DIY Fireman Air Tank & Play

DIY Fireman Air Tank for dress-up

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  All opinions are my own. Wooo, wooo, wooo! Watch out! The fire truck is coming! We’re off to the rescue! I am so excited about our DIY Fireman Air Tank! Pretend play is a daily part of our household.  A few days ago Grammy sent little C his very own Heroes Firehouse! I’ve wanted a boy doll house for so long and when the doorbell rang, I think I was just as excited! It was a perfect time to make him an air tank to go along with his hat, firehouse, and Rescue Heroes Action Figures for pretend play.  Not to mention, I have part of his kids Halloween costume made now!  Little C informed me it could be a scuba diving tank too! A while back I remember seeing a jet pack from Doodle Craft and I was totally inspired! C loves to be a fireman, especially with Daddy’s boots!

Materials Needed:

  • Plastic 2-Liter Bottle
  • 1/2″ Vinyl Tubing, 1-3 Feet
  • Aqua Pod Water Bottle
  • Yellow Spray Paint
  • Hot Glue/Gun
  • Electrical tape
  • Black Webbing
  • Cardboard
  • Drill with 3/8 bit
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Swivel Clips {optional}
  • Painters Tape {optional}
  • Letters {optional}

What’s Next:

1.  This is a parent project! Determine whether you want to tape the letter AIR, stencil after painted yellow, or add with paper and glue.  My first attempt was taping with electrical tape; my second attempt was using painters tape; my third attempt was paper and glue after I painted it.  I ended up printing AIR on a Word.doc, cutting it out, and gluing it on.

fireman air tank materials 1.  Make sure you flip the bottle upside down BEFORE you stencil or tape!! I made the same mistake 2x see electrical tape mistake below, bottle is the wrong way.

AIR label for fireman air tank

2.  I recommend the paper and glue option.  It’s a much cleaner look.  Now, paint the bottle and set aside to dry.  Let’s prepare the cardboard and straps.

straps for fireman air tank 3.  Next, prepare the straps.  I used old straps from a portable DVD case.  You can use straps from an old purse or buy the webbing and swivel clips from Home Depot or a fabric store.  My straps were too long so I shortened them by cutting off the excess and sewing them back together.  No sew option? Just use hot glue or staple them together after shortening.  Super easy and quick! Another option is using fabric to make scraps.  For fabric strap option: cut slits in the cardboard instead of holes then loop it through and staple. Personally, I love the swivel clips because it allows for better movement and it will last longer.  Also, the adjustable straps will grow with your child. making the back to a fireman air tank 4. Punch holes 1″ from each side on the top of cardboard.  Repeat on side.  I recommend lining the cardboard up with your child’s shoulder blades.  Reinforce the top of the holes with electrical tape for extra stability.

fireman air tank strap

5.  Finally, attacked the clips through the holes with metal clip-part facing inwards (toward child’s back).

making a fireman air tank 6.  Drill a hole into the bottom of the Aqua Pod bottle.  I used a 3/8 bit for 1/2″ vinyl tubing. It took a bit of wiggling and patience.  Next, with a tiny bit, pre-drill the white bottle cap from your large soda bottle, not from the Aqua Pod bottle.  Next, drill the small cap with 3/8 bit  use EXTREME CAUTION when drilling with a large bit! They are very dangerous, especially when drilling the small cap.

making fireman air tank tubing 7.  Insert tubing into both ends.  Once your yellow tank is dry, add your paper lettering or peel tape to show lettering.  Add a strip of black electrical tape around the top of the bottle. Next, adhere the yellow tank to the cardboard using hot glue or a strong bonding agent.  If using hot glue, apply it to the cardboard, then attach the bottle.  Make sure the nozzle is facing down.  I held it up to C to gauge where to put the yellow tank on the cardboard.  Attach the small white cap to the end of the large yellow soda bottle to complete the hook-up.

fireman air tank latches 8.  Let’s add the 2 small latches with the excess webbing to secure the tubbing. Determine the length you’d like the tubing and push any excess into the yellow bottle.  As pictured above, I chose to use velcro to make it adjustable, but for the purposes of this tutorial, I recommend shortening the tube, gluing everything down including the tube, and sealing all caps and fasteners permanently. **Always supervise your children during play and only allow them to play with age appropriate toys.  This toy is NOT appropriate for all ages.

Fireman air tank made from recycle materials

Wooo, wooo! Off to the rescue! Now it’s the kids turn to play and enjoy their new fireman air tank! Have fun! Here’s C playing or should I say Mr. C Fireman!

DIY Fireman Air Tank & Pretend Play @ Crayon Box Chronicles

C loves his new firehouse! He’s definitely partial to the cool helicopter and figures! Thank you Grammy! He kept running around saying, “Whoooo, wooo!”

DIY Fireman Air Tank & Pretend Play @ Crayon Box Chronicles

Here’s my favorite picture of him shaking his rump!  Super fun, right?! Making a fireman air tank out of recycled materials is inexpensive and a fun addition to a child’s dress-up collection!

DIY fireman air tank for pretend play

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35 thoughts on “DIY Fireman Air Tank & Play

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  3. Hi! Thanks for the idea my husband made a recycled costume for our kid, I let him see your idea and he also made another idea that almost like yours. I want you also to see what my hubby do. :)

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  9. Hi Heather! I think this is the cutest thing ever! But, then again I have never seen anything that you have made that I didn’t like. Your very creative and talented. Thank you for sharing at the Click & Chat Link Up Party! I’m pinning it. Have a lovely night! Kim

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  11. This is adorable! I might make a couple for my students. As a teacher/volunteer firefighter, I have to be picky though. We call them “SCBA” tanks (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and if you’re going to go through all the work to make one of those, it’s probably worth it to make it accurate! And lots of new vocabulary words for your child!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Mr 2 absolutely loves it. We made one this morning with a few adjustments to use what we had around the house.

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  21. I am wondering how you adhered the air tank to the cardboard. I love this idea! My son can’t wait to have it for his costume.

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    • Hi Tonya. I used hot glue (lowest setting) and applied it directly to the cardboard, NOT to the plastic tank. Pre-mark where you’d like the tank to go b/c once it’s attached it will bend and brake if you need to move it. The bottle did bend slightly where the glue hit due to the heat, but not at all noticeable b/c it’s on the inside. You could also you industrial glue from Home Depot or a glue-bond. I think it’s call E-3000 found in a hardware store in the glue section. Yay! We’d love to see a photo too! Please feel free to share on our Facebook page if you like! Have fun! Let me know if you have any other questions while you’re making it! :)

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  22. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea on my facebook page. It is wonderful. You have so many special details in this project.

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