Tuesday, July 1, 2008


It's not exactly a secret: I hate to throw anything away. I do recycle as much as I can, but see it as just a greener way to discard something. I also have issues with buying water, especially since our water here is so good, but the recent heat, coupled with a two-day long outside show sent me to the store for a case of it. (Hint: Freeze at least half the water you plan to take. It will keep the other bottles cold, and melt as the day goes on, giving you lovely ice water to drink, and/or a cooling bottle to hold against wrists and neck.)

So, there I stood yesterday, with a cluster of empty water bottles on the kitchen counter. What to do? Why, make squids, or dangles, or whatever you want to call them! It's an easy craft for older kids or grown-ups who don't like to make garbage.

You need:

The Materials

  • Empty water bottles

  • Scissors

  • Small things to hang inside the bottle neck

  • Wire or string

Begin by making a long, spiral cut the length of the bottle, starting wherever you want. I began my cut just below the bell shape. My water bottle was quite thin and flexible, so to begin the cut, I just kind of squished the side flat. You might have to poke a starter hole in a sturdier bottle.

Here's the path my scissors took:

A Spiral Course

As you can see, the trick is to cut almost all the way around, and then angle your cut down. I pretty much followed the indentations around the bottle itself, including where there was a kind of wave pattern. (I thought it would look cool to "catch the waves", but it didn't actually show, so you can just do a plain spiral.) Go all the way to the bottom of the bottle, but don't cut the bottom off.

When you've finished your spiral, you'll have this:

Do that to three bottles, and nest the neck ends together in a stack, so that the curls hang from three different places.

Now take one of the little items you've gathered--a large bead, a key, a small toy, whatever you like that will fit inside the belled top of the bottle, but not go through the neck. If it has a hole in it, run a string or length of wire through. (I used wire, just because I knew where I had a good stash of different colors. It took about 18" (46 cm).) If there's no hole, just tie it around the piece.

Run the string or wire up through all three bottle necks. Your bright object will add a bit of color, and provide a stopper so you can hang the "squid" up.

When you have the string through the top neck, you can spread it to each side, and screw the top on. It's an option that doesn't affect anything. In fact, without the lid, you have transparency all the way up, which might be even better. But here's what I did:

Up, Through, and Down

Here's are close-ups of my bottles. I used an old Christmas ornament and a big red button.

Take your squid outside and hang it from a tree, or arbor. Or dangle it from something in your room. (I put a single, spiral-cut bottle up for the neighbor's kitten, and she loves it. It's very bouncy. The bottle. Not the kitten. Well, actually, both of them.)


Kathy said...

Ya know....your project gave me an IDEA!!! My hubby & I enjoy camping in the middle of nowhere basically & we do the bottled water thing. ANYWAYS....these woudl be GREAT to hang from the awning of the camper & for pizzaz I could drill some holes in the cap & insert a light from a string of Christmas lights & string them onto the awning!!! You always inspire my never ending brain! This weekend we are going camping so there will be lots of water consumption which = plastic bottles. I'll have to gather the neices & nephews & make it a fun lil project!

Debbie said...

I tell you you are full of amazing ideas, I may have to make some of those

SisterDG said...

How cool are those?? Link a kind of fabulous, artful jellyfish!

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