Water Bottle Summer Lights

Measures 10" x 7"
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Summer nights call for summer lights and these pretty, illuminated flowers make a festive statement indoors or out.  In addition to their visual appeal they offer convenience.  Because the 36” long string doesn’t have to be plugged into an electrical outlet, you can place them anywhere.  The six flowers and leaves are cut from ordinary plastic water bottles by just following the grooves in the plastic.  After they’re painted, heat is applied which causes the plastic to curl up, creating interesting blossoms.   Hang them or drape them across the center of a patio table.  After dark the lights bounce off the different colors creating a beautiful display.  Heat up your glue gun because you may want more than one string of these lights!

Directions

COVER EXPOSED AREAS TO PREVENT ACCIDENTAL OVER SPRAY. ALLOW PAINT TO DRY BETWEEN STEPS.

step 1 - Cut the bottom out of a water bottle in a straight line below the last groove in the plastic.

step 1 - Cut the bottom out of a water bottle in a straight line below the last groove in the plastic.

step 2 - Cut across the grooves to the center circle imprinted in the plastic.  Shape the squared edges if you like by curving them into rounded petal shapes.

step 2 - Cut across the grooves to the center circle imprinted in the plastic.  Shape the squared edges if you like by curving them into rounded petal shapes.

step 3 - Airbrush the outside of the plastic with yellow paint.  Add detail by airbrushing a bit of orange to the edges and center.  See a complete list of the colors I used below.

step 3 - Airbrush the outside of the plastic with yellow paint.  Add detail by airbrushing a bit of orange to the edges and center.  See a complete list of the colors I used below.

step 4 - Use a heat gun to shape the flowers.   It works very quickly. Heating in short bursts close to the plastic will give you more control of the curling.  Experiment beforehand on unpainted plastic to get a feel for how it will react to heat. 

step 4 - Use a heat gun to shape the flowers.   It works very quickly. Heating in short bursts close to the plastic will give you more control of the curling.  Experiment beforehand on unpainted plastic to get a feel for how it will react to heat. 

step 5 - A hot blow dryer will also shape the plastic to some extent but it takes longer and the results will be less dramatic.  The heat gun causes the petals to curl under as in the photo above.  If you don’t have a heat gun, a candle flame might work too.

step 5 - A hot blow dryer will also shape the plastic to some extent but it takes longer and the results will be less dramatic.  The heat gun causes the petals to curl under as in the photo above.  If you don’t have a heat gun, a candle flame might work too.

step 6 - Cut 2” - 3” leaf shapes out of the remaining plastic bottle - two for each flower.  Airbrush them with green paint.

step 6 - Cut 2” - 3” leaf shapes out of the remaining plastic bottle - two for each flower.  Airbrush them with green paint.

step 7 - Apply heat to the leaves to shape them.

step 7 - Apply heat to the leaves to shape them.

step 8 - Position a flower under the second bulb in the light string.  Apply hot glue to the left and right of the center.  Don’t apply glue to the very center, as it will block the light.  Press the cords of the light string onto the hot glue.  Continue attaching flowers on every third bulb.

step 8 - Position a flower under the second bulb in the light string.  Apply hot glue to the left and right of the center.  Don’t apply glue to the very center, as it will block the light.  Press the cords of the light string onto the hot glue.  Continue attaching flowers on every third bulb.

step 9 - Apply two leaves to each flower back with hot glue.

step 9 - Apply two leaves to each flower back with hot glue.

step 10 - Wind floral wire around a thin round object.

step 10 - Wind floral wire around a thin round object.

step 11 -  Wrap the light cord through two-thirds of the spiral wire.  Curve the remainder of the wire and pull to stretch it out.

step 11 -  Wrap the light cord through two-thirds of the spiral wire.  Curve the remainder of the wire and pull to stretch it out.

step 12 - Some paint colors may obscure the light slightly.  To get the most light possible, dip a Q-tip into nail polish remover and wipe away a circle of paint from the flower’s center.

step 13 - On your computer, bring the faces for your pillow into a photo manipulation program like Photoshop Elements.  Reduce or enlarge the image to 1.25”.  Create a green round border to contain the image and add more color to the finished pillow.  Reverse the image and print it onto the shiny side of the film.

My Paint Colors - starting from the bottom and working counter clockwise:
Yellow with Orange
Purple Pearl
Gold
Red with White Pearl
Peach
Red with Purple Pearl

 

Supplies

At Testors.com

  • 9442 Yellow paint
  • 9443 Orange paint
  • 9446 Red paint
  • 9470 White Pearl paint
  • 9475 Purple Pearl paint
  • 9472 Gold Pearl paint
  • 9444 Peach paint

At Michaels

  • 22 gauge floral wire

At Trader Joe’s

  • 6 - Trader Joe’s Mountain Spring Water Bottles 1.5L

At Amazon

  • Aztek airbrush
  • Gerson 18 LED submersible light string

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