Adult Shrinky Dinks: Upcycled Plastic Soda Bottles Become A Mod Window Shade
I saw this “flowered” window covering earlier this week in an art gallery. It was made with the bumpy bottoms of half liter soda bottles that were shrunk in the oven a la Shrinky Dinks. (There was also a room divider made using the same technique at the gallery). I love it because it uses trash-pickable items, to create something functional and pretty. I immediately ran home to experiment. Since most tourists in Florence are incapable of properly recycling their plastic bottles, even though there are public recycling bins on almost every corner of the city, it was (sadly) easy to snag enough bottles for this project, just by pulling bottles from trash bins on my way home from the train station.
(Yes. I recycled the rest of the bottles properly).
To make this flowered window covering:
1. Carefully cut the bottoms off the plastic soda bottles using a utility knife.
2. If kitchen fires and huffing fumes scare you, skip the next 3 steps.
3. Cover a plain (non insulated) cookie sheet with aluminum foil or with baking parchment (I used a cut up paper grocery bag instead of parchment).
4. Bake the plastic pieces in a 350 degree oven for 1 or 2 minutes. Plastic is highly INFLAMMABLE. Do NOT leave your kitchen during the baking process and be sure to have EXCELLENT VENTILATION as heating plastic will cause it to off-gas. Also, as general kitchen safety, you should always have a fire extinguisher handy.
5. Let the now shrunken, slightly melted, flower-shaped plastic pieces cool on the cookie sheet.
6. Drill a small hole at the top and bottom of each flower. (I used a hammer and nail to make the holes).
7. Thread fishing line through the holes at the top and the bottom of each flower to form a chain.
8. Tie each chain to your window’s already existing window hardware. The chains in the photo are tied directly to the burglar bars on the exterior of the window. Obviously you can vary the amount of privacy you get by layering your chains. Alternately, you can tie, staple or nail the chains to a piece of scrap wood or spare tree branch and mount that on the interior or exterior of your window.