Picture of Balancing Bottle Bird

A young Ibis perching on a parrot bracket shakes his head and turns away, starts nodding and turns back. It's not David Attenborough, but still nice to look at. Inspired by a wind chime I saw on a fair trade market. I had to try to make something alike from waste material. So I tried my way with recycling plastic bottles.

The trick is that the head hangs on a scale and is held up by a counter weight. With each breeze the bird turns, nods its head shakes its head. Its fun!

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Step 1: What is needed

Picture of What is needed
  • Two black bottles
  • One yellow bottle
  • a piece of broomstick
  • a garden stick
  • string
  • green garden wire
  • a small photo-film container ( or detergent bottle cap)
  • melting beads (perler beads)
  • tie wraps ( if possible black and yellow)

and some tools:

  • a pair of scissors
  • hobby knife
  • needle
  • revolver rod
  • small hacksaw
  • drill
  • pliers

Step 2: Cutting the head

Picture of Cutting the head

Starting with a hacksaw remove the handle and part of the body of the bottle. Cut the handle open on the inside. Punch holes in both sides of the head and pull them together with a tie wrap. This is how I started, but you will see in step 7 that I changed the appearance of the head. So if you want to copy me, look ahead.

Step 3: The body

Picture of The body

The second bottle is the base for the body, tail and wings. You can first draw a shape on the plastic with a normal pencil. I used a white color pencil to let it show more on the picture. You can start with the hacksaw again, but almost everything can be cut with scissors. Shape the rim of the wings into feather by taking out triangles.

JulieD810 days ago

What a neat looking bird. I am not real artistic, but I am going to give this a try. I love to find new things to put out in my garden and cheap or free works for me!

Ruud van Koningsbrugge (author)  JulieD810 days ago

Do your best! Lately I made one extra adjustment: A hole in the tail where the string with the weight goes trough. It prevents the string getting caught up in the branches around.

Moscito9 months ago
What a cool idea and brilliant artwork. I am deeply impressed.
Ruud van Koningsbrugge (author)  Moscito9 months ago
I don't think it's healthy for a moscito ( mosquito) to be deeply impressed, but thanks!
bing2garcia11 months ago

Awesome! Thanks so much for the environmentally-friendly share!

emilygraceking11 months ago

Wow, what a cool idea to reuse some old bottles. Very inventive!

samalert11 months ago

Super ! this is so awesome !

wobbler11 months ago


seamster11 months ago

Love it. Excellent use of a couple of old plastic bottles!

gravityisweak11 months ago

Wow, that's impressive! I love the form. You have excellent visualization skills. The legs look very natural and organic the way you used the angle.

jmdushi11 months ago
beautiful and cute. A whole family in the garden would be perfect. Time for collecting bottles.
AngryRedhead11 months ago

Very, very cool!

Mr_Liss11 months ago

Brilliant! I love it.