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Plastic Elephant | Recycled Crafts

Plastic Elephant

Total Time Needed: Afternoon Or Evening

This pretty little plastic elephant will be great fun to create.


  • 16.9-ounce clear plastic soda 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
  • Pushpin


Plastic Elephant - Step 1

1. Form the body and legs: With a craft knife and scissors (parents only), cut the bottom 4 1/2 inches from each of two 16.9-ounce bottles, trimming them as shown. Pour 1/3 cup of rice into each one, then tape them to a 1-liter bottle.

Plastic Elephant - Step 2

2. Add the trunk: Use a hammer and nail to make a hole (a parent's job) in the center of each of 6 bottle caps, including one that fits the 1-liter bottle. Thread the caps onto a pipe cleaner (make sure the 1-liter cap is at one end, open side out) and screw it onto the body. Bend the trunk upward, then wrap it with tape to hold it in place. Tape over any large gaps.

Plastic Elephant - Step 3

3. Cover the bottles: Using the method described here, cover the elephant with gray or silver tissue paper.

4. Add the details: Hot-glue on double-layered gray felt ears with pink craft foam centers, pink craft foam toes and nostrils, white craft foam tusks, and googly eyes.

5. Use a pushpin to make a small hole for the tail, then insert a piece of gray pipe cleaner with a bit of fringed felt glued to the end, adding a dab of hot glue to secure the tail.