Plastic bottles are involved in all kinds of "reuse" projects. I am sure many of us have seen such projects in different sizes, colors and shapes. Plastic as a material is kind of versatile. if I may say. We have them lying around everywhere these days and I am a big fan of recycling them. (Please do so if are not already doing so (Because you are awesome) ) As part of my school project I was challenged to use plastic as my prototyping material to explore some possibilities of transforming them into functional art. My friend Kareem had a party last weekend where I could gather some empty plastic soda bottles that I decided to use for this project.
Some tidbits about the type of bottles you may want to consider. Water bottles are made of different types of plastic. You will need a moderately sturdy material (like the ones used for large soda bottles) They are pliable but are still strong to take the rough handling of cutting and shaping them into other types of objects. They can be heated and colored not to mention they are pretty forgiving when you want to bend them with some moderate heat.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- 3x4 ply wood (I was exploring some sturdy but light material for the back board. I got a recycled pressed ply.)
- Recycled bottles (preferably large soda bottles all of the same size - plain or colored or a mix of all colors will work)
- Screws to secure the bottles
- playing plastic balls
- sanding paper (optional - I used this to smoothen the edges of the wood base - important if kids are going to play)
- Hot glue or any other type of glue that is plastic and wood friendly.
- Pair of scissors and a cutting knife some recycled colored bottle caps (if you have plain bottle caps then use some paint to color them or use them as is) (This is optional)
Step 2: Preparing the Board
Sand the board across all the edges to smoothen the rough surfaces. This is necessary to protect your hands and later avoid any wood pieces getting under your skin. (Especially the kids)
Make some markings to fix screws and caps that will act as the anchor for the bottle ramps
Step 3: Preparing the Bottle
Cut the bottle and remove the mouth of the bottle. Make an incision in the middle of bottles to create a rectangular hole which will help in anchoring the balls from one ramp bottle to another. (see picture)
Step 4: Fixing the Bottles to the Board
Once you have prepared all the bottles Stack bottles on one another. One bottle will have the bottom cover intact while the second bottle is a cylinder that fits into the opening of the bottle with the covered side.
Step 5: Attaching the Bottles
Screw in 2 caps into the board after marking the position of the bottles.
These caps will help in anchoring the bottles to the board.
Apply hot glue on the surface of the caps and then position the cut and prepared bottles with the whole side facing up and attach it to the board.
The last bottle will have covers on both the ends to collect the balls that roll down the board from within the bottle ramps.
Step 6: Finishing It
Decorate the ramp with some colorful caps with your desired designs and or patterns. and enjoy the game with your friends, family and kids :)