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How to Make Pop Bottle Flowers

recycled plastic bottle flower

Have you seen those fantasy faux-glass flowers made from recycled pop bottles?

I mean the delicate fragile-looking twisty looking ones, like those the US-based artist Laura Astor) used to make.  Like this.

(Note: these aren’t the Anthropologie-style of flowers that use the ends of the bottles. But there’s a great tutorial from Sonia at Kosmic Chai, if you’re looking for a how-to on making that type.)

These more delicate PET flowers would make gorgeous Christmas-tree decorations, I think, if you coloured the flowers red like a poinsettia — or put together a whole bunch of the clear plastic flowers would make a fun sun-catcher mobile for your garden or a little girl’s bedroom — or tie them into a good thick evergreen wreath to add a little frosty glitter. The possibilities are endless!

Here, Leanne of Luvlee Scrappin gives a little video tutorial to walk you through how she makes her pop bottle flowers. You’ll find a number of YouTube videos that show a similar how-to techniques, but Leanne’s tutorial has the clearest instructions and best quality sound and pictures of any I’ve looked at.

Instructions for Pop Bottle Flowers

Here’s a quick outline of how Leanne shows how to make pop bottle flowers, just to give you an idea of what’s involved, but do watch the video (it runs about 10 minutes) for full instructions:

From the side of a plastic pop bottle, cut:

  • 2 squares, 2.25″ x 2.25″ each
  • 1 square, 1.75″ x 1.75″

Cut each square into four petals that are joined together at the middle. Leanne likes to cut curves from corner into the center like a windmill, then turn the plastic piece the other up and cut the other direction to complete the petals.

You can draw out the petals with a Sharpie first, if you like, but just be sure to cut all the pen marks off so they don’t show up on the finished flower. (My suggestion, if you’re not confident of your freehand scissor work: draw out a pattern on paper, lay the plastic down on top of the paper, and follow along the lines with a stylus or pencil point, then cut the plastic along the scored lines.)

If you want a coloured flower, use a coloured plastic pop bottle or colour the petals with Sharpie pens or alcohol (not water-based) inks.

Next, you’re going to want to melt the edges of the petals to get a bit of a natural curve or twist look. For this, Leanne suggests a tea light candle. You could use a heat gun can be used, but Leanne says it doesn’t give the nice ripple effect on the edges that you’re looking for here. I suspect that the heat from a heat gun is spread out evenly over too large an area, not as concentrated as a candle flame and not as unpredictable.

So, light you little candle (keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby, as always when working with an open flame) and grab a pair of metal tweezers you don’t mind using for craft projects.

Gently heat the edges of petal (holding it about inch and a half away from the candle flame, Leanne suggests) until the edge of plastic starts to melt and curl. This will happen quite fast, so be careful not to melt it too much! Then give the petal a twist with your tweezers. Try to keep the centre as flat as possible as this is where you’ll glue the layers together to form your flower.

Repeat with other petals.

Cut a couple of leaves from a green pop bottle (or cut from a clear bottle, if that’s all you have, and colour it with a Sharpie or alcohol inks). Use the same heat-and-shape technique to give a little ripple to the leaves.

Assemble — very carefully! — using a hot glue gun, positioning the petals and leaves in whatever way looks good to you. Add a bead, pearl, or other embellishment of your choice to make the centre of the flower.

And there you have it, a faux glass flower made from an old pop bottle!

Visit www.zibbet.com/LuvLeeScrappin and luvleescrappin.blogspot.com to enjoy more of Leanne’s crafty creations.

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1 comment… add one

  • Deana 2012/12/22, 12:23 am

    Could you use a wood burner!

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