Make a Sprinkler, Spray Gun or Garden Watering Wand From a Plastic Bottle

Make a Sprinkler, Spray Gun or Garden Watering Wand From a Plastic Bottle

Fun with GardenZeus: Make a Sprinkler, Spray Gun, Outdoor Shower, or Garden Watering Wand From a Plastic Bottle

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Got bored kids or grandkids and no squirt guns on a hot day? If you’ve planned ahead well enough to have a hose connector, teflon plumber’s tape, and a few empty plastic water bottles on hand, there may be no need for other water toys.

This is an easy project that requires adult supervision and can be surprisingly fun for both water play and gardening for kids and adults. Recommended for kids of all ages, especially 5-to-10-year-olds, and adults who need to have more fun.

Tools and materials needed:

– At least 1 plastic bottle such as a 2-liter soda bottle or a smaller water bottle with a longer threaded neck for the bottle lid. It may be difficult or impossible to produce a watertight seal under reasonable water pressure using bottles with a very short threaded neck. Having extra bottles on hand is recommended in case something doesn’t work for you on the first attempt or two. Neck size on plastic bottles may not always match the hose connector, so try them to be sure of a good fit before the kids are ready to play.

– A brass female-to-female hose connector. Plastic threads on the water bottle won’t match the connector exactly, but the metal connector will overpower them.

Teflon plumber’s tape.

– A standard garden hose.

– A 1/8, 3/32, or 1/16 drill bit for wood or plastic, or a similar tool for puncturing the plastic bottle. A drill bit makes neater holes than most other puncturing tools, for a more-uniform spray.

Make the sprinkler, gardening tool, or water toy:

1. Press and twist the drill bit or similar tool to puncture the plastic bottle. This can be done by hand without a drill. To make a sprinkler, put holes in a row or pattern on one side of the bottle. For a spray gun, put one hole at the end of the bottle. For a watering wand or outdoor shower, put a pattern of holes at the bottom and/or bottom sides of the bottle.

2. Wrap Teflon plumber’s tape around the threaded neck of the bottle until thick enough to provide resistance when screwing the bottle onto the connector. The hose connector will not fit the threads perfectly, so this step is needed for a watertight seal. If the bottle leaks at the connector when under pressure, remove the connector and add a thicker layer of Teflon tape.

3. Attach the hose connector as tightly as possible to the threaded neck of the bottle. This step is the weak link when it comes to leaking, so pay attention to creating the best seal possible.

4. Attach the other end of the connector to the end of a standard garden hose.

5. Turn on hose water slowly to fill the bottle, then adjust pressure to turn spray level up or down.

6. Experiment with water volume and pressure from the hose. With a single smaller hole or a few holes, spray will extend further at a lower rate of waterflow from the hose. At moderate-to-high-level hose volume and water pressure, the bottle may separate from the connector.

7. After seeing spray size and pattern, refine your technique with the next bottle for hole position, hole size, and hole quantity to create the perfect water-games toy or watering tool.

8. Recycle bottles when they wear out or you’re done with them.

For extra enjoyment:

– Have a contest to see who can produce a bottle with a water spray that will hit a sibling, family member, or friend at 10 to 20 feet away.

– Try different combinations and patterns of holes at different places on bottles to explore unusual and interesting fountain or spray patterns.

– Puncture 2 sides of a bottle with holes in a row to use for surface-level watering as a compliment to a drip system in your garden.

– Make an outdoor fountain or other homemade water feature using the same methods.


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To read about watering plants in your home garden:

The GardenZeus Guide to Watering Cucumbers, Melons and Squash (Cucurbits)

The GardenZeus Guide to Watering Tomatoes

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