Duct Tape Water Bottle

Introduction: Duct Tape Water Bottle

I'm an avid backpacker from the mountains in Colorado, and in the past I have found myself looking for a lightweight alternative to a nalgene bottle.  During my hikes, I found that it was useful to carry an additional water bottle to fill around camp, but carrying an additional empty nalgene bottle used up to much space.  So, I decided to make a water bottle that could carry roughly 1000ml out of Duct Tape.  The following steps provide the means to re-create the water bottle design.  In addition, though this is the way I decided to make the bottle, the project is completely customizable.  I will offer tips and tricks that I found successful throughout the project.  Have fun, and if you have any additional ideas, please comment and let me know.  Enjoy!!!!

P.S. I apologize for the light glare in some of the pictures.  I was limited to the camera on my phone at the time of construction.

Step 1: Materials Needed

The first thing you will need to do in order to work on your folding duct tape water bottle is to gather the necessary materials.  They are as follows:

-Nalgene Water Bottle

-One Roll of Duct Tape (Though you won't need the entire thing)

-One Wine Cork

-Pair of Sharp Scissors

As is evident, this project is extremely simple and will not dent your wallet.  Additional Nalgene bottles cost roughly $10 a piece, while a roll of duct tape from Wal Mart or Target, or even from the Duct Tape Website is just $2.99.  In addition, because of how the tape is used throughout this instructable, the thickness of the tape does not need to be very great, so even the generic rolls are fine.

Step 2:

After collecting the necessary materials, it is time to begin constructing the general shape of the water bottle.  I found that the best way to go about this process was to use another water bottle, preferably a nalgene (because the hard plastic holds its shape well) as a mould of sorts.  To begin, rip/cut a piece of duct tape roughly two inches longer then the circumference of the water bottle.  Making sure that the adhesive portion of the tape is facing out away from the bottle, wrap the tape around the bottle as evenly as possible, and re-tape it to itself.  This should create a loop around the bottle where the smooth part of the duct tape, which is most waterproof faces inwards towards the face of the nalgene.  (See Picture for clarification)  The loop can be positioned on the water bottle based on how big you want the duct tape water bottle to be.

Step 3: Completing the Inverse Wrap

For this step, you will aim to completely cover the bottom of the nalgene in a manner similar to the process by which the loop around the bottle was made.  Using lengths of duct tape long enough to stretch from the top of your loop, down under the bottom of the water bottle, and then back up vertically to the opposing side, begin to add strips in a circular pattern.  Like the first loop made, the strips should have their adhesive side facing out, away from the surface of the water bottle.  This involves running each strip vertically downward from the top of your loop, where it has been attached around the bottom of the nalgene and then back up the other side, where the other end is attached.  Make sure that as you add each strip, you overlap the previous strip by at least 1/4 of the width of the strip.  This will ensure maximum waterproofing.  Continue in a circle, trying to evenly space the strips from one another, until the bottom of the nalgene is completely covered.  (See Picture for clarification)  Add one more loop similar to the loop in step 2 around the circumference of the bottle at the level where the ends of the lengths are attached.  This is just a protective measure to add strength to the bottom of the water bottle (where the majority of any water weight would be located).  

Step 4: Re-Wrapping the Bottle

Now, based on your personal plans, add any more loops (like those in step 2) above the top of your wrapped bottom based on how tall you want the final bottle to be.  Once you have a good height, begin to re-wrap the bottle with loops and strips in a manner similar to the first series of wrapping.  However, this time, ensure that the adhesive portion of the tape faces inward towards the surface of the bottle, so that the two adhesive sides of the tape strips connect with one another.  This creates a double thick barrier that is surprisingly strong, and is much better looking due to the fact that the tape, whatever color you may choose, is able to show its true colors.  Continue this process for the entire surface of your reversed duct tape bottle, making sure to avoid taping the bottle to the nalgene. 

Step 5:

Once you have entirely wrapped the bottle with the adhesive in towards the skeleton you created earlier you should have a product that looks similar to the attached picture.  Now, in order to separate the the nalgene and the duct tape bottle portion, simply slide the duct tape off by pulling downwards on the duct tape while pulling upwards on the bottle.  Due to the suction that is created by a seal that may have formed due to the tightness of the duct tape on the bottle, you may see some deformation in the project as you pull.  This is fine, as it will reform as soon as you separate the two parts, however, if you wish to avoid this, simply create a means of allowing the air into the space created between the two by sticking a butter knife between the nalgene and duct tape.  You should now have a basic skeleton that resembles the bottom of the nalgene, but is made out of duct tape.

Step 6: Adding a Neck

For the next portion of the project, you will begin to close the opening at the top of the skeleton duct tape portion into a drinking spout.  To do this simply create the shape of a spiral (adhesive side out) to a single hole the diameter of which is just slightly smaller then that of the wine cork.  Then, create a small or large neck (personal preference) that is also roughly the size of the cork in diameter.  Similar to in step 4, re-wrap this with duct tape (adhesive inwards) to create a covered neck area that looks similar to a water bottle neck.  (See picture for clarification)

Step 7: Adjusting the Neck

For the next portion, you will create a strap that will help hold the water bottle closed and the cork in place.  First, cut a piece of duct tape and fold it over until it is roughly 1/2" in width and attach it to the back side of the neck using duct tape.  This length is the red strip in the picture that extends above the neck.

To create means of holding this strap down, cut another piece of duct tape of a different colored duct tape (White in the picture) and fold it repeatedly until it too is roughly 1/2" wide. Tape this at an angle perpendicular to the red strap (if it were folded over).

Now, at two opposing points at the top of your neck, create two small notches about a 1/4" long. This will allow these portions of the bottle to be folded over the top of the wine cork to eventually hold it in place.

Step 8: Finishing the Project

Once you have completed the neck adjustments, turn your attention to the wine cork.  Stick it inside of the neck of the bottle and mark where the bottom of the notches measure to on the cork.  Remove the cork and cut it in two just slightly above this point.  Put your cork in, and fold over the small notched portion of the neck, covering the cork, and then thread the extended strap through the horizontal loop.  You are now good to go!!!!

At this point, it is open to customization.  I personally added a white hand strap for easy gripping while filling, but it is not required.  In addition, I am not very creative in terms of graphics, but I am sure that there are some excellent options in that respect.  

I hope you enjoy this project, please let me know if you have any opinions or questions!!  Happy Hiking!!!!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    Just made one. water tastes fine. I couldn't find a quark so just got some string and made the top close tightly with the string.

    water bottle.jpg

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I do not know if all strains of duct tape is fine, but I have used mine now for two months and have never had a problem. I did, however, wash mine in a machine once before using it. I'll let you know if I find anything...


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I actually tried this idea before, and I found that the water tastes horrible, which might be because I didn't wash it, but I don't know


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea. You can improve the result using white or reflectant (better) tape.

    Red is almost like black regarding heat transfer.