Water Bottle Jellyfish
Updated: Jun 26, 2021
This activity will allow you to repurpose used water bottles to create art! Due to the amount of cutting and taping required, we recommend this activity for school-aged children and older. Along with our other water bottle-based activities, this is a creative way to become mindful about the trash that we generate as well as how we can repurpose it to create toys or cute decorations pieces.
2 plastic water bottles
Acrylic paint (at least one color)
Pencil or another long and skinny object
Let's Get Started!
Take the labels off of both of the water bottles and put them aside. We’ll use them later to create the tentacles!
The label is all that you will need from the first water bottle. After you’ve removed the label, you can either recycle the first water bottle or reuse the bottle on one of our other water bottle activities.
Next, make a cut on the second water bottle by starting from one of the vertical ridges at the bottom (marked in black on the picture).
Cut upwards until you hit the third sideways line (also marked in black). Next, make a horizontal cut along the third sideways line until the bottom part of the water bottle is cut off completely.
Set the bottom part aside for later.
Next, take what’s left of the water bottle and continue cutting up the bottle until you hit the last sideways ridge. Make a horizontal cut along this highest ridge until the top is completely cut off.
At this point, you should have three water bottle parts: the top, the middle, and the bottom. You can recycle the middle section: you won’t need it for this activity.
Helpful tip: If you don’t want to recycle the middle section of the water bottle, you can use it as a flower stem for the water bottle flowers activity!
Now, take the top of the water bottle and slide it over the bottom section. The top should come to rest on the middle ridge of the bottom section (marked in black). Now you can tape the two sections together. This will form the body of our jellyfish!
Now that the body of the jellyfish is done, we can paint it! I used light blue at the top, dark blue at the bottom, and pink for polka dots. You can paint your jellyfish however you would like!
While the body of our jellyfish is drying, we’ll use the water bottle labels to create the tentacles. Cut each label into 4 vertical strips. This will leave you with 8 strips in total.
After all the strips are cut, tape the top of your first strip to a pencil and wrap it tightly around the pencil. Tape it again once it’s wrapped up and repeat this process for each tentacle. This will ensure that the tentacles are nice and curly.
The length of time that you leave the strips on the pencil determines how curly they will be. If you want super curly strips like the ones in the picture, leave them wrapped up overnight. If you want them to be wavey, leave them on the pencil for about 30 minutes. An example of wavey tentacles will be shown in the final picture on the purple jellyfish.
After 30 minutes have passed (or however long you choose), unravel the strips and set the pencil aside: we won’t need it anymore!
At this point, the tentacles should be done and the body of the jellyfish should be dry. Now we can attach the tentacles to the body!
To start, tape the first tentacle to the lower section of the body (not the bottom, just the lowest part of the side of the body). Tape the tentacle so that the first curl curls outward away from the bottle, not towards it. I recommend using two spaces of tape: one of them stretching sideways on either side of the tentacle, and one of them going downward and wrapping under the bottle.
Next, tape the remaining 7 to the side in the same manner. You shouldn’t have to worry about the spacing of the tentacles being even because they should perfectly fit all around the side with very little space in between!
Lastly, draw a little face onto your jellyfish and you’re done! Congratulations on creating jellyfish out of water bottles!