WINDMILL USING PLASTIC BOTTLES!

What looks like flowers, are really Windmills that you can simply make out of 2 plastic bottles from your recycled collection!

Make lovey flowers and windmills out of plastic bottles!

Here we are again, on to our next project as promised in our previous post, fun summer crafts for kids, making fun scarey monster faces game out of milk cartons.

This time we are going to look at using your odd plastic bottles, finding two the same and we are going to use the top and bottom parts to convert into flowers, then into 3 windmills.

There are so many ways of shaping a plastic bottle, it all depends what style you have in mind and how big or small you want it and what you can get your hands on.

I have also tried to keep this as simple as possible so the little ones can have a go too.

Being these projects are aimed at making a different kind of a ‘windmill using plastic bottles’, we will need adult support in some parts of the making.

Plastic being plastic, can become sharp after cutting so little hands will have to be protected. You can jump in and do the cutting and the making of the holes with the sharper instruments and of course burning a hole using a soldering iron.

Believe you me, I have tried a number of ways to pierce holes into the end of these plastic bottles and for some reason just where you want the hole to be, it’s very difficult as the plastic on the under side is much tougher.

I have tried, using the pointed end of a scissors, but this is not for a child to do, one of the options I show is to use a hammer and a large nail.

The screw tops of plastic bottles are a softer plastic, so you can bang a screw into lid and manually screw it further down the bottle top. (This is shown in the second making of the windmills.)

HOW TO MAKE AN EASY HOLE IN PLASTIC!

The solution to making an easy hole in plastic, would be to burn a hole some how, I tried a a few different ways, like:-

  • Hold a candle over a screw nail allowing it to heat up and when it turns orangy red, you can hold against the plastic and push it through, it has to be very hot to glide into it.
  • Alternatively, hold same large screw with a pair of pliars, over a gas hob, with flame on wait until the screw turns that orangy red colour, then it’s ready as before to run through the plastic.
  • The easiest solution that was a piece of cake was using a soldering iron! 

Hands up, I have never using this tool, so it was a new experience for me, seeing how easy it was for the soldering iron to glide through the plastic is like butter!

This would be a perfect opportunity for me to review this item and give my honest oppinion on it, So look out for that!

Before we get going, have a look at this short video to see how windmills began!

HERE’S THE STORY BEHIND WINDMILLS!

There you have it the Windmill story goes as far back as the persians in 500 AD. for drying cloths and in the 14th century to help pump water from flooded fields.
They adapted over time and used to pump water to farm fields, crush grains to make flour and later on to generate electriciy.
They have served a great purpose over time and still do today, by powering electricity, all with one of earth elemnents, the wind!

Let’s get back to our project on how to make a different type of a Windmill using plastic bottles, next project.

WHAT YOU NEED!

RESOURCES!

  • 2 plastic bottles, both the same.

  • 2 colourful straws.

  • 2 wires, one & half x length of straw.

  • A large and small scissors.

  • Scalpel.

  • 1 black felt tip pen.

  • 2 different coloured duck tape.

  • Stapler.

  • Soldering iron.

THIS IS THE FIRST OF OUR 3 WINDMILLS USING THE 2 BOTTOM ENDS!

Here we have made our first Windmill, by using the two bottom ends of the two plastic bottles.

It’s larger than the next Windmills we are going to make and a bit more heavier, but it will still spin with the right wind.

Your may need a tougher wire that’s not so bendy, but the garden wire I have used is fine.

The straws are made of paper now, so No more plastic straws!

NOW THE ” TOP ENDS OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLES! THIS WILL MAKE ” FURTHER 2 MORE WINDMILLS!

RESOURCES!

  • 2 top ends of the bottles.

  • 2 Acrylics paints.

  • 2 straws. Felt tip pen.

  • 2 wires one & half x length of straw.

  • 2 coloured duck tapes.

  • Hot glue gun.

  • Paint brushes.

  • Large and small scissors.

  • A hammer, large screw nail, wooden block.

READY TO MAKE THE NEXT 2 WINDMILLS?

ADDITIONAL NOTE!

For the you very young if making the windmill is a little bit difficult, then just stick to making a flower, so when you pass the wire through to the other end, when it comes through the flower bit, simply bend it tight at the bottle top so it doesn’t move or glue it with glue gun.

Here are the 3 Windmills, I waited for a good gust of wind to show that they do work!

AS PROMISED LET’S DO A QUICK REVIEW ON THE SOLDERING IRON!

PROS!

  • Easy to use just plug in.
  • Comes with 5 precision tips.
  • Easy to change tips.
  • Heats up with 30 seconds.
  • Small adaptable dial to increase temp.
  • Tiips can be cleaned.
  • Easy quick hole maker in plastic,
  • When in use keep cleaning to stay fresh.

CONS!

  • Tip can get very hot, watch finger.
  • Vapour will emerge, work in vetilated area.
  • Melted plastic or resource will stick cause carbon build up.
  • Cutting tip clumsy to use, can cut lines, be delicate.
  • Need to clean after each use to remove black carbon.

Honestly I found this a pleasure to use. It provided a great way to make holes in tough plastic. This is an addition to my craft tools.

Before you start, you may need to practice first on a spare piece of plastic to get use to it.

Being this was my first experience, yes I would recommend this tool. 

I had this tool in mind because certain tools, like scissors or scalpel and stanley knife, couldn’t  give me the  perfect hole I was looking for.

HERE COMES THE WARNING!

Having to heat up nails with a flame, would not be recommended if working with children.

The same with a soldering iron this should be handled by an adult, as it will heat up and can burn little fingers, including the use of a hot glue gun.

Some solder includes lead, you need to work in a vetilated area, so you don’t inhale the fume, vapour or dust it emits.

Whilst working with plastic, it did expell a vapour that smelt like burnt plastic, which I avoided inhaling. 

Although with an older child guided by an adult, they can have a go.

I found it fun just making holes in all sorts of plastics.

GARDEN TIP!

If you wanted to plant flowers, why not use the bottom halves of the plastic bottles, you can make holes in the base for drainage, with the soldering iron! This tool is ideal for that!

LET’S LOOK AT THE SOLDERING IRON!

This is the soldering iron with 5 tips.
Close up of 5 tips and heat up dial.
Ater use I cleaned it up almost to new.
Availble at :- Amazon, ebay and Hobbycraft outlets This model came with 5 extra tool tips and cost under £10.

LET’S RECAP!

The soldering iron is used primarily for soldering circuit boards and soldering wires up.

The heat from the soldering tool melts the solder which looks like a wire, this glues together the wires or fuse circuits. In this case regular solder is used.

OTHER CRAFT IDEAS!

Soldering can be used in crafts where you can solder mosaic glass together, even jewellery, working with coloured glass or gem stones, welding provides links to form a braclets.

Also another way you can use the solering iron, with the right tip, you can do some wood engraving, just by adjusting the heat.

There are endless ways you can use a soldering iron, I found one way and that was to make super quick holes in plastic.

HOW I CLEANED IT UP!

Whilst burning plastic, there was a build up of carbon on the tip, this has to be clean off to maintain good working order of the tool for next time.

First you have to heat it up, on hand I had a block of fabricated wood to sit the hot iron on, making sure the tip does not touch the block.

I had a damp sponge with a textured surface and a damp paper towel, as well as a scouring wire and some cleaning paste.

Alternating I rubbed the tip on the paper towel, on the sponge and had a good rub on the scouring wire, eventually it cleaned up. 

At this point I switched off the plug and the soldering iron was hot enough to continue with cleaning. The heat helps melt and shift the carbon residue.

I also applied some cleaning paste to the tip, which helped shift the small hard to get area.

Finally clean the tip up with a microfibre cloth and as you can see in the picture above it’s cleaned up really will!

TO CONCLUDE!

I hope you have taken what you can from these projects! I have shown you how to up-cycle 2 ordinary plastic bottles into 3 windmills, although first you will make flowers that can convert into windmills.

There is a bit of cutting involved so adult supervision is needed,

So check out your recycle bag and look for a couple of empty plastic bottles, the ones that carry fruit cordial in.

Some bottles have grooves that act as a guide for you to cut equal lines. 

Your kids can jump in and do the painting, this can get messy, but help make the fans or wings colourful, I felt the duck tape, was much cleaner and easy to apply, just needs jiggling around a bit.

Once completed they do look great popped around the garden and watch them spin when the wind sets in!

Keep an eye out if weather changes, as remember the holder is made of paper!

Hope you get a chance to try out these projects. It’s another way to make good use of plastic bottles and keep your kids busy over their time out, in at least having a go with making a different kind of a Windmill out of plastic bottles!

SUMMER AT AN END!

Summer holidays nearly over? then these projects are suitable to make anytime of the year. 

It’s another way to keep your kids focused and busy. Once you have arranged your resources keep them close by and you can do these projects after school, or over the weekend, but hopefully we will get a little bit more sunshine and of course more wind!

Look out for the 3rd project ‘Newspaper crafts for kids!

I will update you soon!

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