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Accordion Christmas Tree from Plastic Bottle


Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
November 1, 2021

The completed accordion Christmas tree.Don't spend a lot of money on Christmas décor, rather use what you have at hand to create it. I figured out how to make this wonderful Christmas tree from a plastic bottle. I used a green plastic bottle, but you can use it in a different color, as Christmas trees don't have to always be green. You can also use any other decoration for such a Christmas tree, for example crystals, beaded garlands or even buttons that you can sew with threads if you don't have a suitable wire. So this project will cost you almost nothing. I am the author of this idea and I really like the result. I hope you like it too.

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Total Time: 1 Hour

Yield: Christmas tree about 5.5 inches high, base width about 4 inches

Supplies:

  • green plastic bottle 2 L without ridges in middle
  • knife
  • board about 3-4 inches wide
  • scissors
  • iron ruler
  • awl or compass
  • copper wire 0.8 mm diameter
  • copper wire 1.5 mm diameter, I used wire from an old transformer
  • white pearlescent beads with a diameter of 8 mm
  • pliers and wire cutters
  • iron

Steps:

  1. Remove a sticker from the plastic bottle. You need a plastic ring that has a flat surface (without ridges). The height of the Christmas tree (without a star length 1.5 inches) depends on the width of the plastic ring. Using a knife, cut the plastic bottle around the top and bottom.
  2. Insert the board inside the plastic ring. Using a ruler and an awl or compass, draw a straight edge around the plastic ring, gradually turning it on the board. For my Christmas tree, I measured out the ring 4 inches wide. Using scissors cut off any excess and trim the edge of the plastic bottle.
  3. Cutting plastic from a recycled bottle.
     
    A cylinder of recycled green plastic.
     
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  4. Now you need to measure the circumference of your plastic ring and calculate how many folds your Christmas tree will have. The number of folds must be even. My Christmas tree has 34 pleats that are 0.4 inches wide. Reinsert the board inside the ring and use a ruler and an awl or compass to draw lines for the folds (see photo).
  5. Marking the lines on a piece of plastic.
     
    A cylinder of recycled green plastic.
     
  6. Bend the plastic along the drawn lines (bend with an accordion)
  7. adding accordion folds to the plastic cylinder.
     
  8. Heat the iron to maximum temperature. Touch the edges of only one side to the maximum heated iron for a few seconds.
  9. Melting the folded plastic edges.
     
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  10. Keep a few folds squeezed on the other side of the plastic ring and touch them to the maximum heated iron for a few seconds. Do not let go of the squeezed part of the ring until the plastic cools. Touch with folds on two sides (not inside the plastic ring). Continue in this way to fix the squeezed folds of the plastic.
  11. Melting the folded plastic edges.
     
    The accordion folded tree shape.
     
  12. It's time to decorate the plastic with the beads. Spread the beads evenly between the folds. Use an awl to make two small holes to secure the beads.
  13. Adding holes through the top of the plastic.
     
  14. Cut pieces of thin wire 1.2 inches long. The number should correspond to the number of beads.
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  16. String on the wire one bead and bend the ends of the wires at an angle of 90 degrees. Repeat this with all the beads.
  17. Adding pearls with wire to the plastic.
     
  18. Insert the ends of the wires through the holes and bend the ends of the wires inside the plastic Christmas tree (see photos).
  19. Adding pearls with wire to the plastic.
     
    Adding pearls with wire to the plastic.
     
  20. To make the top of the Christmas tree squeezed as much as possible, make four holes on the inner fold on four sides (at a distance from the edge of the plastic). Cut two pieces of thick wire: 1.5 inches and 7.5 inches. First, insert a short piece of wire through opposite holes and bend the ends of the wire tightly squeezing the folds. Cut off excess wire.

    Insert the end of the second wire through the other opposite holes. Bend the wire at one end, forming a loop and squeezing the folds tightly.
  21. Making a star shape from wire at the top of the tree.
     
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  22. Bend the remaining long end of the wire accordion-wise, making 5 folds about 0.5 inches wide. Join the last and first folds of the accordion and thread the end of the wire through the loop of the first wire. This will end up with a star on top of the Christmas tree. Cut off excess wire and align the star. The Christmas tree from a plastic bottle is ready.
  23. Making a star shape from wire at the top of the tree.
     
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