Making Sea Creatures from Plastic Bottle Tops

I found out recently that while most soda bottles can be recycled, the bottle tops cannot since they are of a different material (#5). I know places like Aveda claim to take these caps, but I haven’t really seen it done locally, and that’s the most frequent item I see when picking up trash on the beach. Really, there are a lot of things to do with these, but here’s an idea to try.
I’ve used plastic bottle tops, plastic jar caps, etc. for a while now as great bases for pincushions. They work great, and were another fun craft to make. I figured this could also make a fun toy for kids (over 5 y.o.), small pets, or a neat display if you want to go crazy with it.
For this project, I used craft felt that is made from 100% recycled soda bottles- I really like the idea of the whole project using recycled materials. I decided on a fun little MOW jellyfish- they’re not really fun to surf or dive around, but this one will be cute.
First, I cut a large circle out, about 3-4 times the diameter of whatever soda bottle cap you are using.

Purple felt for the circle

Then, using embriodery thread, or whatever you have on hand, I made a running stitch around the edge of the circle, leaving a long tail loose when I started. I used white embroidery thread so it would show up in the pic:

Running stitch around edge

After going all the way around, take the two ends and start to draw them up- the circle will look like a shower cap:

At this point- if you want to put a face on your jellyfish’s head, now’s the time before starting to stuff the head. You will stuff the head until it fills out like a ball. You can use old stuffing (I used some from an old pillow), or even scrap felt pieces.
He’s watching you…
Once you have stuffed the head firmly, draw up the rest of the free thread and knot it shut. Get some glue and put a little around the edges and in the cap.
This will *hopefully* hold the head onto the soda cap until you sew it down. Next, I covered the bottom of the cap with a circle the same size as the cap:
I then made fringe (the tentacles) by cutting a rectangle out and cutting it into fringe, but leaving a top solid band to be secured around the edge of the cap. I glued the solid edge of fringe around the edge of the cap and cut off any excess.
Happy non-stinging jelly
I whipstitched the top edge of the fringe wrapped around the edge to the head to secure it together after the glue had dried to make usre to stayed in place.
Next, I wanted to make a little sea fern to go with my jelly. To do this, I made fringes of shaped long fern leaves from two different color green felts.
I placed the side edges of the bottoms together and rolled the bottom like a jelly roll.
I ran a couple of stitches though the bottom to make sure the roll wouldn’t unravel, and then glued it into a bottle cap.
Now I can move my fern anywhere I want to on the reef! In fact, using the same techinques, I made a tiny reef complete with a brain coral (my favorite).
Soft, non-pokey reef
You can use you imagination and go wild, making a whole reef that can be rearranged, restyled, and added to whenever you feel like it. And the only stitches you’ll get are the ones you make on the felt….

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