Here’s a cute way to upcycle plastic laundry detergent bottles into fun Halloween decor.
You can use different size plastic bottles to create an assortment of black cat decorations for your green Halloween party.
Large Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottle
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Black Spray Paint for Plastic
1 Black Sheet of Craft Foam for the ears
1 Piece of Black Craft Felt for the tail
Assorted Collection of Flat Backed Faceted Acrylic Jewels
(I used Jewelry Essentials Jewels Item #JC11378-123purchased from Michaels for a previous project with my daughter and had a whole box left)
The jewels are used for eyes, nose, inside of ears, collar, paws, and tail tip. Used 2 yellow cat eye shaped jewels for the eyes, 3 clear/silver triangle jewels for inside each ear and tip of tail, two pink upside down teardrops for the nose (a pink heart could also be used), 1 clear/silver square and 8 clear/silver small octagon jewels for the collar, and 2 large round clear/silver jewels and 4 tear drop shape jewels for the paws.
Silver Fine Tipped Paint Pen (I used Elmer’s Painters Metallic Ultra Fine Silver) to draw the mouth
3 Silver Metallic Pipe Cleaners for whiskers and tail
Approximate Time Needed to Complete Project: Around an hour total, not including dry time for paint
1) Grab a large plastic laundry detergent bottle that is empty and clean it out really well. Allow to dry.
2) Gently sand bottle with a fine grit sandpaper to rough it up so the paint will stick to it. Don’t bother trying to remove the labels; they are seemingly impossible to remove. They can be painted over.
3) Take the bottle outside and spray it thoroughly with black spray paint made for plastics. You may need to apply two coats.
4) While your paint is drying gather all your materials. You’ll need black craft foam to cut out the ears, black felt and a pipe cleaner for the tail, two metallic silver pipe cleaners for the whiskers, and an assortment of jewels for the eyes, nose, ears, tip of tail, collar and paws. You’ll also need scissors, a glue gun and glue sticks.
5) Start by cutting out your ears from the black craft foam. Trace a pattern onto the foam and cut into rounded triangles.
6) Glue 1 clear or silver triangle jewel to the middle of each ear.
7) Grab your black felt and a pipe cleaner to make your tail. Roll the felt around the pipe cleaner. Cut the felt into a 2 inch wide strip. This should wrap all the way around the pipe cleaner with room to spare.
8) Have your glue gun ready and roll the pipe cleaner up glue the first fold around the pipe cleaner. It should end up between a half inch and three quarters of an inch wide.
9) Roll again and glue, seal up the ends as well.
10) Pick the tip and fold each side down and glue so the tip becomes triangular in shape. Glue a triangle jewel over the folded section to hide it.
11) If your paint is dry grab your bottle and face the front toward you. The handle should be the back that is where your tail will go. Make sure your lid is screwed on tight.
12) Attach your ears first and work your way down. Position the ears where you want them then add a little glue at the bottom of the ear and attach to the lid.
13) Now position your eyes toward the top of the bottle lid and glue them on.
14) Glue the teardrop (or pink heart) jewels below the eyes for the nose.
15) Move onto the collar and glue on all of your jewels.
16) Position your paws and glue them on.
17) Now you can glue on your tail. Make sure the folded side is down and glued against the handle of the bottle. You can bend and shape the tail to droop, twist, curl or stick up however you like best. Make sure the jeweled tip is at the top.
18) Make your whiskers with the silver pipe cleaners. It will take two pipe cleaners to make 3 whiskers on each side. Cut each pipe cleaner into three equal lengths so you end up with six pieces for six whiskers. You can leave them straight or make them twisty by wrapping them around a pencil then stretching them out a bit. Glue each whisker on extending out from the nose.
19) Draw your mouth on with the paint pen.
20) You are done unless you want to use leftover jewels to add more decoration to your bejeweled black Halloween cat.
You can substitute many of the used items for something else: craft foam can be changed to felt, cardboard or even stiff material like old corduroy scraps. The jewels can be switched out with other beads, buttons, even stickers. I just used what I had in my craft supply boxes.
The spray paint, while not the most eco-friendly craft supply, is a must have. And it must be the kind for plastic or else it will peel off the bottle even after sanding lightly. I am considering using a plastic primer then using the low VOC spray paint to see how that works.
Either way I’ll still be using a not so eco-supply. But it is better to reuse an item and upcycle it than just toss it in the trash. Of course my plastic goes to the recycling bin but you know what I mean.
This is a cute Halloween decoration. I have also used coffee creamer bottle and mini smoothie bottles to make cute black cats, too.
Laundry soap bottles (especially the big fat ones) turned sideways make adorable pumpkins just paint orange and add a few leaves and some jack o lantern faces.
9 CommentsLeave a Reply
That is SO cute and would be so much fun to do with kids. Thanks for the great idea, I’ll be linking.
This is super cute. But I had a philosophical question about the use of the black plastic spray paint for this upcycled craft. Does the use of the spray paint outweigh the benefit of keeping the plastic out of the waste stream? (I kind of think it does, but that’s me) I’m really curious what others think, because I’m always trying to figure out ways to upcycle items, but then feel I’ve somehow cheated if I use a toxic material to assist in the upcycling process.
I think that spray paint isn’t very eco but it’s the only option there is right now that I could find for this craft. Covering plastic isn’t the easiest thing.
I use the Krylon low VOC spray paint when I can but it will crack and chip off the plastic if a plastic primer isn’t used.
I think the benefits do outweigh the risks of using psray paint but I have no scientific basis for this. I just know that if the plastic headed to the landfill that would be bad and if it went to be recycled that would take a huge amount of energy to recycle it into somethign else.
By taking what’s already there and upcycling it into something that is fun to make and cute to use for decorations it has a double plus with just one minus.
That’s cool – I’ll show my wife, she’s home with our 4 year old that is sick with the flu… that should keep them busy and their minds off being sick..
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