How To Make Pottery Ribs From Detergent Bottles: Learn How Now 2023!

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I’ve always been fascinated by pottery, and I’ve been making my own pieces for years. So How To Make Pottery Ribs From Detergent Bottles? One of the most important tools in my pottery kit is a rib, which helps me shape and smooth my pieces as I work. While you can buy ribs from pottery supply stores, I’ve found that making my own is not only cost-effective but also allows me to customize the size and shape to fit my needs. In this article, I’ll share with you how to make your own pottery ribs from detergent bottles.

To start, you’ll need a few empty detergent bottles. I like to use ones that have a curved shape, as they mimic the shape of traditional pottery ribs. You’ll also need a pair of scissors and a marker. Making your own ribs is a great way to upcycle these plastic bottles, which might otherwise end up in the landfill.

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to get started. Making ribs from detergent bottles is a simple process that doesn’t require any special skills or tools. With a little bit of time and effort, you can create your own set of customized pottery ribs that will help you take your pottery to the next level.

Why Use Detergent Bottles?

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Why Use Detergent Bottles

As a potter, I’m always looking for ways to reuse and recycle materials in my work. That’s why I love making pottery ribs from detergent bottles! Here are a few reasons why:

  • They’re free! Instead of buying expensive pottery ribs, I can simply save up my used detergent bottles and repurpose them for my pottery work. This saves me money and reduces waste.
  • They’re easy to cut. The thin, flexible plastic used to make detergent bottles is readily cut with scissors or a craft knife. Because of this, I can easily mold them into the precise size and form of ribs I require.
  • They’re lightweight. Detergent bottles are much lighter than traditional pottery ribs made from wood or metal. This makes them easier to handle and less tiring to use over long periods of time.
  • They’re durable. Despite being made from plastic, detergent bottles are surprisingly strong and long-lasting. I’ve been using mine for months now and they show no signs of wear or tear.

Overall, using detergent bottles to make pottery ribs is a great way to save money, reduce waste, and create a useful tool for your pottery work. Give it a try and see for yourself!

Materials Needed

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Materials Needed

Making pottery ribs from detergent bottles is a fun and easy project that anyone can do! Here are the materials that I used to make my own set of ribs:

  • Empty detergent bottles (I used three different sizes for variety)
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Sandpaper (medium grit)
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Cutting mat or cardboard
  • Protective gloves (optional)

When choosing your detergent bottles, look for ones that are made of sturdy plastic and have a smooth surface. I found that bottles with a handle worked best for me, but you can experiment with different shapes and sizes to find what works for you.

Before getting started, ensure to protect your work surface with a cutting mat or a piece of cardboard. It’s also a good idea to wear protective gloves to avoid any cuts or scrapes.

Now that you have all of your materials, let’s get started on making some pottery ribs!

Preparation of Detergent BottlesHow To Make Pottery Ribs From Detergent Bottles

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Preparation of Detergent Bottles

Cleaning the Bottles

It’s crucial to scrub detergent bottles properly before using them to create pottery ribs. To get rid of any remaining detergent residue, I prefer to use a solution of warm water and dish soap. Ensure that the bottles are completely clean and dry before moving on to the next step.

Cutting the Bottles

Once the bottles are clean and dry, it is time to cut them into the desired shape for the pottery ribs. I use a pair of scissors to carefully cut off the top and bottom of the bottle, leaving a long cylinder shape. Then, I cut the cylinder lengthwise to create a flat piece of plastic that can be easily shaped into a rib.

It is important to note that the size and shape of the rib will depend on the size of the bottle and the desired use. I like to experiment with different shapes and sizes to find what works best for me.

In summary, preparing detergent bottles for pottery ribs involves cleaning them thoroughly and cutting them into the desired shape. By following these simple steps, I am able to create unique and useful tools for my pottery projects.

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Shaping the Pottery Ribs

After cutting the detergent bottle into strips, I started shaping the pottery ribs. This process was a bit tricky at first, but I quickly got the hang of it.

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Shaping the Pottery Ribs

To shape the ribs, I used a pair of scissors to round off the edges and create a smooth, curved surface. I also trimmed the ends of the strips to create a tapered shape, which would make it easier to use the ribs when working with clay.

Once I had shaped the first rib, I used it as a template for the others. This helped ensure that all of the ribs were the same size and shape.

To make sure the ribs were strong enough to withstand repeated use, I reinforced them by wrapping them in masking tape. This also helped create a more comfortable grip when using the ribs.

Overall, shaping the pottery ribs was a fun and rewarding process. With a little bit of practice, I was able to create a set of high-quality ribs that I can use for all of my pottery projects.

Finishing Touches

Now that the pottery ribs are complete, it’s time to add some finishing touches to make them look more professional and polished.

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Finishing Touches

First, I like to sand the edges of the ribs to make sure they are smooth and won’t scratch the pottery. I use fine-grit sandpaper and gently sand the edges until they are smooth to the touch.

Next, I like to add some color to the ribs. I use acrylic paint and a small brush to paint the ribs in different colors. This not only makes them look more attractive but also helps me to identify which rib I need to use for a particular task.

To protect the paint and make the ribs more durable, I apply a coat of clear varnish. This gives them a glossy finish and makes them resistant to moisture and wear and tear.

Finally, I label each rib with its size and shape using a permanent marker. This helps me to quickly identify which rib I need to use for a particular task and also makes it easier to keep them organized.

With these finishing touches, my homemade pottery ribs are ready to use and look just as good as the store-bought ones.

Safety Measures While Working

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Safety Measures While Working

As I embark on this pottery project, I want to ensure that I am taking the necessary precautions to stay safe. Here are some safety measures that I will follow while making pottery ribs from detergent bottles:

  1. Wear Protective Gear: I will wear gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask to protect myself from any potential hazards. Pottery clay can be messy and may cause skin irritation, while dust particles can be harmful if inhaled.
  2. Use a Safe Workspace: I’ll make sure my workspace has a fire extinguisher close by, is well-ventilated and isn’t cluttered. This will ensure that I work in a safe atmosphere and help to prevent accidents.
  3. Handle Sharp Tools with Care: I will use pottery tools, such as knives and carving tools, with caution. These tools are sharp and can cause injury if not handled properly. I will also keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  4. Avoid Ingesting Pottery Materials: I will not eat, drink, or smoke while working with pottery clay. Ingesting these materials can be harmful to my health.

By following these safety measures, I can enjoy the pottery-making process while also staying safe.

Benefits of Homemade Pottery Ribs

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Benefits of Homemade Pottery Ribs

As a pottery enthusiast, I have found that making my own pottery ribs from detergent bottles has been a game-changer. Here are just a few of the benefits of using homemade ribs:

  • Cost-effective: Instead of spending money on expensive store-bought pottery ribs, I can make my own for virtually no cost using recycled detergent bottles.
  • Customizable: By making my own ribs, I can customize the shape and size to fit my specific needs. This allows me to create unique and personalized pieces that are tailored to my artistic vision.
  • Eco-friendly: By repurposing plastic bottles, I am reducing waste and helping the environment. It feels great to know that I am creating beautiful pottery while also doing my part to protect the planet.
  • Versatile: Homemade pottery ribs can be used for a variety of techniques, including shaping and smoothing clay, creating texture, and trimming. They are a versatile tool that every potter should have in their arsenal.

Overall, I highly recommend making your own pottery ribs from detergent bottles. It’s a cost-effective, customizable, eco-friendly, and versatile solution that will take your pottery to the next level.


I am thrilled to have shared with you how to make pottery ribs from detergent bottles. It’s a fantastic way to upcycle plastic bottles and create a useful tool for your pottery projects. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a set of pottery ribs that are unique to your style.

Using pottery ribs can help you create smooth, even surfaces on your pottery pieces, and they can be used for shaping, smoothing, and trimming. They are an essential tool for any pottery enthusiast, and by making your own, you can save money and reduce waste.

Remember to take the time to clean and sanitize your detergent bottles thoroughly before beginning the project. This will ensure that your pottery ribs are safe to use and will not contaminate your clay.

I hope you found this article helpful and that you will try making your own pottery ribs from detergent bottles. It’s a fun and rewarding project that you can do in your own home with minimal materials. Happy potting!

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