How To Make a Sand Hourglass with Plastic Drink Bottles

Are you familiar with the board games known as Pictionary and Boggle? In this game, the players use sand timer to measure the time constraint on rounds of play. At present, sand timers are not regular items in a store. So in case you lose the original one, it is not the end of your board game. Improvising a new one using a plastic drink bottle is not impossible. Simply follow the steps on how to make a sand hourglass with plastic drink bottles. The steps are as follows.

  • Stuff to prepare. The materials in making a sand hourglass with plastic drink bottles are not hard to find. In fact, they are the ordinary materials you may find in your room or in your backyard. You will need plastic drink bottles, cardboard, heavy tape, glue, scissor, hole puncher, sand, funnel, and stopwatch.
  • Bottles. Look for two plastic drink bottles of the same size and shape. Simply use ordinary bottles such as the bottles of soda. Clean them thoroughly until the smell of soda fades away. Let the inside of the bottle dry. A wet bottle is messy to start with.
  • Cardboard. The mouth of a plastic drink bottle, even the smallest size among them, is wide enough to carry out the mechanics of an hourglass. To remedy it, use a cardboard. The size of the cardboard must be the same with the mouth of the plastic drink bottle. To get the proper size of the cardboard, turn the bottle upside down. Trace the mouth of the bottle. It must touch the surface of the cardboard.. Cut the cardboard, following the tracing. Put a hole at the middle using a puncher. The size of the hole should not make the flow of the sand too fast or too slow.
  • Sand. Collect a handful of sand in your backyard. It is advisable to use very fine sand. Rough grains would only wear out the cardboard later on. If there is no fine sand in your backyard, buy sand from a craft store. You may also put glitters on the sand to make it a little bit lively. Fill one empty bottle with a handful of sand. Put the funnel at the mouth of one empty bottle and then, pour the sand. Seal the bottle using the cardboard. Connect the bottles. The mouth of the empty bottle must touch the sand filled bottle. Secure it with a duct tape or any heavy tape. Secure the bottles properly. If air can still pass into the mouth of the bottle, it may create moisture inside the bottle. The moisture may speed up or slow down the flow of the sand, which will affect the accurateness of the hourglass.
  • Stopwatch. Use your stopwatch to measure the amount of time for the sand to flow from one bottle to the other. Turn the sand filled bottle upside down and let the sand flow to the empty bottle. Upon turning, start the stopwatch.

You now have your own sand timer. Use it in playing Boggle or in cooking eggs.

A sand timer is an obsolete means of measuring time. In the old times, it is also known as sand glass, egg timer, and sand clock—all collectively known as hourglass.


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