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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Recycled Bottles Turned into Concrete Blocks - tutorial Part 1 of 3

I couldn't wait any longer.  I love color in my garden.  I love to use recycled products.  I LOVE to make art that's affordable to make and sell. 

To get those 3 elements into my garden in this project:  I will use marbles, hot glass garbage, beer/wine bottle bottoms, concrete and leaves from my garden, and turn them into a fun art piece.

OKAY!  Ready???  This might seem a little long.  BUT!  Hopefully I've given you a picture of every step of the way. 

Let's GO!!!



 First step,,,, tools, equipment and art supplies!

CONCRETE - I put this in a bucket so it was lighter to carry.

Bucket of water, garden trowel, pan to mix your concrete in.

Forms I made, but, you can use any thing with a flat
bottom.  Try a 1/2 gallon orange juice carton.

Duct Tape, not the cheapest stuff.  Don't forget scissors
to cut the tape with.

This is all "garbage" hot glass.  Yes, it's in a kids swim pool!  Keeping it in here keeps it out of where you walk with bare feet.

A nice small bucket of fun "garbage".

Close up of the "garbage". 

Bottoms of wine, beer and soda bottles. 
Each bottle is cut about 3/4 to 1 inch high.  You will need 2 bottoms for each block.  Make sure they fit together nicely.

Put the 2 halves together.  The sides need to match up very closely.  This "jar" will be empty, just that nice Coke green.   Remember I said the tile saw is not a pretty cut. 
In this case, we don't care!

You will need to cut your duct tape into a smaller strip than the roll it comes on.  I usually use a strip about 3/4 to 1 inch wide.  Then roll that tape around your bottle bottoms pulling firmly as you go.  This can not have any holes in it where the water can get in.

Cut the tape about 1 inch longer than the bottle is around.  Pull that over the beginning of the tape.  Over lap it.

Use your scissor handle to burnish the sides.  Smooth the handles over the jar to further seal the tape to the bottles.

Set the glass into the form.  You are ready to pour concrete!

This is another set of bottoms.  This set I am filling with hot glass.  Fill only one side with glass.  You can use any type of glass you have.  Marbles are wonderful.

Put the sides together and hold on!

Hold this up to the sun (sorry!  mine wasn't out again today!!!).  Let the glass fall to see if you need to add more.  It may not be full enough yet.   See if you like the colors you have so far.

Check again!  Do you like it so far?  If not,
now is the time to add different glass.

Close enough.  I see color, texture and patterns.  Tape the sides together and burnish!

4 glass jars ready for concrete.  2 plain, 2 with hot glass.
I want to add some leaves to my boxes.  The leaves will add texture to your blocks after the concrete sets.  Here's some foxglove and Columbine.

Here you'll find Wisteria, Honeysuckle and (OOPS) Morning Glory.

This is the Morning Glory.  See how long the stems are?

Let's cut them off.  We want them to lay flat in the
bottom of our form.

Place your leaves VEIN SIDE UP in the box.

Set your glass on top of the leaves, in the middle of the box.

This is a Foxglove leaf.  I don't like the back vein this thick. It leaves too deep of a well in your concrete.

Cut most of that vein off.  It'll make a much nicer finished piece.
Here I placed the large leaf I cut the large vein off
and one smaller leaf inside the box, VEIN SIDE UP.  Top with glass.

Wisteria under the jar, ready for concrete.

Columbine under the jar, ready for concrete.

OKAY!  So far, so good??? 

So far we've made our glass jars.  Some with marbles or glass in them.  Some empty to let the color and design on the jar be our art.

Tomorrow, in part 2, we'll pour the concrete.  I'll show you how to mix it.  Then how to fill the boxes.  It's not hard, just messy!

The following day we'll do part 3, how to get the concrete block out and cleaned up.

If you have any questions,,, PLEASE ask them.  I don't mind.  I always have tons of questions.

Until tomorrow,,, thanks for stopping by and have a good one!  Shell

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