Pop Bottle Ghosts With LED Eyes

Introduction: Pop Bottle Ghosts With LED Eyes

This is my first Instructables Article!

I must start off by providing the creative influence of the Evil Mad Scientist website which promoted their LED Ghosties on the NPR radio show during the 16 day government shutdown... so by some strange chance both my youngest daughter and I were listening about the wacky creations these guys have done...  Thus, this started our own version of Pop Bottle Ghosts with LED Eyes!

These are very, very easy [and cheap] to make and I encourage to do so with your children... at least mine enjoyed it!

Step 1: Assembling the Materials

Okay, so to start we just gathered our materials and of course if you are a fan of this site then you should be able to improvise as necessary... This list is what we used so feel free to copy or change... I am not going to provide quantities for materials as that will depend on the total number of these ghosts that you want to make.

1. 2 Liter Pop Bottle
2. White Ghost Bags (any white bag that fits nicely over the pop bottle or white cloth)
3. LEDs (RadioShack Assorted Pack # 276-1622 - 20 pk)
4. Coin Batteries (3V for the LEDs we got)
5. Fishing Line (any string - fishing line probably the best since it is translucent)
6. Nuts (or washers, toothpicks, ect.)
7. 3/16" Drill Bit (larger LED lights in the assorted pack fit this drilled hole size snuggly)
8. Permanent Marker
9. Scotch Tape
10. Scissors

Once again, tried to be a bit generic just so you get the idea.  Many of the items can be substituted for comparable materials!

Step 2: Preparing the 2 Liter Pop Bottle

Now it is time to actually start constructing this ghost!

So, as you can see in the pictures my daughter has removed the label and proceeded to cut the 2L bottle.
Since there were these sharp edges, she proceeded to tape the bottle's edge with scotch tape - Remember Safety!

Here are three important considerations on where to cut the bottle.
  1. The most important part of the 2L bottle is - everything except the conical top and screw on cap.
  2. You will need as much of the bottle as possible to fill out the ghost bag to form the body.
  3. You will need to cut the top off because further in the instructable it will show you how to put the LEDs in for eyes and you will have to reach your hand up and into the body for placement. (good idea on the tape!)

Step 3: Drilling Holes for LED Eyes and Stringer Line

Now we will prepare and drill for the LED Eyes, Stringer Line and add a fashionista look to the ghost bag!

LED Eye Holes
  1. Since my bags had preprinted ghostly faces, I placed the bag on the 2L Bottle and from the inside marked where the eye locations with a permanent marker.
  2. Using a 3/16" drill bit [this size nicely fits the larger LEDs in the assorted pack, yours may be different] we hand drilled the eye holes.
  3. My daughter chose the LEDs based on a non-color matching theory and placed them into the eye sockets!
Stringer Line Hole
  1. Since we know that the ghost is going to hang, we needed a hold drilled out in the bottom [top of the ghost] of the 2L.
  2. Using the same 3/16" drill bit [just because I already was using this size] we hand drilled the hole.
Fashionista Look!
  1. She wanted to have a tattered appearance - so she used the scissors to create the look!
  2. She did this as I hand drilled the holes.

Step 4: LED Batteries

This step is just to mention the LED batteries - I know some people may not know...
  1. I purchased the LEDs from RadioShack which were assorted for color and some size, but they all were 3V LEDs.  If you want something different just ask the sales associated and try to match the battery to the LED.
  2. Since the LEDs supported 3V, I went to the Dollar Store and picked up a couple packages of coin batteries.  My store carried 2 sizes: CR2032 which is 3V and LR54 which is 1.5V.
  3. I had to pick up the LR54 only because they did not have enough CR2032s.  No problem I just needed two batteries to make up the 3V....
  4. I included a pictures for those that have not dealt with LEDs what the final setup looks like... Remember: the LED only light one way - meaning if you put the battery between the LED legs and it does not light, turn it around...
So, when it is time to put your ghost up for decorating and you want the LEDs to light up. Just place the coin battery between the LED legs and use the scotch tape to secure the setup together.  Then just push them into the eye sockets of the 2L bottle!

Step 5: Installing the Stringer Line

Okay, so we have everything already but we need to hang the ghost... we are planning on hanging them from the trees in our front yard.  I am sure there are many ways to achieve this step... but this is how we did it....
  1. I cut about 2.5-3 feet of fishing line.
  2. Folding the fishing line in half, I looped it through the nut pushing the ends through the loop and tightening. It is very simple, but hard to put into words... please refer to the picture.
  3. Once I had the line secured to the nut, I put some scotch tape on the fishing line to prevent it from unraveling like fishing line likes to do...
  4. From inside the 2L bottle I pushed the fishing line through the predrilled stringer line hole.
  5. Once the line was pulled through and the nut up against the inside of the 2L bottle, I again taped the fishing line.. if you can notice the tape is more like a "flag".  But this time I left a small space between the bottle and bottom edge of the tape.  I did this so that as I pull the bag over the line and onto the 2L bottle the tape "flag" keeps the bag from rising up the fishing line - locking it into place.
Now all you have to do is install the White Ghost Bag (or alternative), install the lit LEDs and hang from a tree (or where ever)...

Step 6: DONE! Final Product

Well you made it this far - THANKS!

Hope you have as much fun as my daughter and I did in creating these ghosts!!!

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