DIY a wave propeller for your message in a bottle experience

Have you ever watched a movie in which the character would write a message into a bottle and throw it into the sea? Did you wish you could do the same? This DIY can make your wish come true. This DIY is not only easy to make but it is also practical and all the materials needed for the project are easily available round you.  




Metal rod

Metal block


Step 1

To begin with this project, you will need to choose an empty bottle, it is preferred that the bottle that is going to be used is a glass bottle as it promises a smooth journey. You can then start measuring the bottle that is going to be used the ideal height for this project will be around 33cms, it is not necessary that the bottle must be this measurement however this will be helpful in calculating the string and body of the glider.

Step 2

You can start constructing the glider, for this you will need a strip of wood, make sure to pay attention to the type of wood being used you don’t want your wood to be damaged as a result of being in the water for too long, it is better to use the same wood that is used for building boats as it will be in good condition in the water for a long period of time.

 Place the wood down and with the help of a measuring tape draw a marking at 24cms, you can now cut it. With a marker draw a slop like shape at the top of the wood, and cut the top into the slop like shape.

Step 3

Now, with a measuring tape mark the middle part of the wood, after marking the middle part, start marking 8 different dots at equal distance on either side of the middle marking. At the centre of the wood drill 6 holes corresponding with the 8 holes marked at the edge, you can look at the picture for reference. The holes should be large enough to slide some narrow metal bars.

Step 4

For this step you will need 6 narrow metal rods. You can use any metal rods available with you provided it must be light weight, the metal rods in umbrellas work perfectly for this project. Once you have collected the metal rods make sure you cut them into equal heights and start inserting them into the drilled holes of the wood.

Step 5

You will need to get hands on some lightweight of wood.  Cut the wood into 12 strips that are about 8cms long. Once you are done cutting all the wood you can begin gluing the 8cm wood to the metal rod, make sure to use a really strong glue when doing this.

After making sure that the wood is sturdily glued onto the metal rod you can start painting all the woods that have been constructed to make this propeller, you can use a spray paint to do this.

You can write a fun letter that will be placed into the bottle while the paint dries up. You can spay any protective spay paint to protect the letter from moisture while it is in the water.

Add one washer into each wing so that the wings can spin without any problems.

Step 6

You will need a strip of a metal block, this metal is important as it will give the propeller some weight so that the propeller can navigate a way through the water without making it too heavy that it sinks the bottle at the bottom or too light where it floats with the waves. Make sure to test it out a couple of times so that you are sure of the right weight of the metal block that is being used. You will need to attach the metal block under the propeller.

Step 7

You can now slide the letter inside the box, and close it. Next, you will need a metal through which you can tie a string that will be attached to the propeller. You can use any latch available with you for this. Make sure to attach a hook on the propeller and tie a string to the bottle and the propeller.

Step 8

You will need to cut tiny triangle shaped wood that will act as stoppers for the wings. Make sure to place the stoppers in such a way that it stops the wings at 45 degrees. Place the tiny triangles at the top and at the bottom of the wings. Once you are done attaching all the triangles to the wings you can test out how the wings react to the waves, if they are pushing forward.

You are now done! Throw the bottle into the see and wait for someone to find it.

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