Lets Make Something banner



Youtube graphic
I have a youtube channel with over 750 Project Videos!

Hi, Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Will and if you have questions
or would like to
contribute projects or ideas you can contact me Will

How to Make a Ship in a Bottle - Odysseus and the Sirens: Part 2


In this part of the tutorial I go over the materials and the tools for the the building of it. And we start on the initial work of the project.

These are the materials and tools that I used. But you can substitute a lot of this and you can go with many materials you already have. Most glues are fine, any kind of wood is ok etc.



Materials and Tools

  • 1 nicely shaped jug with a cap
  • Pieces of balsa wood to make the ship
  • Toothpicks for railings and oars on the ship
  • Wooden dowel for the mast and spar of the ship.
  • string to wrap around the mast, this makes it look nautical
  • Thread to pull on when erecting the parts of the ship afer installing in the bottle
  • Some paper for the sail
  • Alumalite Casting Resin - This is a two part epoxy resin you mix together
  • Various glues, wooden glue for the ship building and a high tack glue for sticking things together. 3 in 1 craft glue is a good high tack glue and inexpensive.
  • Procreate Epoxy Putty to sculpt the miniature figures (Odysseus and the Sirens)
  • Gloss Heavy Gel - to make the waves in the water (optional)
  • Some thin wire as an internal skeleton for the miniatures (florist wire is great)
  • Various tools like an x-acto knife and a pin drill (is optional), pliers, side cutters



When it comes to installing the ship and working on it inside the bottle I made a variety of tools from dowels and wire. You can use lengths of wire and bend them, form hoops and anything else you need. I also used a grabber tool which is very handy.


A wine bottle

Select a bottle that you like to put the ship in. Consider the size, the shape and how bit the mouth of the bottle is. I am going to use this wine jug. It has a nice bulbous shape to it. Plenty of room in there for the ship and the sails.




Removing the label

Remove the labeling from the bottle. You can soak it and scrub it with a steel wool pad. An adhesive remover like goof off works well.







Find a drill that fits

Next I made a neat little jig that will help when building the ship. I tried various drills in the mouth of the bottle.

The largest drill that fit is a 15/16 inch.






Drill a pass gauge

Then I used that drill bit to drill a hole in a piece of wood. Now we have a hole that is the same size as the bottle opening. And we can use it to pass through pieces easily as we are making the ship. This way we know how large or small to make things.






Do some ship drawings

Ok, now let's start on the miniature ship. What kind of ship do you want to make? You should research it. Look up pictures and do drawings of it.

I did a whole series of drawings until I came up with this. This is pretty much the final version. But I did make a few more changes as I carved the ship.






Illustration of the ship raising

Ok, now we can get an understanding of how we will break down the ship.

Everything relates to what will fit through the mouth of the bottle. And we have the hole we cut in wood so we can test things. This illustration shows the three steps we take.

The top drawing shows the whole ship. The middle drawing shows how things will fold up.

And the bottom drawing shows how the oar assembly is separate and will be added later.



NextContinue and let's make the ship! - You can also look over the various materials and supplies below. I have included links.



Balsa Wood in Economy Bag, 1/2 Board Foot, Assorted Sizes

Inexpensive assortment of balsa wood. More than enough to make lots of ships in bottles.



Alumilite Casting Resin

This is what I use to make the water in the bottle.





Procreate Putty

This is a two part epoxy resin. It is like a clay. You mix the two parts together then you have about two hours to sculpt the miniatures.




Beacon 3-in-1 Glue

Inexpensive and useful hobby glue that has a lot of tack. It is almost like a jelly and very sticky.





Grabber Tool

I have several grabber tools. They come in handy for a project like this.





Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel -

This is like a paint and like a glue. We use it to make the waves in the water.





Boat in a bottle Kit

Boat in a Bottle Kit

All the tools and materials needed to make your very own ship in a bottle.




Pirate Ship in Bottle Nautical Maritime Boat Decor New

The bottle is approximately 4" high and 8" long. Hard to get a good photo but the ship is flying a pirate flag on top. New in the box. Comes fully assembled.



Sign up for my newsletter!

Do you like making projects and exploring a variety of hobbies?

Sign up for my free newsletter. I give you regular updates on hobbies and projects you can make. it is totally free and I don't share your email with anybody.