Recycled Bottle Tree

Name Tara Renner
Email pthmrenner@sbcglobal.net
Title of Activity Recycled Bottle Tree
Name of School Orchard Park Elementary
Time Needed: Several hours
Materials Needed: 6 foot long 2×4
tree base
cordless drill
cordless screwdriver
glue gun
craft paint
craft paint brushes
large paint brush
staple gun and staples
scissors
dowel rods
glitter
plastic bags for cleanup
newspaper
Description of Activity: OPE_bottle_treeFor this project you will need to collect many (several dozen) recycled plastic drinking bottles. How many you collect will determine the size of your tree. For interest, use different sized bottles, from 16 ounce to 2 litre. The bottles should be clean and dry and they must have their caps. You will also need a base for your tree. We used an old Christmas tree stand, the kind with the screw-in pieces in the base. For the trunk we used a 2×4 piece of plywood, about 6 feet tall. For tree “limbs”, we used some repurporsed wooded dowels that had been previously used in a cabinet. These were about 2 to 3 feet long each. We also used scissors to cut up the bottles. To begin, we cut up the bottles into beautiful shapes. To do this, remove the caps, but save them. Cut off the bottoms of the bottles, just removing the bottom rounded part. These can be saved if you wish them to be used to hold paint later. Next, begin cutting the bottles from this cut edge, down towards the ca p end. You want to make several cuts, so that you end up with a petal shape, like a flower. To achieve a floral shape, make the cuts swirly or try to make them rounded, not just straight up and down. Another fun shape to make is to start on an angle and go all the way around, so you end up with a long swirl. This is a pretty effect. Finally, attach the cap back on and paint the bottle. For best effect, paint the bottle all one color, both in and outside. While the paint is wet, sprinkle it with some glitter. We shook the glitter on over some plastic bags, so that cleanup would be easier. Let dry. Next, attach your trunk to your base securely.For branches, drill holes into the truck as needed and place the dowels into the holes. Glue in if needed. Once the bottles are dry, remove a cap one at a time, and staple or drill it into the base. Screw on the bottle. Done! Now, attach another bottle as close to the first as possible. Try to keep attaching bottles closely to the others . Vary the shapes and sizes. We stuck with 5 colors for ours. You will probably need more bottles than you think! When you are done, paint the base. We used green and it looked great. Good luck!
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Green Clubs

Getting students engaged in green practices is the key to a healthy future for our community. Green Clubs in our schools are a terrific forum for students to learn how to care for the earth and to put that knowledge into practice. See below for what student green clubs in our district are doing so far this school year!