Upcycle white plastic bottles into an outdoor butterfly ornament

Authors Angie Franke and Monique Day-Wilde show you how to upcycle plastic milk containers into a wonderful outdoor ornament filled with white butterflies.


This is fun way to recycle plastic and add a wonderful, eye-catching hanging ornament to the garden or patio. The delicate fluttering butterfly shapes are attached to an arrangement of gnarled branches wrapped off at the top.


Butterfly design - find hundreds on the Internet or buy the book Outside Art

White plastic milk containers, cleaned and dry

Fine permanent marker

Small, sharp scissors

5-Minute epoxy glue

Methylated spirits and paintbrush to clean

Optional: Outdoor LED lights




1. Cut plastic milk bottles into sections so that you can trace butterfly shapes onto as much of the flat areas of your plastic containers.

2. Carefully cut out each shape. Using small scissors you should be able to cut out antennae at the top and then cut down and around for wings and a lower abdomen. Try to give the wings detail by not leaving the edges straight. Use a paintbrush and methylated spirits to clean away drawn lines.

3. If you wish, you can spray the branches with white spray paint before wrapping the LED lights around some of the branches.

4. Stick the butterflies in position with 5-minute epoxy glue using the spatula supplied with the glue. Leave undisturbed for an hour and then hang outdoors - close to an electrical output in you have included LED lights.


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