The following tutorial shows how to make Plastic Beasts, using items that would normally end up in your recycling bin.
Getting your materials together...
Plastic Bottle (coloured or opaque)
Plastic Bottle Caps (assorted colours and sizes)
Scraps of Plastic
Plywood or Light Board
Needle Nose Pliers
Drill or Hammer & Nail
Cut base from the plastic bottle. Clean plastic bottle removing all labels, chemicals and tacky residue.
Drill holes in centres of bottle caps.
Cut 2 long lengths of wire. The red bottle above uses approx 40 cm, however shorter lengths will work for the soda bottles. Twist a loop into one end of each piece of wire.
Thread antlers, using and assortment of colours. Sipper caps make a good antler tips. Ensure that the wire loop is pulled snug into the first cap.
Create the eyes. Consider nesting smaller bottle caps inside larger ones to create pupils. Cut plastic scraps (in this case a yoghurt container) to create eye lashes if required.
Cut 2 smaller lengths of wire. The image above uses approx 20 cm. Twist a loop into one end of each piece of wire and thread the eyes.
Determine the location of eyes and antlers and mark onto the bottle with a pen. Punch a hole for the eyes using a drawing pin or nail.
Thread the eyes onto the bottle. Twist the long ends of the wire together inside the bottle to secure and trim the wire to finish. Ensure the wires are snug enough to secure the eyes, without overly distorting the face shape.
Check the location of the antlers and adjust if needed. Punch holes for the antlers.
Turn the bottle over and punch a small hole under the chin.
Thread the antlers through the top two holes. Thread additional bottle caps onto the wires before twisting the wires together. The internal bottle caps prevent the bottle from distorting when the wires are twisted or the antlers are adjusted.
Secure the antlers by threading the long ends of the wire through the hole to the chin. Thread a small bottle cap over the wire ends and secure. This prevents the antlers from rotating under their own weight.
Mount the head onto the selected board. The space inside the bottle is quite tight and the board relatively thin. I have used string to avoid damaging the wall behind once the Taxidermy is hung. In this case 2 holes were drilled into both the head and the board. The head was then tied to the board.
Spread the word that you are collecting bottle caps to help grow your bottle cap collection.
The monsters in this tutorial have been inspired the recycled creations from this website.
Children can be involved in creating the taxidermy with a little help and forethought..
For 3-7 year olds consider preparing the bottle, bottle caps, and wires allowing the children to thread the antlers, create the eyes and locate them on their bottle, before getting a grown up to tie it all together.
For older children who are capable with the wire, pliers and craft knife – let them go for it.
These beasts use an 18 gauge wire (1.25 mm diameter). This is quite flexible and easy to work with however, the antlers on larger beast droop like a water buffalo. To keep the antlers up, consider using a thicker gauge wire for the antler ends and thin gauge for areas where there is a lot of twisting and securing required.
Edited to fix link to www.mahatsara.com (30 August)