Introduction: How to Make a Tree Out of Plastic Bottles

My family and I have a really great connection with nature, but we couldn't always afford to live in a house with a garden and a yard, to keep the contact with it.

A few months after my daughter's birth, me and my wife went to an appointment and, in the office in front of the one we were heading to, was a "sculpture" that really caught my attention. I don't know who created it, but it sure is beautiful.

At the moment that I saw it, I couldn't say anything to my wife, because i had already idealized that as a gift to her, and I knew that she would love it.

So, a few days later, I went back to that place and took the photos so I could have an ideia of what and how to do it. And, there, the recepcionist told me that that tree was made out of PET bottles. I was amazed.

We were near Easter, so i decided to put my idea of gift in practice and merge the date to it, hiding the eggs in the base of the tree.

Unfortunantly I didn't remember to take the pictures of the beggining of the proccess. But I can explain it, it's very simple.

Step 1: Everything You'll Need!

  • White and green paint (reutilized);
  • Yellow, red and brown dyes;
  • 30 PET bottles (reutilized);
  • 3 rolls of transparent scotch tape;
  • A 350ml tube of contact glue;
  • 6 sheets of kraft paper;
  • Styrofoam (reutilized);
  • Wire (reutilized);
  • Dark woord Varnish (reutilized) (optional);
  • 2 pool noodles;
  • Cutting knife;
  • Toothpicks;
  • Soil (optional);

Step 2: Let's Get to It!

I didn't draw or plan anything on this project. I just let my imagination flow.

I started painting the walls. I wanted the room to look as one with the exterior environment. So i painted a first white layer so that the original paint of the room (light green) had a contrast with the tree. On top I then painted the dark green, so that it could replicate the foliage. This paint was done in several directions, this way I could get another contrast relative to the rest of the wall. Then I started creating the tree form with the pet bottles, styrofoam and scotch tape.

To get a greater thickness at some spots of the tree, I molded a few bottles and taped them with the scotch tape on the ones that were not crumpled.

Step 3: Kraft Paper

The next step was to begin to cover the bottles with the Kraft paper.

I laid the structure on the ground and started covering it. Used the scotch tape to connect the sheets once they ended.

Don't worry if the scotch tape is showing, because at the end, with the varnish, everything will become one color.

Step 4:

To make the arms I used the pool noodles, tootchpicks and wire, to give it some reigidity. When necessary I also used the contact glue and the scotch tape to join two pieces of the pool noodle, or to glue it to the wall.

Step 5:

The glue should be applied as follows:

The glue must be spread over the whole contact surface, ie when you're gluing the pool noodle to the wall, you have to apply the contact glue over the whole surface that will be in contact with the wall, and also over the surface of the wall that will be in contact with the pool noodle.

Let it dry for a few seconds (let's say ,around 15) and join both of them. If necessary insert the wire so it could get sturdier.

Step 6:

When I got closer to the ceiling, I realized that the contact glue would not stick to the pet bottle, since it is totally smooth. So i scratched it with a cutting knife, applied the glue, glued a piece of the pool noodle, and applied the glue again to stick it to the wall. It was also done this way to glue the tree to the floor.

Step 7:

A few more detailed photos of the last arm of the tree.

All the arms were reinforced with the wire through them.

Step 8:

As I said before, I wanted to merge the Easter theme to my project.

So I made a bunny little house in the base of the tree.

I added styrofoam, to give it streght, and also not to throw away the rest of what I found.

Step 9:

Almost done!

Starting to cover the bottom of the tree. From this moment on I decided to go from bottom to top, since the top was full of details on the coating cuts, therefore, it would take longer to get it done.

I also made 2 bird houses along the tree.

Step 10: Painting

The next steps are, painting and varnishing the tree and other details.

First paint with the white paint mixed with the brown dye where there's too much scotch tape, about 3 layers. Don't worry about the excess. The Kraft paper will absorb it all. After painting, if you think it's necessary, varnish it. In my case it was, because I used the soil, and I didn't want any mold in my house. Throw the Soil wherever you think is necessary.

I've never been a good painter, but for the first time it actually helped me to get the results that I got.

To give it that air of Easter, i placed the eggs under the tree, and made a few bunny footprints along the room towards the rabbit hole.

The details of the leafs I made with the yellow and red dyes and the white paint.

I'm sorry for the bad english.

The portuguese version can be found at www.foradoescritorio.com.br

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