How to make a recycled lighthouse model

how to make a lighthouse from recycled material

First day back after the Easter break for us, today. Did you all have a good Easter break? We had days out and craft activities. Inbetween, there was homework to be ticked off.

Not that all homework is run of the mill. There is nothing like a note home, requesting a model to be made. Now that is my kind of homework. My eight year old son’s holiday homework was to make a lighthouse. A first for us. We spent time discussing designs, ruling out anything too elaborate and choosing materials. We decided to use only items that we had lying around the house or garden. recycled materials lighthouse with detail 2

His design called for a conical shape. Using a wire grid from the garden, which was left over from a hen house repair, I made a cone. Lots of sharp wires, so I did this bit as I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to snag anyone.

Next, with the help of his sister, they papier mached the outside of the cone. Once dry, it was painted white. Red tissue paper (previously used as packaging material) was cut into strips and glued around the lighthouse.

seagull for lighthouse made from recycled materials

The light room, at the top, was made using two cardboard circle from a cereal box, stuck together, and the bottom of a plastic bottle. He added silver paper after I took these photos, to help with reflecting the light. The railings are made from another section of the wire grid and attached using masking tape, to cover any sharp ends.

how to make a lighthouse from recycled material 2

Eddie the seagull is very simple. He had to be lightweight, so I showed Youngest how to mix tissue paper and glue, and mould it into the shape of a seagull. Once dried, he painted it and added eyes using a Sharpie. Very fine florist wire was threaded through Eddie, so that he could be tied to the railings and have the best view.

Middle daughter joined in and made the tail of a whale, disappearing into the sea, using the same tissue paper and glue technique.

seagull on lighthouse made from recycled materials

I drew out a flat version of the boat, which Youngest cut out, folded and glued. The oars are matchsticks and the life belt is a Meccano washer, painted orange and white.

For the beach, he mixed glue and yellow paint with old sand from a very neglected sand pit in the garden. The sea is more tissue paper, this time from a clothes delivery. He painted it blue and green.

recycled materials lighthouse with detail

I think that’s it. As you see, all the materials we used were either destined for the recycling bin, or preloved. Even the windows were rescued from the scrap pile. Nothing bought specially for the project.  I love his design and the details he added. Apart from the wire and suggesting some materials, I left this project to him.

Youngest proudly took his lighthouse into school today. It was a fun sight to see the parade of red and white lighthouses going into class.

Linking up with Fiona’s Trash 2 Treasure linky
Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. Brilliant! Well done to you and your son. The detail in this is wonderful, I was totally gripped reading each step. I couldn’t believe even the seagull was made from tissue and glue. I hope your son had lots of praise in school today, he really deserves it. Thank you so much for sharing with me on #Trash2Treasure

    1. Glad you like it. There is such a sea of lighthouses in the classroom now. I think they should all be congratulated.Thanks for hosting.

    1. Thanks, se7en. It reminds me of the book series too. I did suggest he made a cat, but he didn’t go for it. Least he has the seagul.

  2. That was a great post and a fantastic lighthouse. I love red and white lighthouses and this ticked all the buttons.

    1. Thanks, Sarah.He had very definite ideas on how he wanted it to look. A red and white stripe was high on his list.

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