Ask a hobbyist who builds ships in a bottle how he gets his tiny ships in the bottle. The standard answer is “very carefully.” Although this sounds tongue-in-cheek, it’s actually the truth. Shipbuilding in a bottle is very intricate work. But the results can be spectacular. Follow these steps to build your own ship in a bottle.
1. Choose a ship you would like to recreate. If it’s your first project, it’s best to stay with a ship with simple lines.
2. Decide if you are going to build your ship inside the bottle. Or you may do all the building outside the bottle, then recreate it. You may decide to make all the pieces fold into themselves. Once they are in the bottle they can unfold like an umbrella. Or, you may decide to do a combination of these methods.
3. Locate an appropriate bottle. The best bottles are clear, hand-blown and have flat bottoms.
4. Plan the scenery and setting. You may want to show the hull of the ship as well, so then you need to make a stand. Or, you may want to depict a sea landscape.
5. Create your ship. Use whatever modeling material you have chosen to build your ship. Remember not to glue anything together at this point. Set up any threads and pulleys you may need to unfurl the sails once the ship is in the bottle.
6. Work from the bottom up and transfer the model, piece by piece, into the bottle. Use the threads and pulleys to open sails. Tie them off and remove excess thread.
7. Put a cork in it. It’s time to enjoy your ship in a bottle.