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Recycle those plastic bottles into craft material.
* Make a person out of a plastic water bottle by wadding newspaper for the head. Cover the wad with a smooth piece of newspaper and tie together for the neck of the person. Put that into the bottle’s neck. Or press one end of a skewer or stick into a Styrofoam ball and the other end of the skewer into the bottle. Add cardstock arms and draw or paste on facial features. Use pieces of cloth, duct tape, or various textures of paper for clothes. Make several bottle people and act out Scripture stories or the lives of saints.
* Make an animal by holding a plastic water bottle horizontally, for the body. The narrow end (top) of the bottle is the tail. Attach yarn or pipe cleaners to the narrow end to form the tail. Add legs using paper towel cardboard centers or rolled-up card stock. For smaller animal legs (i.e., for sheep), use sticks or straws. Cut the head from construction paper and glue it to the flat end (bottom) of the bottle or paint (or glue) features right onto the bottle. Paint the entire animal. You might have students make animals that will gather around the crèche at Christmas.
* Cut off the upper half of a plastic milk jug (any size), leaving only the bottom of the container. Decorate the sides of the container with permanent markers, or decoupage Christian images around the sides, and let it serve as a holy water bowl on your prayer table. This kind of “bowl” can be used for many other purposes, such as windowsill flower pots, baskets (add a handle), supply organizers for your craft area, etc.
* Make pretty flower vases to place in front of a statue of Mary or to give as gifts by decorating the sides of plastic water bottles, tying ribbons around the necks of the bottles, filling the bottles about halfway with sand, and sticking a single plastic rose into the sand in each bottle.
* Make flameless candles for your prayer table or Advent wreath by covering the bottle with the color of construction paper to suit your need and then cutting a piece of bright red or orange construction paper or craft foam to stick in the opening of the bottle for the flame.