Recycled Chinese Dragon

I saw this Chinese New Year’s Dragon last year at Zarrow Art Center.  It was created as a collaborative, multimedia, recycling project.

Children from kindergarten through 6th grade students from Kendall-Whittier Elementary School took part under the direction of Art Teacher Kathleen Walker.  I think it is absolutely incredible.  What a great use of those pesky plastic bottles!


This art piece was so bright and cheerful sitting in the sunlight.




I love the colorful plastic bottles and other reused items that make up the main body.



Look at those marker cap teeth!!

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  1. Nita Risher McGlawn says:

    Are there directions for making one of these?

    • Sally says:

      Good question! There are not – but I will see if I can contact the art teacher who orchestrated this! She is clearly talented!

      • Nita Risher McGlawn says:

        Great! I would love to have the directions. The recycled water bottles are colored so vividly.

        • Kathleen Walker says:

          We collected a BUNCH of bottles, then the various grade levels painted them with really old acrylic paint. We also used tempera, but it chips and flakes. We added glue and glitter to some. Some of the kids got creative and added dots and stripes. I cut off most of the bottom of the bottles, or at least did the initial stab to get the cut started. We used the bottoms to make snowflakes for winter, then added color for flowers in spring. Then connected them to make a window decoration like the old hippie bead room dividers. The bottles we cut in spirals from the bottom to the top. The skinny the spiral strip around the bottle, the longer and curlier it is. We left the tops intact, for the most part and attached them to an upside down tomato cage. Let me know if you have further questions.

          • Sally says:

            Thank you Kathleen! This is a stunning project!

  2. Tamsyn Rogers says:

    Hi! I am a mother of 8 and find your site soooo inspirational. It is filled with such awesome projects. Keep shining!

    • Sally says:

      Oh thank you so much! You made my day!!

  3. Anna Wilson says:

    Just in time! I need to go through my marker and toss the dried up ones! Those tops never looked so good! We also have lots and lots of plastic bottles. Now my mind is mentally rummaging through our craft shed!

    • Sally says:

      Aren’t they divine! Love it!


  1. Recycled Chinese Dragon

    I saw this Chinese New Year’s Dragon last year at Zarrow Art Center. It was created as a collaborative,

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