?
I did a double take when I saw your picture cuz we have green trim on our porch and the identical fence on the left with a garden along it, same distance from the porch, and even the neighbors white house next door. It was like seeing my yard but with someone elses garden! I just jumped up to take a pic to show you then I remembered that dh has a huge dropcloth hanging to protect the newly painted porch floor from the hot hot hot sun. I love your fancy porch door. We got a plain one cuz dh wanted to keep the back porch simple.
All looks very nice.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:28AM
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Concrete, I would love to see your yard and deck, how funny that it's just like mine ;)
From the planters I grew tomatoes, beans, peas, and a pepper.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:52AM
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