Hello! We are Miranda, Amanda, and Roberta, and we go to the ASFM school in Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, México. In this project, you will find one of the amazing ideas to share or inspire the world to use reusable materials in order to #savetheturtles. Our goal is to use reusable materials and promote the garbage patch problem to the world.

In our school, we have a class called Design for change. This class helps us be creative and make things that we have a passion for. Our teacher Ms. Ugarte told our classmates and us about the contest Instructables was hosting. We went through an ideation process. We went to go ask local teachers about what they did and didn't like about their indoor lighting, and what would be their ideal indoor light. My teammates and I came up with the most ideas that we possibly could and we chose this one. We gathered and garnered the ideas to what now became this lamp. To learn how to make this made by recycled materials lamp we will teach you in just 6 steps. Hope you find this useful and enjoy!!!

Step 1: Supplies.

Here are the materials that you will need in this project.

  • 5-liter Plastic Bottle.
  • 20 bottle caps (your choice)
  • LED Light bulb (color changing)
  • Electrical tape
  • copper wires with cable
  • Paint
  • Newspaper, glue, water, a balloon, a plate (to make the paper mache)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • plug
  • light bulb holder
  • screw driver

Step 2: Get the Water Bottles Ready

In this step, you will need to use clean and reusable water bottles in order to make our base of the Turtle Lamp.

Here is what you will need in this step.

  • Water Bottle.
  • We will need to use a sink or water fountain to add water into the bottles.
  • Towels, kleenex or napkins.
  • Dryer or kleenex.

In this case, need to first you will need a water fountain or a sink in order to add water to the water bottle and shake it. After you shake the water bottle take out the water by pulling upside down.

Then, if you have a dryer make sure you dry the water bottle or you can turn the water bottle upside down so small molecules of water can fall out of the water bottle.

Watch the videos below.

Step 3: Cutting and Painting the Lamp.

Materials used in this step

  • Cutter (exacto knife)
  • Paint color of your choice
  • paint brushes
  • Newspaper
  • 5-liter plastic bottles
  • Sharpie
  • Glue gun

It is time to now make the body to our turtle lamp. After the water bottles are dry make sure you take off the water bottles labels stickers in order to cut them and paint them which you will see the videos and photo below.

When you finish cutting the labels off all the plastic bottles. Then is time to cut some parts of the bottles. You will need to use the sharpie to make a circle in the middle of the 5-liter plastic bottle and then cut it with a cutter. Do it two times. This will be the shell of our turtle lamp. Then in one of 5-liter plastic bottle cut the back part and the front part. This will be the body of our turtle. Please see the images below.

With the two plastic circles that are cut by the 5-liter plastic use the glue gun to glue them together. When it is dry get your paint brush and start painting with the paint color of your choice. However, you may realize that the color can be transparent and it's needed to use many layers of paint in order to cover. Also, paint the plastic bottle that you cut the bottom and the top part of. Then hot glue the two plastic circles (shell) onto the plastic bottle that was cut (body)

Step 4: Making the Paper Mache

Materials used in this step

  • Balloon
  • Liquid glue
  • Plate
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • paint of your choice

In this step we are now going to show you how we made the head to our turtle lamp. First you are going to want to get all your materials together to begin.

Begin with blowing on your balloon to about a medium or small size. Now what you do is get your plate and put water in it. Now that you have the water in the plate you are now going to add about a full spoon of glue. After that is done you are going to cut the newspaper into pieces. Add the pieces of newspaper into the mixture.

Now what you do is stick the pieces of newspaper onto the balloon. When you have your first layer let it dry and repeat this step until the newspaper is firm, dry and sturdy. When it is sturdy pop the balloon. Oh and make sure you recycle the balloon. After paint the paper mache with the paint of your choice. Then tape or hot glue the paper mache to the wider part of the plastic bottle (the bottom of the plastic bottle)

Step 5: Doing the Electricity


  • Copper wire with cable
  • Light bulb
  • Screw driver
  • Electrical tape
  • Plug
  • Light bulb holder

Now we are going to show you how we got our light bulb to work. First we got our plug and unscrewed it. Then we tied the copper wire around the copper screws. After we did that we screwed the plug again and put electricity tape around it. Then we got our light bulb holder that already had copper wire at the bottom of it, and we got the piece of copper wire that we tied to the plug, and we tied the copper wire together. We then put more electrical tape around it so the knot would not come undone. Make sure you are using electrical tape in order to not cause a fire hazard. After we screwed on our light bulb to the light bulb holder and after all that our light bulb worked.

Then put these wires at the bottom of your lamp. Put the wires through the more narrow part of your plastic bottle (the part that had the cap on it). Then after tape the light bulb to the bottom part of the turtles body (with electrical tape of course)

Step 6: The Ideal Lamp

Now personalize your lamp add whatever fun decoration to the shell and paint a face on the paper mache so your turtle has personality. We added plastic caps on the shell.

We hope you enjoyed this project we created!!

Indoor Lighting Contest

Participated in the
Indoor Lighting Contest