Shaping Plastic Bottles Into Something Interesting




Introduction: Shaping Plastic Bottles Into Something Interesting

About: I do stuff. Shut up.

We all know, it takes little to no time to turn used plastic bottle into vese... or something similar. Just cut the top off. It's not very aestetically pleasing, but it's something you can do in matter of minutes...

Uhm... I don't really know, where I was going with this project, I just had an Idea and it was an experiment. The results are interesting though, and despite I don't know how practical it is to make vases this way, it still can be inspirational for somebody, and maybe more practical usage of this technique will be discovered later.

Step 1:

So, the main thing we'll need is some PET bottles. The simpler the the shape is the better.

Step 2:

Cut the top off.

Step 3:

There's a lot of materials can be used as a forming fillament. For ths project I used: smooth pebbles, gravel and a branch.

Step 4:

Fill the bottles with fillament.

Step 5:

Put them into the pot and fill it to the top with water.

This project can also be accomplished with using heat gun. In this case, there's no need in pot and water.

Step 6:

Remove than the bottles from the pot and heat the water untill boiling.

Step 7:

The distinctive feature of PET plastic is that it shrinks, when heated. And this is what is used for shaping the bottles.

To raise the level of the water a bit I had to use my thermo cup.

Step 8:

By the way, Happy New 1997, everybody!

Step 9:

After a few seconds in boiling water the bottles can be removed from the pot.

Step 10:

After releasing them from the fillament they can be rinsed with water to remove remaining dirt.

The one with branch wasn't able to release itself, so it was cutten and went to to waste.

Step 11:

Rub the bottles with a rug to remove remaining water.

Step 12:

Trim the edge to more even state.

Step 13:

By moving the edge close to hot iron and melting it a bit, you can give it more finished apperance.

Step 14:

It's definetely interesting idea to shape plastic bottles and texturize the surface with this technique, concidering the variety of fillaments that can be used, but I'm still not sure, what practical usage does it have except for making vases.

I gues, I'll try some other fillaments later, and add the results as an update to the instructable. But, anyway, this is it for now. Thanks for your attention and have a nice plastic shapes.


So this is the nex day after I posted the instructable and today my mom suggested a couple of ideas on possible implementations of these bottles, so here's they are, along with some of my own:

1. Forms for casting concrete. Some garden decorations can be produced this way. Or/ if cavity is added, concrete vases.

2. Outdoor lanterns. If to add a cylindrycal cavity when casting the concrete, and than drill a hole for a wire, a lightbulb can be installed with a glass jar ontop for protection.

3. Lampshades. The plastic bottle after shaping is already pretty much a finnished lampshade, just drill a hole and add lamp bulb (LED one to prevent overheating) with all necessary.

4. Forms for casting candles (?). I'm just not sure if the tempereture of melted wax or parafin is low enough for the plastic not being destorted.

5. Textured parts for costume making. You can cut a section from the bottle and hotglue or sew it down to some basis to create textured pieces on a costume. I'm not sure about what finnishes can be applied to PET plastic successfully, but just as it is, in all the variety of colors the bottles are produced, it can still be great with its glossy look for something insect-alien-ish looking. Additional layer of material, like crumbled tin foil can be added underneath the plastic piece for additional effect, or/and even some LEDs to utilize the transparency of the plastic.

If you feal like I'm doing something useful and you want to see me doing more of that, please, concidere to support me on patreon. I always have new Ideas and willing to explore new crafts and stuff, so even with some humble extra budget I'll have more directions to explore and efforts to spend on my projects.

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    4 years ago

    very good idea i'l give ita go

    Waldemar Sha
    Waldemar Sha

    Reply 4 years ago

    Let me know, if you'll get some interesting results;)


    4 years ago

    Huh. Never considered using the shrinking of plastic of my asvantage like that. I should try that soon.


    4 years ago



    4 years ago

    Cool idea!