My husband Bob and I designed a new way to build an igloo from plastic jugs over the past two months for the Maker Faire NoVa. Most igloos from plastic jugs are put together with a hot glue gun, but Bob and I wanted to find a new method. In this episode, we’ll talk about what we learned and it even includes an interview with Bob – our first podcast guest ever!
We call our project the “Jugloo” combining the word “jug” and “igloo.”
Collecting Plastic Jugs
Thank you to the Starbucks at North Point shopping plaza for supplying almost all the plastic jugs that we used in this project!
Why Our Igloo is Different
Every igloo made from plastic jugs that we researched was put together with a hot glue gun. We did not want to do that method because we wanted to build the prototype, make sure it worked, and then transport all the jugs to the Maker Faire to be built on site. We did not want to do all the gluing twice. So we experimented with using zip ties to put the igloo together and we got the build process down to about 2 hours (or less as we get more experienced.)
To attach the jugs with zip ties, we used a soldering iron to make 8 holes in each jug. The zip tie goes in and out of each pair of holes, then connects with another jug. This videos hows how fast the soldering iron makes the 8 holes in the jug. We put these marks on the jug with a marker glued to a box, but later we realized we could have skipped that step by taping the soldering iron to the box!
Building the Jugloo Prototype
Our first attempt was not successful. We duct taped the first row to the floor but the tape could not bear the weight of the jugs.
Then we came up with the idea support the structure with three garment racks. We already owned these racks because we use them to display Trashmagination’s banner. Here’s the link to the exact model if you want to replicate this project – https://www.target.com/p/metal-base-adjustable-single-rod-garment-rack-black-room-essentials-153/-/A-51688630.
Transporting the Jugloo
We needed to drive all the jugs to George Mason University which was about 30 minutes from our home. We hoped to do it in one trip, and we were successful!
Building the Jugloo at the Maker Faire
Thank you to the Scouts and Scout leaders who helped!
After the Maker Faire
My son did a presentation about the Jugloo at his school.
Later this week, we are building the Jugloo at my son’s pre-school so they can have an Arctic party. After that, it would be great to find a nature center or other place which would like to host the Jugloo!
• There were 7 rows of 32 jugs to form the walls (224 jugs)
• The dome roof was made from 119 jugs in concentric circles.
• The entrance was three rows of 18 (54 jugs)
• So the total # of jugs was 397 for the Jugloo.
In terms of size, the cardboard base of the Jugloo is 9 feet across, so it’s just a little bit smaller than that inside. It was about four feet tall along the edges and five feet tall at the peak.
My daughter made a cute sign out of jugs. She wrote the letters for Jugloo and Troop 1577 on jugs with marker. So that used another 15 jugs. The total jug count was 412 jugs.
Other Igloos Made from Plastic Jugs
Every other igloo that we studied was put together with hot glue guns. These are great examples of that type of design.
- Script for this podcast episode about the Jugloo (igloo from plastic jugs)
- Instructions on how to build the Jugloo (igloo from plastic jugs) using zip ties and garment racks
- The Trashmagination podcast theme music is Kitchen from the Marian Circle Drum Brigade.
- Trashmagination’s participation at Maker Faire NoVa in 2014
- Trashmagination’s participation at Maker Faire NoVa in 2015