Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Plastic Flowers, Bloom

We used to drink Vintage brand seltzer water in my family. I saved these 1-litre bottles for two years waiting for 'project critical mass' -- which in the early childhood business means enough for everyone to have a lot.

It took me a long time because we switched to making our own seltzer at home around the same time that many of our families at school switched also -- it is economical and more environmentally-friendly to reuse bottles than it is to keep buying water, even with bubbles! So I had to collect them here and there. This Summer, we finally achieved project critical mass and were able to pair our summer camp's goal to reuse and upcycle plastic and this collection to wonderful effect!

The children who attend our Tinkering at the Cooperative School are between 4 and 10 years old.  This week, the children are 5 through 8. Although the older children could cut the bottles in half, the younger children didn't have the hand strength to use the larger scissors necessary for the task. We cut theirs in half and then they were able to cut the petal shapes.

We used acrylic paints. I added an adhesive medium to ensure the acrylic would stick to the plastic. Tip: we found out the hard way that this medium allowed the paint to stick to EVERYTHING, clothes, chairs, floor, etc.

I really want to do this again during the school year, because these beautiful creations will go home after one short week. During the school year, I could create a display that would last for months and months. To do this, I will have to get creative to get back to project critical mass!


  1. Oh these are really, really stunning & even better the local,scrap store always has bottles with no bottoms, so perfect for this. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. They are so cool and I think there's no reason why they should all be flowers either. Why I can see a propeller, an octopus and a windmill amongst them. But hey, that's just me.

    Did you get some of the older children cutting the bottles for the younger ones?

    1. The kids are way ahead of both of us, Greg. There are indeed sea creatures and airplanes nestled in among the flowers!