Introduction: Recycled Dreams and Play

Using trash-bound items like glass bottles, tabs from aluminum cans, page markers, and other office supplies or household items, I created an indoor treehouse with accoutrements. This world of Recycled Dreams and Play includes a ladder that leads up to a treehouse, a swing that actually swings, a tent made of a ziplock bag, and a pulley system. I hope that this project inspires you to create and to treasure the beauty in the broken and discarded.

Step 1: Supplies

Gather items and clean them before use.

bottle with a neck. cardboard. magazines and paper. bottles and caps. cans and tabs. bubble wrap. cotton pads. cotton swab. straws. twist ties. rubber band. pipe cleaner. bobbin. string. key ring. page markers. ziplock bag. paper towel. safety pin. makeup brush. compact mirror. cork.

Essential items:
glue. tape. scissors.

Step 2: Treehouse

Use scissors to cut a hole in the cardboard.

Fit the neck of the bottle through the hole of the cardboard.

Apply tape on both sides of the cardboard to the glass bottle to create stability.

Roll a piece of paper to fit inside or on the outside of the bottle.

Secure the paper in place using tape.

Cut slits into the paper and then crumple.

To make the branches look fuller, repeat the steps by nesting additional pieces of paper.

Attach the sticky end of page markers to adhere them to the branches.

Step 3: Rolling Paper

Cut strips of paper.

Use a pencil to help with rolling.

Apply tape to secure the scrolls.

Step 4: Furniture

Cut strips of paper and roll them into uniform scrolls.

Tape them to prevent unraveling.

Prepare a lot of these paper scrolls to make the furniture.

Use bubble wrap and cotton pads for cushions, pillows and sleeping bags.

Step 5: Railings

Glue rolled strips of paper to the edges of the cardboard to create railings.

Step 6: Folding Paper

Fold paper to make staircases and slides.

Step 7: Umbrella

Cut 3~4 slits into the end of the straw.

Tape each slit to the bottom of the lid.

Step 8: Bookshelf

Fold paper pieces and attach them to the glass base of the treehouse.

Step 9: Ladder

Create a ladder using paper rolls taped together.

Step 10: Swing

Use the holes of the tabs from aluminum cans.

Attach paper rolls together to create the seat.

Cut very thin strips of paper or use string to thread through the holes of the paper rolls.

Tape each end of the pole from which the swing is hanging to the support columns (bottles).

Step 11: Tent

Use the zip side of the ziplock as the front.

Cut one of the three non-zip sides of the ziplock bag.

Roll whole sheets of paper to create long poles for the tent structure.

Tape the poles together at the top.

Insert the bed or sleeping bag.

Step 12: Wash Area

Hang the catch of the compact mirror from the safety pin pretaped to the glass bottle of the treehouse.

Cut bendy straws to create the sink faucet and towel bar.

Tape a bottle cap and the inner core of an empty tape roll together and then attach them to the glass wall, along with the faucet and towel bar.

Wrap paper flowers with loose paper rolls and bubble wrap to fit inside a bottle cap planter.

Step 13: Pulleys

List of supplies for this pulley system:

2 bobbins
1 bendy straw
1 key ring
1 thread
2 bottles
1 hook
1 small lid
2 rubber bands
paper rolls of different lengths and diameters.

Part I

Create an axle by rolling paper to fit tightly inside the hole of the bobbin, positioning the bobbin towards the middle of the axle.

Insert the rod of a cotton swab in the core of the axle.

Attach a cut bendy straw (handle) on one end of the axle with tape.

On each side of the bobbin, tape down and wind the end of a narrow strip of paper around the axle, securing it with tape.

Insert the end with the swab sticking out to the inner core of another scroll that is attached to a base.

Part II

Create height by rolling full sheets of paper and inserting them into the bottle openings.

Tape them into cylinders.

Adjust the paper cylinders to even their heights.

Place rubber bands towards the bottom of the paper cylinders to prevent collapse.

Cut 2 slits at the top of each cylinder and then fold down the tabs.

Insert a bobbin through a scroll before placing it on top of the tabs between the slits.

Part III

Tie one end of a long string to the key ring.

Tape down the other end of the string to the inner core of the bobbin attached to the handle.

Crank the handle (the bendy straw) to wind the string around the bobbin.

Wind the string end with the key ring once around the other bobbin sitting on top of the paper cylinders.

Part IV

Create the load using a hook, paper strap and lid.

Step 14: Broom

Cut 2 slits on the end of a plastic straw.

Insert the handle of a makeup brush between the slits and then tape together.

Roll a narrow strip of paper near the point of attachment and then tape securely for fortification.

Step 15: Curtains

Combine tabs, twist ties and paper towels together to hang from the curtain rods (2 plastic bendy straws taped together).

Bend pipe cleaners and insert at the open end of the straw (curtain rod) at the top to prevent the curtains from slipping off.

Step 16: Bench

Create a bench using paper rolls and wine corks.

Step 17: Scenarios

Trash to Treasure Contest

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest