The Great Soda Bottle Safari

by Kris Bordessa
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Boldly striped zebras, long-necked giraffes, and thundering elephants are the highlight of most safari adventures, and this one is no different. But you need not travel to the rain forest or the savanna to see these exotic creatures for yourself: a short trip to the recycling bin and a few basic craft supplies are all that's required to create your own herd of wild critters.

Getting Started

All of the animals here begin with the same basic materials and techniques, making it a snap to craft just one favorite from the herd or the whole menagerie. To get your safari started, you'll need the following materials:

  • 16.9-ounce clear plastic soda or water bottles, clean, labels removed (for the elephant, a 1-liter bottle)
  • Bottle caps
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape
  • Hot-glue gun
  • White rice (uncooked)
  • White glue and water
  • Tissue paper in assorted colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Waxed paper
  • Craft foam in assorted colors
  • Googly eyes
  • And, for some: a pushpin, a hammer, a nail, pipe cleaners, felt, fringe, suede, and pom-poms

Covering the Bottles

To give each animal its tough outer layer, first mix together 2 tablespoons each of white glue and water. Protecting your work surface, brush a bit of the mixture onto a small area of the animal's body and press a 2-inch piece of tissue paper onto the glue, brushing down the edges. Glue on more tissue paper pieces, overlapping the edges, until the entire animal is covered. Set it on waxed paper and allow it to dry completely before adding the details.

To start creating these fun animals, click on the links below!

Crafty Crocodile

Plastic Elephant

Friendly Lion

Spotted Giraffe

Zippy Zebra

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