Boats in Bottles
Term: 4 Year: 2011
Each year for Open Night in Education Week, our Art Room presents a display of work from all our students on a
Topics in previous years have included space and people and our chosen subject for 2011 was the beach. All
grades across the school completed activities around the theme. We had fish, boats, piers, sunglasses, images
of waves, clay shells and the 12 apostles displayed in every available space.
Our Year 6 students had to construct a 3 dimensional “old fashioned” styled tall ship in a bottle as
one of their pieces for display.
•After a lengthy recycled bottle collecting phase, the children began by using a uniform sized template to
cut a piece out of the side of their bottle. This area cut eventually becomes the base of the piece.
•The piece cut out was taped onto the bottle to prevent it being lost.
•The same piece used to
cut the piece out of the bottle, became the size template for the boat construction.
•Using layers of
cardboard of a uniform size, toothpicks, string and material, the boats were constructed outside the bottle (ahhhh,
the trick is revealed!!!!).
•Once the boat was completed, it was attached with blu tac and hot glue to the
template piece cut out of the bottle in the original step. It is VERY important at this stage, that the glue and
attaching blu tac remains hidden or the final effect is spoilt.
•Using a skewer, the students put some
Supertac around the boat and inside the base of the bottle (accessed through the original hole cut out) and stuck
shredded blue cellophane to both areas. The cellophane helps to hide where the bottle was cut and the template piece
•The original piece of cut out bottle with the boat now attached is reinserted into the hole and
held in place with sticky tape. The idea is to keep it as neat and tidy as possible not to expose the
•We used corks to give the whole piece a more old fashioned look and the students
had to construct some sort of base to support the bottle and hide the “trick” area in the base.
overall effect of all the Boats in Bottles on display on Open Night was amazing! Every parent, child and
visitor through the school that evening would stop and look at the boats and pick them up trying to work out how they
This is definitely not a new or original idea by any means but it is a tried and true Golden Oldie.
(Visual Art Teacher Tucker Road Bentleigh Primary School)
Suitable for Level 4