Plastic Can Be Fantastic
What if I told you there is an unsung hero of immense potential that you toss into the trash every single day? I'm talking about that soft drink PET bottle you emptied out today and did not give any second thought to. Here's a little demo on what you're missing out on:
If you're one of those people who love their little garden but forget to water the plants regularly (like yours truly), these self-sufficient planters are the ultimate solution to your worries. To make a planter out of a plastic bottle, grab your sharpest scissor and cut a 2 litre plastic bottle into half. Once done, grab the bottle cap and make about 5 holes in it. Make a few wicks out of thinly cut scrap cloth of about 1 inch width, insert them through the holes in the bottle cap and place the cap on the bottle. Now, the assembly. Fill the bottom half of the bottle keeping about a quarter of it empty. Invert the top half and place over the bottom half, ensuring the wick is immersed in the water. Cover the inverted top half with a layer of newspaper strips, tuck some mud in and place your plantlet carefully into your brand new, self-sufficient planter. But do replenish the water in the bottom half when it empties out.
If you're a bangles and bracelets kind of person, mark my words: never, ever throw a plastic bottle away again because this is going to save you all that money you spend on your wrist accessories. You could go about this two ways:
* Use plastic tape to wrap an area around the plastic bottle and use this as a guide to cut a ring from the bottle using an anti-cutter. Now, feel free to choose from an abundance of options of laces, ribbons, woollen fabric or basically anything pretty. Start by gluing one end of the material to the inside of the ring and loop it through the width of the ring. Continue wrapping until you've covered it wholly and seal off with fabric or hot glue.
* Use masking tape to mark and anti-cutter to cut out two rings of same width and diameter from the plastic bottle. Now is the time to bring out your stash of wrapping papers (if you don't have one yet, see how handy it can be?) and cut a strip of the same width and length as the ring to cover it. Now, cut open one of those rings and sandwich the paper between the two plastic rings. For the finishing, cover the edges with thin strips of masking tape and paint them in acrylic gold or silver.
A plastic bouquet
The struggle is real when you need a last minute touch to prim up your project or need to come up with a last minute gift when your pockets are empty. In case of emergencies as such, grab a bottle of your favourite drink, devour it and find yourself a lit candle. Cut out the bottom of the bottles which are already in a "five petal" shape. Hold the plastic petals lightly over the flame until the plastic is slightly melted and you can manipulate the shape by hand (please wear gloves and mind the smoke). Use a heated wire, insert it through the centre of the petals and seal the deal with a loop.
Labiba Mustabina studies biochemistry and biotechnology at North South University. A tree hugger, she also claims to be a closet artist. You can reach her at [email protected]