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Gardening with Kids – How to Make Recycled Plastic Flowers

June 16, 2012
Gardening with Kids - How to Make Recycled Plastic Flowers

Recycled Plastic Flowers

Do you ever buy the small minerals for your children for trips or treats? If so don’t throw them into the recycle bin, why not make a few colourful recycled plastic flowers for your garden?

You will need scissors, empty bottles, strong wire (I used a metal coat hanger), pliers, then twine, gardeners wire or an elastic band to secure. Decorations of your choice.

Wash the empty bottles out and cut them just above the half way mark.

Gardening with Kids - How to Make Recycled Plastic FlowersTaking the bottom piece, cut strips as far as the fold that’s in the bottle to make the petals. They can be as thin or thick as you like. We found the thinner they were the prettier but whatever your child can manage. Repeat with the top half, once again stopping the cuts at the fold. Bend each cut strip outwards so that it flattens, just like a flower.

Gardening with Kids - How to Make Recycled Plastic Flowers

Here’s where an adult will have to intervene. Using the wire cutting part of the pliers, cut the wire to the appropriate length – about 30cm is a good size. The bases of the bottles are very difficult to cut holes into. I found the easiest method was to hold the piece of wire over a hot flame, the heat from which will pierce the base easily.

Gardening with Kids - How to Make Recycled Plastic Flowers

Once the wire is through the plastic bend the top over to form a loop with the pliers. The loop should be about the width of the neck of the bottle as it’s this that will keep the flower in place once you’ve threaded the top onto it.

If you have still have the cap, simply screw it back onto the bottle, hiding the metal wire. If you’ve lost it, wrap some string or raffia around it or even make a little woollen pompom that will act as the centre piece.

Gardening with Kids - How to Make Recycled Plastic Flowers

To stop the flower sliding back down the metal wire, just tie some string or an elastic band between the wire and the back of the bottle.

That’s it! You can decorate with paints, ribbons, raffia, wobbly eyes ~ anything you have to hand that might jazz your flowers up – or just leave them plain. The flowers are sure to liven up a garden on a dull day.

I can’t take all the credit for this post as it was inspired by Penny at the Millennium Community Garden in Kilkenny who’d been cutting out lots of bottles ready for a summer kids camp. There they will be making a wall mural with a gardening theme (and my own children would like to thank you for the idea too Penny as it meant I had to buy a pack of bottles to make this project with them – double bonus :))

Lifestyle

Beginning of May in our garden……

May 5, 2011

Just a few pics of our garden yesterday, after some light showers of rain…

We’re letting the curly kale go to seed in the hope of collecting them this year, and their flowers are the most colourful thing in the veggie garden at the moment.

The onions and garlic planted last autumn are doing well and the early potatoes are flying up too, especially now we’ve started our night time slug hunt.
Salads, carrots and parsnips are slow due to the long dry spell but will hopefully perk up now we’ve had a shower.
The strawberry plants are full of flowers so we’re hoping for another good crop. I’ll also be taking some of the tips picked up from The Red Kitchen, a Meath based jam and chutney business and hope to make jam this year that won’t be going mouldy. The fruit bushes are starting to swell with currents so fingers crossed for our first good crop.
Peas and lettuce sown directly in February are flying along but my French beans are being munched on by something sneaky… hopefully nothing more serious than slugs but I’m keeping a close eye.
The front garden is starting to look pretty too…

 

 

The borage self seeded and is flowering away, attracting the bees.

 

The Honesty (Lunaria) planted from seed last year, although windswept are still filling the garden with my favourite colour and goregeous scent.

… we divided the lupins in the early spring and are looking forward to six displays this year.

I’ll be stripping some comfrey leaves off soon to use as a mulch in the polytunnel…. and we keep meaning to move the herbs but haven’t gotten around to it yet…. anyone for oregano, sage or fennel?

Number one job now is to source some straw to use as a mulch to prevent weeds and keep the moisture into our clayey soil.

Very much looking forward to the months ahead in the garden …