Glowy Grass From Recycled Bottle

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About: I like to build some cool stuf

it was year and something ago when king of random made video about plastic bottle cutter

when i saw it I just made one and it works werry well

so i turned few bottles in to strings and i had this idea to make glowing grass from fluorescent bottles from mountain dew (i dont know if these bottles are same in other countries) I using its fluorescence ability while it is backlight with ultraviolet LEDs which make glowing like efect

I made just little piece of grass and forgot about it....

but yesterday I was sorting my old stuff and i found box with this project including long unused string so I decided to use it for much bigger piece of glowing grass

I also planed to make more strings but my old DIY bottle cutter is lost somewhere in my junk boxes

and one which I bought from ebay doesn't work very well (I don't recommend it)

Step 1: Tools and Materials

  • plastic bottle cutter DIY link ebay (I do not recomend wooden one) link
  • florescent bottle
  • plywood or something simmilar for base
  • drill and drill bits (I used 5mm for LEDs and 3mm to make holes for grass stems)
  • some small file for adjusting holes for grass stems (I used scalpel)
  • UV LEDs some wires and soldering iron
  • plyers, scissors, glue, hand saw (for plywood), sandpaper, something for removing adhesive from bottle sticker I used zipo refiller (gasoline)........

Step 2: Preparing Bottles

remove sticker and adhesive using some solvent (I used gasoline lighter refiller)

if you bottle have some patterns you can remove them using stove flame or heat gun (lid must stay on bottle to build presure prevent deforming and shrinking of bottle)

Step 3: Cutting

put your bottles in cutter and pull :) if you cutter has optionable size you can pick how wide string you want I used 1cm wide (0.4 inch)

then cut your string to some lenght mine are around 10cm (4 inch)

Step 4: Making Grass Stalks

I tried few variants but this was the best looking put stalks together in this order ← →← →,

secure them with some tape or glue and twist free two midle stalks (if they are stuck as left one on first picture)

and make a bunch of them you will need it :)

Step 5: Preparing Base Board

cut some lenght from plywood for base two rows of grass stalks are enought (more can ruin overall look so 25mm width is ok for base board

mark some random spots for stalks and drill two holes on ends which you can connect using small file or scalpell pick some spots between holes where is enough free place and drill holes with 5mm bit for LEDs

Step 6: Adding Grass

add grass and LEDs and you can glue them on place if is needed

Step 7:

connect LEDs to parallel (long legs to long (+), and short to short (-) )

add wires and connect 3-3.3V power source

you can use normal UV LEDs or more expensive ones with wavelenght 365nm wich doesn't have that purple tint you can only see weak whiteish collor but they are more dangerous because you cant see bright UV light

little bit of warning

when you are done display your grass on some shelf in hight when you can't dirrectly see LEDs (above your eye level) because your eyes can only see purple light but they cant see bright UV light whitch can cause some problems when you eyes are adjusted to darker enviroment when there is plenty of bright UV light which your eyes cant see (you can hurt in your eyes when you looking on it from above simmilar as if you looking dirrectly into white LED but in this case it is different because your eyes can be adjusted if they can see vissible bright light but for ultraviolet light your iris stays wide open)

Step 8: Make Some Box or Pot for It and You Are Done :)

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