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Each year dh and I go camping during the Halloween season and we are always looking for inexpensive ways to decorate our site.
This year I have been saving empty Smart Water bottles, the larger one liter size. I had planned to simply spray paint them orange, paint on jack-o-lantern faces, and string them through the bottle necks for a garland.
Now I'm thinking that's a little boring and I got the bright idea of putting them together horizontally for an archway. I figured I could stuff some purple LEDs in there to make it glow.
But I have no idea how to make it stand up without flopping over. Will the bottles side by side be sturdy enough to stay erect?
Also need help figuring out how to secure it on the bottom, because sometimes the earth is so hard-packed from being driven over that it's hard to get a stake in the ground and rebar is out of the question.
Any building advice would be gratefully appreciated, as would any other ideas of how to use the bottles as campsite decoration.
Thanks in advance!
??????????
 

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A couple of ideas might work for turning them into an arch.

First, this is a really cheap ($20) metal arch from Amazon. You could easily wire or string the water bottles to this shape & it would likely be stable for your purposes.

Second, they do make balloon arch kits that you could look at & maybe rig for your purposes.
https://www.amazon.com/PartyMate-11...84&sr=8-1&keywords=balloon+arch+kit+with+base

If you attached the clamps to maybe a cinderblock's center divider, the one above might be tall enough for your needs - also around $20.

I might choose to slice the back of the water bottle open (straight line cut) & feed each bottle over the strand of lights. Then use fishing line, zip ties or string to attach the neck of each bottle to your arch.

Do an internet search for "plastic bottle wreath" and there are some fun options, especially if you spray paint some of the bottles to introduce color.

There are some unique ideas here for decorations - http://www.lushome.com/10-fabulous-ideas-reuse-recycle-plastic-bottles-save-money/178103
I actually REALLY LOVE the idea for the owls in the link above. I can imagine many of those together with the battery-powered tea light candles from the dollar stores in them! Or, you could buy a string of orange Halloween lights (or purple!) and find a way to connect the owls to the light strand - that would be beautiful!

Another kind of fun thing that I'm imagining in my head - cut the top of the bottle (with the spout) off. Put cut edge of water bottle on flat surface so the bottom of the bottle is facing up. Cut pieces of white tulle or other gauzy fabric & drape over the water bottle - you'll have to experiment with the size of the fabric, but you want it to fully cover the remaining half of the water bottle, just past the edges. Mark an X on top of the fabric & then make that X shape with an exacto or craft knife in the bottom of the water bottle, cutting through the fabric too. Color dark eye circles, maybe a mouth, on the front of the fabric so you have a little ghost. Then, using LED string lights only (so they wont get so hot!), push one light through the X that you cut out. Hang up the light strand. The bottles & fabric should be light enough not to put strain on the cord, but this will be something you have to test out for both weight & for how warm the lights get.

I'm aiming for something like this but with the water bottles under the fabric
halloween-ghost-fairy-lights-diy_thumb.jpg

Hope something here helps or at least inspires you! Glad you posted!

 

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Lighthearted Halloween
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I think this would work.

I used pieces of pvc pipe. (Off the top of my head, I think it was ten foot pieces.)
There is one straight connector in the middle of two pieces, with screws in place so it won't separate, but you could unscrew for storage.

Using two pieces of four foot rebar. You pound one piece in the ground. Then slide one end of the pvc pipe over the rebar.
Then pound another piece of rebar in the ground and 'walk' the other piece of pipe up and over making the arch shape as you do so, and slide the second end over the second rebar.

I've used this for quite a few years and it never wavers. Pretty simple to set up and take down.


best (1).jpg


And I put the rebar in closer, so the arch was higher, to create an entry arch to our boneyard.
I covered the pipe with black foam pipe insulation, tulle, lights, flowers and skulls with a blowmold bat in the center. So I think it should be fine with water bottles slipped over it.

LH DOTD entrance.jpg
 

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As far as getting stakes in the hard pack, you could soak the area you want to put the stake with water (warm is best). Let it soak in for awhile and pour more in. After awhile the soaked section of ground should be soft enough to pound stake into. I do this for pounding in rebar or the metal fence T-post stakes. I just put the warm water in a gallon milk jug and only pour directly on the section I want to put the stake, letting it soak in without wetting a whole bunch of surrounding area.
 

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If pounding the rear in the ground is too difficult, what about taking 2 large plastic cauldrons and concertina your rebate in them....you'd have to make sure they were big enough and heavy enough to offset the tension of the pvc that u insert your bottles onto but I'd bet it'd work.

U might even check the camping section and see if they sell something for tents that need tied down under similar restrictions
 

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I second the motion on using pvc with lengths of rebar on opposite ends, I used this method to create a photo op using plastic pumpkin pails, I wrapped the pvc with stringed lights secured with zip ties
 

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WHOOPS. I have to admit. I got so excited that I had a good solution to the initial question, that I had not read down all the way to the bottom where it said rebar was out of the question.
My bad. ;) Sorry.
I did the same mistake too but as was mentioned before, soaking the ground should help.
 

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If you're worried that soaking the ground wouldn't work you can take a couple of buckets and fill them with rocks (or wood, or dirt). Or use chicken wire as a container and fill that with rocks, like ranchers sometimes do for fence posts, then the rocks would become part of the arch.
 
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