Kids Diy

Two great DIY ideas for summer made from plastic bottles

Who would have thought that you could make a glowing jellyfish or a floating boat out of a PET bottle? Our summer crafting tips come out of the bottle here.UpdatedAugust 10, 2020

© Bigstock / nopponpat

Summer craft ideas for children

Summer is finally coming to us in the north. Of course, as so often, just in time for the end of the Hamburg summer vacation. So we’ve now come up with small, summer craft ideas for the afternoon. And so that they are also possible spontaneously, this time they consist of empty bottles. This also directly increases the children’s motivation to drink a lot of water on hot days .

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© Sandra Hohenstein

Luminous jellyfish


  • Empty 1.5l disposable bottle
  • Solid or colored wire fairy lights
  • Masking tape or other streamer tape
  • Pointed scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Lighter
  • hairdryer


© Sandra Hohenstein

First you separate the lower part of the bottle about 15-20cm above the ground, depending on the shape of your bottle. You no longer need the upper part for this crafting tip, but you can keep it for other handicrafts such as the water play wall. Then cut the bottle from above into thin strips about 1.5cm wide. The children can easily take this step themselves. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t straighten out, the stripes will later become tentacles. Just make sure that you cut the strips all equally deep. About 10cm long.4/9

© Sandra Hohenstein

Now you bind the strips together with an adhesive film and then comes the exciting part in which you deform the plastic through heat. This gives the jellyfish its typical shape, with the curvature inward. All you need is a hair dryer, which you set to the highest level. This step is of course not intended for children’s hands, but they can watch the process eagerly and watch how quickly the plastic changes due to the heat. To do this, you simply have to push the tentacles that are tied together inwards and then hold the hair dryer on them at the same time. It’s best to feel it slowly, nothing happens at first and then the plastic deforms very quickly.5/9

© Sandra Hohenstein

Your result should look something like this. The adhesive film is either melted with it or you can now remove the remains of it. If you want to fix a chain of lights in the jellyfish like we did, it works best with the tip of the scissors, which you heat with a lighter. With the hot tip you can then easily poke a hole in the middle of the bottle base. Now all you have to do is thread the wire and glue the end together. Instead of a string of lights, you can of course also fill other things inside the jellyfish, such as glitter, confetti or colorful ribbons. Now you can decorate the tentacles as you like, for example with colored masking tape like we did.

© Sandra Hohenstein

Bottle boat


  • Empty 0.33l disposable bottle
  • Shish kebab skewer
  • Colorful cling film or the back of the loose-leaf binder
  • Masking tape
  • line
  • Pointed scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sand or gravel


© Sandra Hohenstein

First you cut a long hole in one side of the bottle. Keep the clipping, you will need part of it in a moment. The edges, which may be a bit sharp-edged, are then glued with masking tape. The tape is not waterproof, but it lasts for a while while playing and is otherwise quickly re-stuck.

Next up is the sail. To do this, cut out an approx. 5 cm wide strip from the remaining plastic that you have saved. This will later carry your sail and will be glued across to the bottle. But first you should fasten the parts of the sail. To do this, cut out three trapezoidal parts from the film, for example the colored back of a flat file. You cut the three parts in different sizes, i.e. small, medium and large.

If this is too complicated for you, you can of course just use a large sail. When you have cut three parts, put them on the skewer as shown. Start with the small part, then the middle part and after you have picked the large part, finish with the elongated plastic part. Now you can glue the sail in the middle of the bottle. We used adhesive tape for this.8/9

© Sandra Hohenstein

Now we have decorated our ship with a garland. It’s not necessary, of course, and it’s not particularly waterproof, but it looks pretty and was a lot of fun for the children. This type of garland made of masking tape can also be used for many projects. Also as a topper on a cake, stretched between two straws, it creates a good mood. And it’s also very easy to manufacture. Simply cut a piece of string to the desired length and place it in front of you. Then you take any colors of masking tape and cut pieces about the size of your thumb. You stick the string in the middle of this and then close the tape. Now you can cut the pennant triangular, as shown in our photo.

Your pennant chain is ready, which you can now attach to the tip of the sail and the lid of the bottle. So that the boat floats more stable, you fill the bottom of the bottle with sand or gravel. And then it’s just ship ahoy! Your boat is ready for the first trip.

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