I find it a pity to crush empty potato chip containers, knowing I could transform them into something useful. This time it's a nice container that dreams of being a vending machine.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Materials
A potato chip can with lid
The middle section of a big plastic bottle
X-Acto-Knife or paper cutter
Long wooden skewers
Electrical tape or duct tape
Hot glue gun
Glas bead, pebble or button
Acrylic paint (not pictured here)
Step 2: Decorate Your Can
First of all we decorate our can. I always paint mine with black acrylic paint just because I like to add white in any possible way. But this step is entirely up to your creative spirit. The decoration comes first, because we have to cut some parts off and assemble others.
A beautiful piece of fabric or a designed paper are nice alternatives for decorating your can.
Step 3: Let's Make the Window
Now it's time to make a small window in the lower part of the can. The best is to cut a piece of 4x5 cm (1.5 x 2 inch) at about 2 cm (0.78 inch) away from the bottom. But it can be 3 cm (1.18 inch) as well.
The next step is to cut the middle section of a plastic bottle which has to be bigger in diameter than the can's and it has to be 1 cm (0.39 inch) higher than the window we cut. That plastic section must be even and flat, otherwise it won't glide as we want it.
Once it is ready, we cut it in the middle and we use the electric tape or duct tape to protect the upper and lower edges and to give them a smooth finish for a smooth gliding.
Two slots allow the plastic piece to glide up and down and so, we mark a line on each side of the window at about 1 cm (0.39 inch) away from the sides and about 0.5 cm (1.19 inch) longer than the lower edge of our window. (see red and blue arrows). I know: it is a bit confusing! I hope the photos make the explanation easier.
Each line is double the height of the plastic piece ( for a 5 cm or 1.9 inch high plastic piece, the line is 11 cm (4.3 inch) high. Then we carefully cut each line.
Once the plastic is in its position, it gets stuck at the bottom. That's the explanation for the last photo: with a skewer we make a hole at the end of each cut, so that the plastic edge has enough room. The skewer also helps to separate the cuts from the main can body, so it is good to make the slots a bit loose.
Step 4: Almost Ready
Now that we have the pieces for the puzzle, we put them together:
The first photo shows how the plastic piece is inserted in the can, through the slots.
The red arrow shows the piece of tape that holds both ends together. But because a hand barely fits in the can for this procedure it's best to carefully turn the whole plastic piece so that both ends are out of the can at reach for taping them together. Here it's best to eyeball how tight you want the door to be, because too tight or too loose mean a more difficult gliding.
The next step is to use the skewers to hide the slots and to make the container look a bit fancier. The fastest way to do that is using tape to attach the skewers to the can.
The last step is to add a handle to the plastic piece. A glass bead, a pebble or a button are some options. Just glue the handle to the plastic door. I have made two containers and used those metallic buttons (that sometimes come with a pair of jeans, attached in a tiny plastic zipper bag) and found out that it is easier to glide the door up and down.
Step 5: Ready to Use.
Some last adornments, and the container looks fancy.
Candies, cotton balls, tiny Kinder Surprise toys, small pompons, the ideas come once the container is ready to be used.
I hope you make one too. It's lots of fun and it's easy to put together.