Transform a PET water bottle into a coaster for future drinks!
- 1 Empty PET plastic bottle, with a smooth circumference
- Masking tape
- utility knife
- cutting mat
- metal-edge ruler
- iron (on a very low setting)
- parchment paper / wax paper
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Step 1: Prep
Empty the contents of the plastic bottle, give it a nice rinse and peel off the label. Make sure you have a clean work surface for your project.
Step 2: Shape
Using the utility blade, carefully slice off the conical part (top) and grooved base (bottom) of the bottle, leaving only the middle cylinder. Make sure the cut is as straight as possible around the circumference of the bottle, to maximize the available material for making strips.
Step 3: Slice
Once you have your cylinder, use the scissors to make a cut straight down along the side (perpendicular to the circumference). You will now have a curled sheet of plastic.
Step 4: Tape + Strip
Roll open your material, and press it flat atop the cutting mat. Use masking tape to hold down the sheet, with the curvature facing down. Use another piece of tape to hold down the opposite edge of the sheet. You may find it helpful to tape around all four sides of the bottle in order to make it very flat and easier for cutting. For this step, make sure the edges of the bottle are more or less aligned with the grid on your cutting mat. This will also help mazimize the amount of strips you can get out of a single bottle.
Step 5: Cut
Using the utility knife and ruler, cut equal-width strips all the way down along the plastic sheet. Make sure your cuts go all the way through the material.
*Pro tip: sometimes it is more effective to make a "score" first, and then run your blade over it a few times until the cut has gone through.
Step 6: Weave
Carefully lift half of the strips from the cutting mat, but keep the other half taped down. You might want an additional piece of tape to secure the existing strips, as the original tape may have gotten chopped up in the previous step...
Take the selected strips and weave them into the taped strips. (See "weaving" instrictable for more details on this step!)
Once all the strips have been woven, use masking tape to secure the edges of your coaster. Cut uneven ends, and use a final piece of tape to wrap around the exposed edges.
Step 7: Melt
Lift your coaster from the cutting mat, and place in between a folded sheet of wax paper. The coaster will likely have a strong curvature to it, so make sure the curve is facing down.
Using the iron at a very low heat setting, press the iron onto the coaster, but never leave it in contact for over 2 seconds. Move the iron around, flip the coaster, and repeat on the other side. The edges of your strips may begin to curl with the heat, so make sure to press the coaster flat onto your work surface to keep it all flat.
* Pro tip: keep a heavy book nearby to help with this step!
Step 8: Voilá
Your coaster is ready to accomodate that ice-cold lemonade rewarding you for your hard work!