Why Not Build Your Very Own Vacuum Cleaner?

Looking for a fun project to do with the kids during school break, or a truly educational task for a school project?  Why not make a vacuum cleaner? These are samples of the top rated vacuum cleaners, but you can make your very own vacuum cleaner, even a portable or lightweight hardwood floor vacuum.

Making a Vacuum Cleaner

Materials you will need

  • a medium size plastic soda bottle,
  • an empty Aluminium can,
  • a foot long length of flexible (washing machine) hose,
  • I small length of fence wire
  • A small DC motor with leads attached.
  • Some double sided insulation
  • A tube of contact glue
  • Some colored tape for decoration
  • Some old polystyrene

Tools you will need

  • a pair of sharp scissors
  • a Stanley knife
  • an electric drill
  • One nail
  • A small hacksaw


This video will give you the visuals you need to follow the directions above


Step 1

Firstly remove the label from the Soda bottle. Using the marks left by the adhesive as a guide, make two cuts through the bottle where the top and the bottom of the label used to be.

With that piece removed, and the edges trimmed, reconnect the neck of the bottle to the base section to make sure they fit.

Step 2

Take the can, and using the hacksaw, cut through to remove the base and the top.

With a pair of scissors, make a cut vertically up the remaining cylinder to produce a flat piece of Aluminium.

Step 3

Using the upturned body of the soda bottle as a guide, trace a matching circle on the Aluminium using a felt marker. Then cut that circle out with your scissors.

Step 4

With a straight edge, mark a cross through the center of this circle, and use a nail to create a small hole right in the center.  Use a bottle cap to draw a neat circle around that hole, and with your scissors make 8 equally spaced cuts from the outside of the metal disc, stopping at the circle you have drawn. Individually twist each the 8 segments to create a fan, and place some bluetack either side of the central hole.

Step 5

Insert the spindle from the DC motor through the bluetac and the center hole without poking it through the bluetack on the other side.

Step 6

Using an Electric drill,  create a series of holes around and through the base of the plastic bottle

Step 7

Create a hole on the side of the spare plastic bottle cap, and thread the electric wires from the DC motor through that hole.  Spread a ring of glue around the side of the motor at its base, and push the cap up so it is secured by the glue and seals the base of the motor.

Step 8

Add a measure of glue to the inside of the plastic bottle’s base, and to the outside of the plastic cap covering the motor. Thread the wires from the motor out through one of the holes your drilled into the base and push motor down so the glue holds it in place, This leaves the “fan” blades horizontal within the plastic bottle.

Step 9

Working about half an inch below the top of the “bottle” line the inside with a couple of layers of double sided insulation.

Step 10

Bend your wire to form a circle which will fit inside the bottle and on top of the layers of insulation, leaving a protruding hook to use as a handle. With the “handle” facing upward, spread a layer of glue around the wire circle, attach a piece of fine fabric to act as a filter, and trim to size.

Place the “filter” into the body of the bottle with the handle up.

Step 11

Fit the original bottle neck (complete with its cap) back onto the body of the bottle.

Step 12

Using a little polystyrene, and you double sided insulation, fashion a pair of skids to attach the underside if the Bottle, and a handle on the top side.

Step 13

Remove the Bottle neck again, unscrew the cap, insert the flexible hose, (with a layer of double sided adhesive around it), into the bottle lip sealing the outside with your glue.  Use a small plastic bottle, (an eyedrop bottle is perfect, fashion a nozzle for the end of the hose and glue it into place.

Step 14

Use some colored tape to decorate the neck of the bottle, and create bands around the body, covering the two skids, and attach the neck to the bottle again completing the vacuum.

Step 15

Connect the two electrical leads from the motor, to the terminals of a car battery  and you have a working, hand held vacuum cleaner to satisfy any school project.