When SHTF Make a Rudimentary Mug From a Plastic Bottle
Making the Cuts
The first step is to rinse the bottle and remove the label. Place it on its side and cut off the top portion of the bottle just below where the body tapers into the neck. The next step is to remove the o-ring that remains after you open the cap of a bottle for the first time. Carefully pry it off from the nipple of the bottle and set aside for later.
Next, take a pair of scissors and carefully cut a coil of plastic from the body of the bottle, starting from the top. Turn the bottle about three times as you cut so you end up with a coil that is a couple of feet long. Make the coil about ¼ inch wide.
Take a razor blade or the edge of a knife and make a horizontal gash that’s about ½ – ¾ inch wide about an inch below the top of the bottle. Slip the scissors into this slit and cut around the bottle until only ½ – ¾ on an inch of plastic is still attached. Cut another line somewhere around the bottom third of the bottle that matches the rim that you just made. You should have the rim attached by a thin strip of plastic at the top, and a cut that follows the same pattern at a point where the top of the mug will be when you are finished. Make sure that the flaps that are still intact are aligned with each other.
The next step is to remove a portion of the plastic in the mid-section of the bottle. Do this by cutting a vertical line that will begin and end along one of the edges of the flap that remains around the top ring and the bottom. You only want to remove half of the plastic wall on the bottle while leaving the other half intact. The result should be the rim on top, the mug on the bottom and a mid section of loose plastic that is only attached by the remaining vertical line.
Folding the Handle
The next step is to repeatedly fold the loose plastic around the mid-section of the bottle over the remaining vertical strip. This will reinforce the handle and provide additional rigidity. Crimp the top ring so that you can insert the o-ring through the material. Push it through until you can place it over the wrapped portion that you just created. Slide the o-ring just below the mid point of the wrapped portion to secure it in place.
Next, fold the entire handle and top rim down so that it either aligns with or extends beyond the bottom of the bottle. If it is not in perfect alignment, fold it up and down somewhere in the middle to shorten its length and place the o-ring over this spot. The goal is to have the handle just shorter than the length of the bottle. This will allow you to slide the rim over the bottom so that it will anchor everything in place.
Finally, consider making a small vertical cut from the top of the newly-formed mug downward on opposite sides. Bend the plastic inward to create a lip around the edge of the rim of the mug. This will also add some rigidity to this portion of the mug as well.
The end result should be a mug with a smooth lip, decent handle and stable base. However, all of the parts will not always align perfectly, so you may need to undo some of the previous steps in order to make some minor adjustments to get things just right. Trim as needed and enjoy. This will work well with cold and warm drinks, however hot liquids may cause the plastic to soften and lose some of its stability.
Try this out for yourself and see how you can improve on this basic design in order to create a rudimentary mug that can come in really handy out in the field.