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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Father's Day: Recycled Ship in a Bottle

Father's Day is on the way! This week, in my Recycled Art class, I'm having the children create a project that they can give to Dad--A Ship in a Bottle! Many of the kids had never seen a real ship in a bottle--and they had fun trying to figure out how I got the ship inside the bottle (like countless generations have done with real ships-in-bottles!). But it was simple, here goes...

Hey, how'd ya do that??
By the way, I apologize for the awful pictures, my camera is challenging me today (grrrrr....)....

Recycled Ship in a Bottle

Supplies Needed:

  • A small, clear plastic bottle (I used a bunch of bottles from juice I had bought from Cosco so they were all the same size for my students)
  • Corrugated cardboard (cheap, thick sheets work best)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue
  • Hot glue with glue sticks
  • Toothpicks
  • A pointy nail
  • Paper scraps--card stock has the best color (blue, white, brown, red, etc.)
  • Yarn or string, optional
  • Clear tape
  • 6 popsicle sticks
Directions:

1. This may take a bit of fiddling--you'll need to adjust these instructions to fit the dimensions of your bottle, but here's what we did. Cut a rectangle from the bottle of the plastic bottle. I did this for the kids because I didn't want anyone to poke themselves with the scissors. Make sure the piece you are cutting doesn't come up the side of the bottle too much, because then you'll see it when you put the bottle back together. We were fortunate since our bottles were square-shaped. You'll be reattaching this piece of plastic to the bottle, so you'll want to plan your ship so that it doesn't extend beyond this piece (or you won't be able to fit it in the hole you created in the bottom of your bottle!).

We used 10 ounce Naked juice bottles
2. Create some water for your boat to sit on. Cut a piece of blue paper for water and glue it to the rectangular piece of plastic you cut from the bottle using hot glue or tacky glue. Make sure your water doesn't extend beyond the edges of the plastic rectangle.

3. Create your ship (you only need one per bottle, unless you have a really big bottle):

To create a sailboat: Cut a boat-shape from corrugated cardboard that is pointy at one end and flat at the other end. Depending on the size of your bottle, your boat might be pretty small. Our sailboats were about 1 1/2"-1 3/4" long. Trace this shape on corrugated cardboard three more times and cut out so you have four layers of corrugated cardboard, making the hull of your boat about 1/2" tall (thick). Stack and glue the layers of your ship together.

Cut a strip of paper 1/2" tall and wrap it around the outside of your sailboat. securing with glue. This will finish off your sailboat--you can make the sailboat any color you wish.

Use the nail (or something equally "pokey") to poke a hole in the center of your sailboat. through the layers of corrugated, for the mast. Insert a toothpick into the hole and cut it down so that it fits the height of your bottle.

Cut a triangular-shaped piece of white card stock for a sail. Use the nail to poke a holes in the sail, insert the sail onto the mast and then secure to the mast with glue, if necessary. Hold the sail in place until the glue is set.

Sailboat in the background and multi-sailed ship in foreground.
To create a many-sailed ship (pirate ship, the Mayflower, etc.): Cut a boat-shape from corrugated cardboard that is pointy at both ends. Depending on the size of your bottle, your boat might be pretty small. Our many-sailed ship was about 2" long. Trace this shape on corrugated cardboard three more times and cut out so you have four layers of corrugated cardboard, making the hull of your boat about 1/2" tall (thick). Stack and glue the layers of your ship together.

Cut a strip of paper 1/2" tall and wrap it around the outside of your ship. securing with glue. This will finish off the hull of your ship--I used brown for my example to make a traditional-looking ship, but you can make your ship any color you wish.

Use the nail (or something equally "pokey" to poke two holes in the top of the hull of your boat. through the layers of corrugated, for the masts. Insert a toothpick into each of the holes and cut them down so that they fit the height of your bottle.

Cut three square-shaped pieces of white card stock for sails. Use the nail to poke a holes in the sails, insert onto the masts and then secure to the mast with glue, if necessary. Use the photos as a guide. Hold the sail in place until the glue is set.

Add a bit of string or yarn, as rigging, to your ship for detail, securing it with glue.

4. Glue the ship onto the water, and let everything dry completely. This is important since you'll be fiddling with it to get the whole thing back in the bottle--you'll want your ship to be secure!

5. Insert the boat into the ship and use the clear tape to secure the plastic rectangle base back in place. Tape all four side of the rectangle.

6. Stack and glue popsicle sticks together to make two legs to use as a display "base" for the bottle. Glue the popsicle stick legs to the bottom of the plastic bottle, covering the seams of the piece you had originally removed.

7. The finished ship in a bottle can be attached to (or inserted in to) a piece of card stock decorated with a message for Dad on his big day! 

Poster board "card" decorated and with slits cut
to accommodate the finished piece.

Anchors Away! Enjoy!!

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