PostHeaderIcon Recycled Water Bottle Flowers

Recycled Crafts: Water Bottle FlowersWhile I don’t like destroying the earth with my plastic water bottles, I seem to be addicted to them. Thus why when I saw this idea a few years ago, I completely fell in love.

The original video used spray paint, which in it’s way looks beautiful. Since painting is one of my favorite “lazy” activities, painting bottles with acrylic paint has been a normal monthly activity for the past two years. In fact, the family made a Poinsettia chain for a Christmas present to my step mother. She loved it, especially because it was homemade.  We have used variations of flowers by using different water bottles, cutting patterns, and colors.

The tutorial will focus on the most basic supplies almost any crafty soul would have on hand, and only a few different “styles” of flowers. Feel free to get crafty and divert from the tutorial. That’s how the most creative work comes to be!

Water Bottle Flowers

You will need:

– Plastic Water Bottles
– Scissors or craft knife
– Primer Paint (optional – I use either white acrylic paint or Krylon Fusion For Plastic)
– Acrylic Paint (any)
– Black Sharpie (optional)
– Mod Podge (gloss or sparkle)

Step 1 – Gather Materials

To make the most of this project, I HIGHLY recommend getting organized before you start. Lay down newspaper or a drop cloth to work on, because we are going to get messy. Grab at least 5 empty water bottles, a sharp utensil to cut the top of the bottle, and your choice of acrylic paints. It is easier to work on a “set” all at the same time.

On Primer – If you plan on using a primer of sorts, you will need that as well. The only real difference between primer or no primer is the number of color paint coats you need to put on. Without primer, you are generally adding 3-4 coats. A solid white paint can also work. The idea is to not make the bottle “see through” any more, which allows for more vivid colors.

Primed with plastic spray paint.

Primed with plastic spray paint.

By the way, I recommend primer AFTER you cut the flower (see next step). It is much easier to paint after the bottle is “opened up”.

Step 2 – Cutting the Flower

Here is where you can get creative. Study the designs on your bottle for a minute. How many cuts could you make? Are there already designs on the bottle? In our example, the Dasani bottle had four leaf-like designs. We use the marks as our center point for the flower, shaping the sections into petals. After you make the cuts, bend the petals back as if the flower were blooming. (Or not, if you prefer to make a flower with closed petals)

This is an example of an open 4-petal flower:

Primed and cut water bottle.

Primed and cut water bottle.

You can see this one was a little off-centered and rough around the edges still. They don’t necessarily have to be perfect – nature is not! How perfect or not you cut them is a personal preference. You might also want to mimic other flower patterns such as daisies, poinsettias, or another favorite flower. Our example was based of nothing in particular, but rather the design already on the bottle.

Step 3 – Paint!

Always my favorite part of the project – painting! Any color you want can work for these flowers. Personally we loved blue, but we have also done red, orange, pink, purple, and random mixes of colors. THIS is the step you get to be as creative as you want. The color and decor you add are completely up to you.

This is just one example of a color and type of paint:

Blue Metallic Water Bottle Flower.

Blue Metallic Water Bottle Flower.

Metallic paints tend to require more coats to be vivid, even with primer. You can put a solid base coat on, then metallic, if you prefer to save time. Also, you might want to paint the top and bottom two different colors. Here was one my daughter and I painted in pink and green:

Pink and Green Water Bottle Flower

Pink and Green Water Bottle Flower

Use your imagination! Play with different colors! You might also want to use the Sharpie at this point to make any designs pop out, as we did with the blue ones. I have found Stained by Sharpie works the best on this project. (See how we used them on our Pumpkin Jars)

Step 4 – Seal

In order to keep the paint from chipping, you will need to use a form of Mod Podge or other paint sealer. We like using the sparkle version sometimes, as it adds a little something extra to our special flowers. Here’s an example of Sparkle Mod Podge:

Sealed with Sparkle Mod Podge

Sealed with Sparkle Mod Podge

These were sealed with gloss Mod Podge:

Sealed with Gloss Modge Podge.

Sealed with Gloss Mod Podge.

Someone asked me if they are water proof. Honestly, I can’t answer that. I am sure there is a sealer on the shelves that you may be able to use to make them waterproof. I can say they are pretty durable, though. We had a string of them hanging in the window, right next to the front door that liked to blow open sometimes. They got knocked around pretty good on stormy days, and are still in perfect condition.

Final Note

There are about a bazillion different decoration ideas for these flowers, and I am constantly picking up new ideas from others. Personally, I just like to string them with regular thread, and hang them around a window. Other ideas I have heard include adding a string of lights, adding pipe cleaner to form a stem and leaves, and so many more.

I want to hear from YOU! What are some decoration ideas you would use these flowers for? What else would you add?



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Author Kara Kelso, also known as "The Idea Queen", has drawn inspiration from her eccentric family on since 2005. Raising a high-spirited girl, an Autism spectrum pre-teen boy, and a few random extras showing up for the food.
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