I decided to write a small series of Instructables to show that there are a lot of things that can be made out of plastic bottles and how easy the plastic welding process is.
So after finishing the LED flower I wondered how easy it would be to make something out of milk bottles using a papercraft template. Then I came across a sphere shape and this brought me to the thought of making something even more interesting. We have our neighbors kitty who pays us quite frequent visits, so why not transform a milk bottle into a cat toy. And so here it is.
The whole project was relatively easy and took about 2 hours to finish.
Step 1: Tools, Materials & Preparing the Bottle
Tools & Materials:
- plastic milk bottle
- soldering iron
- small pointy scissors
- hobby knife
Start by cutting the bottle in half and then cut off the curvy bits so that it's easier to draw on later. Clean the bottle halves if necessary.
Step 2: Cutting
Print out the template. Place the bottle half onto the template and hold it in place with a bit of clear tape. Trace the ball template onto the milk bottle with a marker and cut out. Clean off the marker with alcohol.
I've included a slightly adjusted template in this step, but if you would like the original one you will find it here.
Step 3: Welding
Set the soldering iron temperature between 200-230°C. Take one of the cutouts and overlap the first "tentacle" with the second for the width of one tab. Spot weld the tab (3-4 brief pokes with the soldering iron should create a good enough bond). Overlap the second tab and spot weld again. Carry on until you create one half of the sphere. Always start welding from the top and tab by tab just like in paper craft but minus the glue. Repeat for the second half.
Step 4: Sphere
Overlap the two half spheres at the top and spot weld the tabs from the inside. When it's no longer possible to weld from inside carry on on the outside.
Trace the ring from the template onto a piece of the bottle and cut out. Weld the ring to the bottom of the sphere. Smooth the edges of the ring by sliding the side of the iron over it.
Step 5: Face
Trace the face from the template onto another piece of the bottle and cut out. Cut as close to the lines as you can. Place the face onto the sphere and weld around the middle. Weld the face on by sliding the tip of the iron from the face onto the sphere. This should melt the top layer onto the second, but not leave much of a mark, unlike spot welding.
Step 6: Ears
Trace and colour in the ears from the template. Place the ears onto a larger piece of the bottle and spot weld around. Cut out and weld onto the head.
Step 7: Hang It
With the soldering iron poke a hole through the top of the head. Pull the string through the head, tie a few knots at the end and pull back in. Attach the string to the clamp. Depending where you would like to hang it, you can wrap the spare string around the clamp.
Step 8: Fill the Toy
Pop a few treats into the toy, clamp in desired location and watch your kitty enjoy it!!. Unfortunately "our" kitty only played with it the very first time before I put the face on so it now became more of a treat dispenser rather than a toy (he seems to be like that with all new toys I get him). But I really enjoyed making it, it didn't cost me a penny and maybe there are kitties out there that would enjoy playing with with one of these :D