Art with melted plastic bottles?
Up-cycle, Re-cycle, Re-purpose with melted plastic bottles.
Melted plastic bottles really? Often I am asked the question, “Where do you come up with all these crazy ideas?” This one started when I was getting my hair done. As I’m tipping my head back into the bowl, my hairdresser poured shampoo out of the most beautiful plastic bottle. I couldn’t help what happened next. Through out the salon was a collection of colored bottles of hair products. My mind went fifty different directions and was filled with a plethora of fabulous ideas.
Let me show you how to transform bottles into art, home decor and even practical organizational containers, but safety comes first.
Melting plastic can be toxic, and remember you are working with very high temperatures so make sure you have, 1 pair of leather work gloves, protective glasses, and protective clothing. Next, keep in mind that all plastics are not alike. Check toxicity levels of the plastic you want to melt. Some are very toxic and should not be used. On the bottom of all bottles there are recycle symbols 1-7.
There are some plastics that are toxic I only use #2,#4,and #7 but only if its PLA which is safe for crafting. Also make sure you are working in a well ventilated area as an extra safety precaution.
Now for the fun. This is absolutely a magical transformation of things you would ordinarily throw away. I look for very colorful bottles that match my home decor.
Start by removing any labels if they are glued on soak to loosen, then remove with Goo Be Gone. Some better quality bottles have imprinted labels that can be removed with fine sandpaper. Even though you create some small scratches or dullness, remember your melting this plastic and it will melt away.
Now it’s time to put on the gloves. Starting at the top of the bottle cut slices down the bottle with a skill saw. Using a heat gun, melt the sides of the bottle just enough that you can cut strips down the bottle. Cut the bottom of the bottle so you have one strip.
Reheat the strip one section at a time and coil them around a metal screw driver. This will be part of your flower center.
One of my favorite parts of this project is to stretch bottles. When melted they become pliable. Pull the ends with pliers while heating and they look like blown glass. With this method, I made flower centers and leaves.
Using half bottles, you can create larger pieces. For accent leaves and feathers heat small strips and cut notches in the sides. Stretch them for a unique look.
With all the pieces complete you can start to assemble your art. My goal was to create a giant flower and attache it to a painted canvas. The biggest challenge is that you have to position your pieces and then deconstruct it to attach them one at a time. Heat the area you want to attach until it is almost melted and press to canvas using pliers. Do not heat up the canvas with the heat gun as you may burn the canvas.
Here are some additional ideas to create with melted plastic bottles.
For more information watch my segment of Fox 4 Morning Decorating On A Dime.
Melting Plastic Bottles