Spectrum Warriors: Life Through The Autism Spectrum

Pop Bottle Turtles

Fun FridayIn a previous post – Using Obsessions to Your Advantage, I talked about MJ’s animal obsession – especially turtles. Knowing how much MJ loves turtles, a friend sent me a link to an awesome craft idea – plastic pop bottle turtles. I knew I had to try it as soon as I saw it, but I modified it slightly so that we could use it as wall art in her about-to-be-decorated room. Plus this way, I could get MJ more involved in making them too. Below are the instructions for the modified version, taking from it much of the original instructions.

Things you will need:

  • Plastic water or pop bottles – the original craft suggested using 2L bottles, but instead we used 750 ML bottles – these are much easier to hang on the wall
  • Craft foam paper
  • Glue Gun and hot glue
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Googly eyes
  • Markers
  • Scissors

Optional Materials:

  • String or yarn
  • Buttons or marbles if you don’t want to hang these on a wall
  • Anything you can imagine that you want to use to make it your own


1. Cut the bottoms off the plastic bottles, just above bottle bottom

2. Place the bottle (cut side down) on the foam paper, tracing almost a circle. Then draw/add limbs to your circle and a head.

3. Cut out one to use as a template and cut as many more as you need (we made 6) turtle foam

4.  Now this is where I got MJ involved and let her paint the inside of the plastic bottles. Once painted, let them dry several hours or overnight.

5. Now you’re ready to glue. In other examples, coins, buttons and marbles were added underneath before gluing the bottle onto the craft foam paper. We chose not to do this because we wanted to put it on the wall, but if you want to use these as bath toys or something to play with in the pool, or sink (the craft foam paper floats), this could be a pretty fun sensory and learning tool

6. You’ll need to be quick with the glue, it can be kind of tricky, add the glue to the edges of the plastic and then stick onto the foam. Press and hold – don’t move a finger, for 1 minute. Then leave to set/dry for several more hours.

7. Once dry, you can now add Googly eyes, draw toes, a mouth and other fun stuff to make your turtle your own.

plastic pop bottle turtle

Happy Crafting,





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