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  • January 3, 2012

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Animals from plastic bottles

Make a whole zoo based on these simple instructions.

Courtesy of: Family Fun

What you need (for each animal)

  • 16.9-ounce clear plastic soda bottles
  • Bottle caps
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape
  • Hot-glue gun
  • White rice (uncooked)
  • White glue and water
  • Tissue paper in assorted colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Waxed paper
  • Craft foam in assorted colors
  • Googly eyes
  • Pushpin
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Pom poms

Make the Spotted Giraffe

Spotted Giraffe - Step 1

1. Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut two 16.9-ounce bottles (with caps) in half. Use the scissors to trim one bottom piece to 3 inches and make cuts around the edge of the other. Slip the longer piece over the shorter one, then tape them together for the torso. For legs, trim the 2 top pieces as shown. Pour 1/3 cup of rice into each one, then tape the body atop the legs.


2. Add the head and neck: For the giraffe’s long neck, cut the bottom 5 1/2 inches from a third bottle, then trim it as shown and tape it in place. For the head, cut the top 5 inches from a fourth bottle. Use the craft knife (parents only) to cut away the bottle neck, then trim the remaining portion as shown and tape it in place. Tape a ball of tissue paper in the hole for a rounded nose, then cover any large gaps with tape.


Spotted Giraffe - Step 3

3. Cover the bottles: To give each animal its tough outer layer, first mix together 2 tablespoons each of white glue and water. Protecting your work surface, brush a bit of the mixture onto a small area of the animal’s body and press a 2-inch piece of yellow tissue paper onto the glue, brushing down the edges. Follow with brown paper for the spots. Glue on more tissue paper pieces, overlapping the edges, until the entire animal is covered. Set it on waxed paper and allow it to dry completely before adding the details.


4. Add the details: Hot-glue on brown craft foam hooves and nostrils, yellow craft foam ears with brown tissue centers, a brown suede fringe mane, and googly eyes. Use a pushpin to make 2 small holes for the horns, then insert 2 yellow pipe cleaner pieces with small tan pom-poms glued to the ends. Use the same method to attach a pipe cleaner tail with a bit of fringe glued on, then add a dab of hot glue to keep the horns and tail in place.


Make the Spotted Lion

Friendly Lion - Step 11. Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut two 16.9-ounce bottles (with caps) in half. Use the scissors to trim one bottom piece to 3 inches and make cuts around the edge of the other. Slip the longer piece over the shorter one, then tape them together for the torso. For legs, trim the 2 top pieces as shown. Pour 1/3 cup of rice into each one, then tape the body atop the legs.


Friendly Lion - Step 22. Add the head: Cut a 3-inch section from the bottom of a third bottle, then trim it as shown and tape it on for the head. Tape over any large gaps.


Friendly Lion - Step 33. Cover the bottles: Cover the lion with orange tissue paper. To give each animal its tough outer layer, first mix together 2 tablespoons each of white glue and water. Protecting your work surface, brush a bit of the mixture onto a small area of the animal’s body and press a 2-inch piece of tissue paper onto the glue, brushing down the edges. Glue on more tissue paper pieces, overlapping the edges, until the entire animal is covered. Set it on waxed paper and allow it to dry completely before adding the details.


4. Add the details: Hot-glue on orange and brown craft foam ears, paws, claws, nose, and muzzle outline, white craft foam teeth, googly eyes, and a fringe mane. Use a pushpin to make a small hole for the tail, then insert a piece of tan pipe cleaner with a bit of the fringe glued to the end, adding a dab of hot glue to secure the tail.


Make the  Crafty Crocodile

Crafty Crocodile - Step 11. Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut two 16.9-ounce bottles in half, then trim one of the bottom pieces to 3 inches.


2. Use the scissors to make cuts around the edge of the longer bottom piece, as shown, then slip it over the other and tape them together for the torso. Trim the bottle tops as shown, then tape them to each end of the torso, giving the crocodile a slight curve.


Crafty Crocodile - Step 33. Hot-glue 4 bottle caps in place for legs, spacing them evenly for balance. Tape a tightly wadded ball of tissue paper in place for each eye, then tape over the open bottle ends as well as any other gaps.


Crafty Crocodile - Step 4 4. Cover the bottles: Cover the crocodile with green tissue paper. To give each animal its tough outer layer, first mix together 2 tablespoons each of white glue and water. Protecting your work surface, brush a bit of the mixture onto a small area of the animal’s body and press a 2-inch piece of tissue paper onto the glue, brushing down the edges. Glue on more tissue paper pieces, overlapping the edges, until the entire animal is covered. Set it on waxed paper and allow it to dry completely before adding the details.


5. Add the details: Hot-glue on a green craft foam tail, scales, and feet, black craft foam nostrils, white craft foam teeth, and googly eyes backed with semicircles of green craft foam.


Make the Zippy Zebra

1. Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut two 16.9-ounce bottles (with caps) in half. Use the scissors to trim one bottom piece to 3 inches and make cuts around the edge of the other. Slip the longer piece over the shorter one, then tape them together for the torso. For legs, trim the 2 top pieces as shown. Pour 1/3 cup of rice into each one, then tape the body atop the legs.


Zippy Zebra - Step 1

1. Add the head and neck: Cut a third bottle in half. Cut the bottom piece to 3 1/2 inches, then trim it as shown and tape it in place for the neck. For the head, use the craft knife (parents only) to cut the bottle neck from the top portion, then trim it as shown and tape it on. Tape over the hole at the nose as well as any other large gaps.


Zippy Zebra - Step 2

2. Cover the bottles: Cover the zebra with white tissue paper followed by a black tissue paper muzzle and stripes. To give each animal its tough outer layer, first mix together 2 tablespoons each of white glue and water. Protecting your work surface, brush a bit of the mixture onto a small area of the animal’s body and press a 2-inch piece of tissue paper onto the glue, brushing down the edges. Glue on more tissue paper pieces, overlapping the edges, until the entire animal is covered. Set it on waxed paper and allow it to dry completely before adding the details.


Zippy Zebra - Step 3

3. Add the details: Hot-glue on white craft foam for a nose (with a black tissue paper stripe), nostrils, and ears (with black tissue centers), black craft foam hooves, a black fringe mane, and googly eyes backed with black tissue paper circles. Use a pushpin to make a small hole for the tail, then insert a piece of white pipe cleaner with a bit of black fringe glued to the end, adding a dab of hot glue to secure the tail.


Make the Grey Elephant

1. Plastic Elephant - Step 1 Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut the bottom 4 1/2 inches from each of two 16.9-ounce bottles, trimming them as shown. Pour 1/3 cup of rice into each one, then tape them to a 1-liter bottle.


2. Plastic Elephant - Step 2 Add the trunk: Use a hammer and nail to make a hole (a parent’s job) in the center of each of 6 bottle caps, including one that fits the 1-liter bottle. Thread the caps onto a pipe cleaner (make sure the 1-liter cap is at one end, open side out) and screw it onto the body. Bend the trunk upward, then wrap it with tape to hold it in place. Tape over any large gaps.


3. Plastic Elephant - Step 3 Cover the bottles: Cover the elephant with gray or silver tissue paper. To give each animal its tough outer layer, first mix together 2 tablespoons each of white glue and water. Protecting your work surface, brush a bit of the mixture onto a small area of the animal’s body and press a 2-inch piece of tissue paper onto the glue, brushing down the edges. Glue on more tissue paper pieces, overlapping the edges, until the entire animal is covered. Set it on waxed paper and allow it to dry completely before adding the details.


4. Add the details: Hot-glue on double-layered gray felt ears with pink craft foam centers, pink craft foam toes and nostrils, white craft foam tusks, and googly eyes.


5. Use a pushpin to make a small hole for the tail, then insert a piece of gray pipe cleaner with a bit of fringed felt glued to the end, adding a dab of hot glue to secure the tail.


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