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Create milk bottle moths to hang in a tree or window


Recycle your old milk bottles to create a beautiful installation of hanging moths! Moths to a Flame will turn your calls for urgent action on the Climate Emergency into a magnificent display in your front garden or window for everyone to see for GOHAF 2021! After the festival, you can submit your moths to contribute to a mass-participation art installation at COP26, Glasgow in November 2021.

EVERYONE is invited to join this NATIONWIDE creative response to the Climate Emergency. Help The Art and Energy Collective make 20,000 moths and record messages for the Moths to a Flame installation at COP26.

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How to make your moths

You will need…

  • A plastic milk bottle (rinsed well and dried. More about milk bottles below)

  • A pair of scissors

  • A marker pen



  • A printed template sheet (download here, page 2 has simpler moths to cut depending on ability) 
    OR Alternatively, you can purchase a moth making kit from the Moths to a Flame website here.

  • A UV marker pen and torch

  • Needle and thread (to hang your moths for the festival!)

  • An envelope and stamp to submit your moths to COP26.

Step to step guide

1. Clean your plastic milk bottle well. Leave to dry.

2. Cut a piece of plastic slightly larger than your chosen moth template.

3. Place the plastic over the moth shape. Trace lines using a marker pen.

4. Use scissors to cut around the lines.

5. Fold the wings, curl / twist / fold the antenna.

6. Decorate using marker pens (UV and normal permanent).

7. Use needle and thread to hang your moths in your window or from a tree in your front garden for Glasgow Open House Arts Festival 2021!

8. Add the location of your window display to the festival map - apply here, or share a photo or video on our social media!

9. Send the Art & Energy Collective your moths to add to the installation heading to COP26.

Address: Art & Energy, The Plot, 80-84 Union Street, Plymouth, UK, PL1 3EZ.

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We would love to see your finished installation or documentation of the work in progress! Share a picture or video with us by tagging us on social media, using the hash-tag #GOHAFmoths or email us.


Tag us on social media: t: @OHGlasgow

ig: @glasgow_open_house fb: @glasgowopenhouse

Take inspiration from the real world!

Think that moths are just dull little fluttery things? Think again! The moths on the template sheet are all based on beautiful moths that exist here in the real world.


Find out a bit more on the Moths to a Flame website, check out their ‘Explore the world of Moths’ page, or join the Art Energy Collective at a ‘Watch Moths’ event to experience real live moths through the magic of Zoom!

Milk Bottles

Most creative activities use resources of some sort… whether it’s paper and paint, steel and glass, theatre props and costumes, or the artist’s own energy. We’ve pondered how best to create an installation that is easily accessible to many, creates a visual impact, and has a minimal carbon footprint. Upcycling items that frequently end up in the bin is one solution.

  • Please DO NOT glue on glitter/sequins/other materials.

  • Stick to plastic with an HDPE 2 symbol on it. This way once the project is over, the Art & Energy Collective can work with their partners at Precious Plastics Plymouth and Tavistock to recycle it, giving the resources a new lease of life. This circular pattern is central to so many sustainable ways of working. There’s a great article about the lifecycle of milk bottles here.

  • Be sure to give your bottle a really thorough rinse out!

  • You’re going to be cutting your milk bottle up anyway, so cutting off the handle and base once you’ve washed it will help it to dry quicker (be sure to put these offcuts in the recycling bin). 

  • If you’re not a milk-drinking household, or if you’ve found a more eco-friendly way to store your milk, then keep an eye out for other products in similar containers. Orange juice often comes in similar containers. Alternatively, ask a friend or neighbour… they might even like to join you in making moths!

  • If you do use a different type of plastic then please clearly mark your envelope before sending so that the organisers will know to string these ones up separately for the installation.

Milk Bottles
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Buy a 'Make a moth kit'


Purchase everything you need to make your own glowing UV moths for a moth installation.

The make a moth kit includes: A black permanent marker and UV marker with a light, templates and cleaned and prepared recycled plastic for up to 5 moths and a stamped addressed envelope so you can post them back after your festival installation. It also includes a Moths to a Flame activity book packed with all sorts of things to try out.

Buy from the Moths to a Flame website here.

Moths to a Flame is presented by:

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