Introduction: "Green" Plastic Toys

Today's plastics require oil to make but with the recent surge in oil prices and the negative externalities that result from burning oil, make making plastics a costly action to the wallet and environment. Using all-natural materials that can be found in most homes, milk and vinegar, one can make their own mold-able plastic to fit any needs including making toys.

Fun fact: During World War II, the American army used the same plastic to make windows for their bombers.

Step 1: Get Materials

Get some stuff:

milk, vinegar, a strainer, a heat-safe container, a mold and food coloring

Step 2: Prepare the Milk

Pour milk into a container and add some food coloring for some fun.

[edit] Forgot to say:
Heat up the milk but not hot enough for it to boil. I just put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes but you can do anything in terms of heating it up

Step 3: Make the Plastic

Add the vinegar to the milk and stir it to get the most out of the reaction. I used a fork to stir it.

Step 4: Strain It

Strain the solution to separate plastic from the remaining water, vinegar and milk

Step 5: Pat It Dry

Put the plastic onto a paper towel and pat it dry with some more towels to get rid off some more of excess water

Step 6: Get Mold

A mold :)

Step 7: Place Into Mold

Put the plastic into the mold and let dry by itself for a couple days, or you could use something to help it dry like a hairdryer etc.


evacooper made it!(author)2015-04-23

doesnt that just make green cottage cheese? i have made cottage cheese by heating milk and adding vinegar...

TatangTerry made it!(author)2015-02-15

No mention of the measurement of each ingredient. What is the percentage of milk and vinegar in the solution? What is the lifespan of the plastic before it degrades?

mountcarlo made it!(author)2013-08-13

Nice tutorials and thanks for sharing, According to above tutorials its' very easy to create and plastic toy.. but Question is plastic is manufacturing from polymer Does it's produce harmful effect to small baby or not...
"plastic soldiers"

chicopluma made it!(author)2011-01-24

does it rot or start to stink with the time ?

zjharva made it!(author)2008-06-08

Nice instructable though! Its a good use of the milk and vinegar thing.I never knew you could use it as plastic!

slappingpenguins made it!(author)2008-06-08

Oh cool, I didn't know you could make glue out of it.

macrumpton made it!(author)2010-04-15

Milk has also been used for centuries to create paint for both paintings and for housepainting:
Milk paint

Patrik made it!(author)2008-06-08

Two more, for good measure:

Homemade Plastic
Make plastic out of milk

bytowneboy made it!(author)2008-06-08

This is a dried, unripened, cheese. Nothing is really polymerized... is it.


Is cheese a polymer?

*scraches head and walks away*

xenobiologista made it!(author)2008-07-16

Proteins are polymers (the monomers are amino acids) so, yes.

mimiu78 made it!(author)2009-02-25

but what's the main difference between protein polymers and plastic polymers?

Eye+Poker made it!(author)2008-06-09

Borrowed from

Sci-Tech Encyclopedia: Casein
The principal protein fraction of cows' milk. It accounts for about 80% of the protein content and is present in concentrations of 2.5–3.2%. Casein is a mixed complex of phosphoproteins existing in milk as colloidally dispersed micelles 50 to 600 nanometers in diameter. Caseins can be separated from the whey proteins of cows' milk by gel filtration, high-speed centrifugation, salting-out with appropriate concentrations of neutral salts, acid precipitation at pH 4.3–4.6, and coagulation with rennet (or other proteolytic enzymes), and as a coprecipitate with whey proteins. The first three methods yield preparations in essentially their native micellar state, but are impractical for commercial exploitation. Thus, commercial caseins are produced by methods more amenable to industrial practices. See also Micelle.

The early production of casein isolates was stimulated by their application in industrial products such as paper, glue, paint, and plastics. These applications have been replaced by petroleum-based polymers. Thus the emphasis has shifted to their utilization in food systems, where they add enhanced nutritional and functional characteristics. They are widely used in the formulation of comminuted meat products, coffee whitener, processed cereal products, bakery products, and cheese analogs. See also Cheese; Food manufacturing; Milk.

bytowneboy made it!(author)2008-06-09

Sweet! Thanks.

starberry_lov3r made it!(author)2008-12-09

and I have a question does it biodegrade?

mimiu78 made it!(author)2009-02-25

yes it does. :)

starberry_lov3r made it!(author)2008-12-09

how come when I did it it became rotten milk later on and stink up the place...

Deltaforce2555 made it!(author)2008-06-08

What exactly is the plastic, I don't know much about chemistry but I wanna say its vinegars reaction with calcium?

slappingpenguins made it!(author)2008-06-08

The plastic is casein. And there is not much chemical reaction taking place, but rather the heat and the acetic acid in the vinegar denature the proteins in the milk and cause it to percipitate.

xenobiologista made it!(author)2008-07-16

Try lining the sieve with a cheesecloth or a thin rag at step 4, you'll probably recover more solids.

mweston made it!(author)2008-06-09

Cool, that could probably be useful for something other than a toy mold thingy.

zany+artist made it!(author)2008-06-09

Very cool!

austin made it!(author)2008-06-08

this brings back memories I did this for the science fair back in 2nd grade.

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