How to Reuse Old Plastic Bottles: 15 Awesome Hacks


Upcycling plastic bottles not only satisfies your creative urge but also contributes to environmentally friendly, green practices.

Their durability and availability in different shapes and sizes makes plastic bottles reusable in many artful ways. So, the next time you’re left with an empty soda bottle, don’t just throw it away. Use it to make something pretty awesome.

Here are 15 cool ways to reuse old plastic bottles.

how to reuse old plastic bottles

Contents

Method 1: DIY Fresh Saver

One of the coolest plastic bottle hacks is to use the top of an old water bottle to make an airtight seal on a plastic bag for storing perishable items in your kitchen.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to preserve perishables with plastic bottleneck

  • Plastic bottle
  • Marker
  • A pair of scissors

Step 1. Cut off the bottleneck

cut off the bottleneck

  • Draw a circle 1 inch below the rim of the bottle.
  • Use a scissors to cut along the marking to separate the bottleneck.

Step 2. Push the top of the plastic bag through the bottleneck

push the top of the plastic bag through the bottleneck

  • Open the cap and push the top of the plastic bag with the food through the bottleneck.
  • Fold the bag over the edges and seal it by screwing the cap back on the bottleneck.

preserve perishables with plastic bottleneck

Method 2: Tapered Candlesticks

If you’re into DIY candles, then you’ll certainly love this project. Plastic bottles can be upcycled to make pretty little candlesticks.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make tapered candlestick made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic ½-liter bottles – 2
  • Glue gun
  • Marker
  • Craft knife

Step 1. Cut off the bottlenecks

cut off the bottlenecks

  • Draw a circle around each bottle about 1 inch below the bottleneck. You can vary the height as per your liking.
  • Cut along the marking to separate the bottlenecks.

Step 2. Glue the mouths of the bottles together and paint your candlestick

glue the bottlenecks together at their mouth and paint the candlestick

  • Glue the bottlenecks together, attaching them at the narrow mouths where the caps would normally be.
  • Once the glue is dry, spray paint and embellish your DIY plastic bottle candlestick with beads and ribbons.

tapered candlestick made with plastic bottle

Method 3: Utility Holder

You can upcycle plastic bottles into multipurpose utility holders. For example, kids can use them to store paint supplies or you can use them in the kitchen to hold cooking utensils.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make utility holder made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic bottles – 3 (two 1-liter bottles and one 2-liter bottle)
  • Glue gun
  • Craft knife
  • Marker

Step 1. Cut out the required parts from the bottles

make the required cuts in the bottles

  • On the two 1-liter bottles, cut off the bottlenecks.
  • On the 2-liter bottle, cut off the bottleneck 3 inches down from the top. Also, cut off the base of the bottle, about 1 inch up from the bottom.

Step 2. Affix the small bottlenecks, glue on the base and decorate your holder

affix small bottlenecks, glue on the base and decorate your holder

  • On the upper cut portion of the 2-liter bottle, draw circles on either side that match the size of the smaller bottlenecks. Cut out the holes.
  • Affix the bottlenecks from the 1-liter bottles into the holes using a glue gun.
  • Glue the top and bottom pieces of the 2-liter bottle together.
  • Let all the glue dry completely.
  • Once dry, add your creative flair by painting and decorating the holder.

utility holder made with plastic bottle

Method 4: Multi-purpose Zippered Container

You can convert plastic bottles into zippered plastic containers that you can easily carry around.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make zippered container made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic ½-liter bottles – 2
  • Zipper – 1
  • Glue gun
  • Craft knife

Step 1. Cut off the bottom of one bottle and top of the other bottle

cut off bottom of one bottle and top of another bottle

  • Cut off the bottom of one bottle, about 1½ inches up from its base.
  • Cut off the bottleneck of the other bottle, about 1½ inches down from the cap.
  • For this project, you’ll only use the bottom portions of each bottle. You can save the bottlenecks for use in other projects.

Step 2. Glue the zipper onto the bottles and use

glue the zipper onto the bottles

  • Use a glue gun to secure the zipper to the inside edge of one bottle.
  • Open the zipper, and glue the other half to the second bottle.
  • Let the glue dry completely.
  • Zip up the container, and it is ready to store your stuff.

zippered container made with plastic bottle

Method 5: Egg Separator

Using a plastic bottle is a simple and cheap method that takes the hassle out of separating egg yolks and whites.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make egg seperator out of plastic bottle

  • Small, clean plastic bottle
  • Egg
  • Knife

Step 1. Break open an egg and pour it into a bowl

break open the egg and pour into a bowl

  • Carefully crack open an egg with a knife and pour it out into a bowl, keeping the egg yolk intact.

Step 2. Squeeze the bottle and suck up the yolk

squeeze the bottle and suck up the yolk

  • Using a clean, small plastic bottle, squeeze it to create suction.
  • Without releasing, touch the rim of the bottle to the yolk. Be careful not to break the yolk.
  • Gently release the bottle to suck up the egg yolk, leaving the whites behind in the bowl.

Step 3. Transfer the yolk to another plate

transfer the yolk to another plate

  • Squeeze out the yolk onto another plate.
  • Use the egg yolk or whites as needed.

Method 6: Bottle Cap Container for Small Items

If you are prone to misplacing tiny objects in your house, use plastic bottlenecks to create lightweight containers for storing things like memory cards, sim cards and other small items.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make small container made with plastic bottlesmall container made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic ½-liter bottles – 2
  • Glue gun
  • Craft knife

Step 1. Cut off the bottlenecks

cut off bottle necks

  • Use the craft knife to smoothly cut the bottlenecks off each bottle.

Step 2. Glue the bottlenecks together and decorate

glue the bottle necks together

  • Apply glue on the open end of the bottlenecks and stick them together.
  • Let the glue dry completely.
  • Embellish it with pearls or other decorative material to create a pretty little container.

small container made with plastic bottle

Method 7: Bird Feeder

If you like the idea of birds feeding in your backyard, try your hand at this DIY plastic bottle bird feeder.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make bird feeder made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic 1-liter bottle
  • Wooden spoons – 2
  • Marker
  • Craft knife

Step 1. Cut out holes to insert the perches

cut holes to insert perches

  • Use a marker to draw a hole that is large enough to fit the handle of the wooden spoon and also allow the bird food to slide onto the spoon. Make the first hole about 2½ inches below the cap. Cut it out using the craft knife.
  • Make a similar hole on the opposite side to extend the perch across the bottle. The opposite hole should be slightly higher to ensure that the perches slant.
  • Make similar cuts about 3 inches below the first ones to insert another perch.

Step 2. Insert the perches and fill the bottle with bird food

insert the perche and fill up with bird food

  • Insert the wooden spoons through the holes in a slanted position.
  • Fill the bottle with bird food and hang it outside using a string looped around the cap of the bottle.
  • You can also fill the bottom of the feeder with pebbles to ensure that the food does not go below the perches.

bird feeder made with plastic bottle

Method 8: Mobile Charging Basket

Hold on to those flat lotion bottles. They make a perfect holder for your phone while it charges.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make phone case made for charging with plastic bottle

  • Baby lotion bottle
  • Craft knife
  • Marker

Step 1. Mark up the bottle where you need to make cuts

mark the cuts you need to make

  • Mark the base of the bottleneck and draw a curved box on the upper half of the bottle. The box should be wide enough so that you can plug in the charger through it.
  • Turn the bottle over and draw a horizontal line across it to mark the holder’s height.
  • Extend the same line on the other side to outline the curved box, keeping ½-inch thickness. This will become your hanger.

Step 2. Cut along the lines and decorate the phone holder

cut along the marks

  • Use a craft knife to cut along the marked lines to get your phone holder shape.
  • Decorate it with golden strands or paint it, as per your liking.

 phone case made for charging with plastic bottle

Method 9: Water Sprinkler

You can make your own inexpensive water sprinkler in a jiffy using a plastic bottle. It will come in handy whether you own a kitchen garden or just maintain a modest herb pot.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make water sprinkler made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic 2-liter bottle
  • Drill

Single-Step Method: Drill holes in a plastic bottle and attach it to the water hose

drill holes in the bottle and attach it to hose

  • Use a drill to make multiple small holes along the length of a plastic 2-liter bottle.
  • Attach the DIY plastic bottle water sprinkler to the garden hose, and it is ready to use.

Method 10: Squeeze Bottle

By converting the caps into nozzles, you can turn plastic bottles into inexpensive devices with which to pour or drizzle liquids. These DIY squeeze bottles can serve a wide variety of purposes.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make squeeze bottle made with plastic bottle

  • Small plastic bottle
  • Candle
  • Toothpick
  • Scissors

Step 1. Heat the cap

heat the cap

  • Carefully heat the bottle cap over a candle flame to soften the plastic.

Step 2. Make a nozzle in the cap with a toothpick

make nozzle in the cap with a toothpick

  • Once the plastic feels a bit pliable, push a toothpick through the cap to extend the softened plastic into a pointed nozzle.
  • Let the cap cool completely.

Step 3. Snip off the excess plastic and put the cap back on the bottle

snip off uneven ends

  • Snip off the end of the nozzle with a scissors to make a perfect hole.
  • Screw the cap back on the bottle and use.

squeeze bottle made with plastic bottle

Method 11: Jewelry Stand

Keep your jewelry in order and tangle-free by using the bottoms of plastic bottles as trays.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make jwellery stand made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic bottles – 4 (different sizes)
  • Wooden stick
  • Craft knife
  • Glue gun
  • Drill

Step 1. Cut the bottoms off the bottles and drill a hole in each one

cut out the bottoms and drill a hole through them

  • For this project, we used three ½-liter bottles and one 2-liter bottle.
  • Cut off the bottom of each bottle as shallow as possible to give them a floral look.
  • Drill a hole the same size as the wooden stick in the center of each piece.

Step 2. Insert the stick through the bottoms and secure them with glue

insert the stick through the bottoms and secure them with glue

  • Use the bottom of the 2-liter bottle as the base and add the other pieces above it, maintaining equal distance between each piece.
  • Apply glue at the base of each bottom to secure them firmly to the stick.
  • Let the glue dry completely.
  • You DIY plastic bottle jewelry stand is ready to use.

jwellery stand made with plastic bottle

Method 12: Piggy Bank

If you have children at home, encourage them to save money by depositing loose change into cute piggy banks made from plastic bottles. It’ll be a fun project to do together, and you can also teach your children that they can make many things they need far cheaper than buying them.

Be sure children are supervised while working with craft knives and scissors.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need too make piggy bank made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic 2-liter bottle
  • Glue gun
  • Marker
  • Craft knife
  • A pair of scissors

Step 1. Cut out the middle portion of the bottle and glue the top and bottom together

cut out the middle portion of the bottle and glue the top and bottom together

  • Use the craft knife to cut out the smooth, middle section of the bottle. For this project, you’ll use the base and the bottleneck. You can simply recycle the middle portion.
  • Using scissors, make small slits along the circumference of the upper portion of the bottle.
  • Apply glue on the outer edge of the bottom portion and attach the upper portion to it.

Step 2. Cut out the coin hole and decorate it

cut out coin holes and decorate

  • Use the craft knife to make a coin hole on the top of the bottle.
  • Cut out ear shapes from a cardboard carton and glue them onto the bottle.
  • Spray paint the piggy bank with the color of your choice and attach artificial eyes and nostrils.
  • Let the plastic bottle piggy bank dry completely before using it.

piggy bank made with plastic bottle

Method 13: Planters

You can repurpose old plastic bottles to create vertical gardens or succulent pots for indoor plants. Add flowering plants like periwinkle to these DIY plastic bottle planters or use them to grow an herb like sweet basil.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll eed to make planter made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic bottles – 2
  • Craft knife
  • Marker

Single-Step Method: Cut out desired shapes and use

cut in desired shapes and use

  • Mark and cut out a rectangle in the middle portion of the bottle. For a different shaped planter, you can cut off the bottom of the bottle about 4 inches up from the base.
  • Make a hole at the bottom of the planter to facilitate water drainage.
  • Be creative and decorate them as you like. If you want to make bunny planters, carve out bunny ears. Spray paint it with your favorite color and draw on the eyes and mouth.
  • Fill the bottle with soil and plant the sapling.

planter made with plastic bottle

Method 14: Gift Boxes

Believe it or not, you can transform soda bottles into beautiful gift boxes by simply cutting and folding them. Here are two options for making these unique gift boxes.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make gift boxes made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic bottle (use varying sizes as needed) – 2
  • Craft knife
  • Marker
  • A pair of scissors

#Semi-round gift box with feet

semi-round gift box with feet

  • Use a craft knife to cut off the lower end of the plastic bottle, about 3 inches up from the bottom.
  • Use scissors to make 5 vertical slits to serve as flaps of the box. Each slit should be at least 1-inch deep and spaced out equally.
  • Fold in each flap to close the box.
  • Decorate it with a ribbon.

#Square plastic gift box

square gift box

  • Cut out the smooth middle section of each bottle.
  • Press the cut out part from 2 sides to form a convex shape. Rotate at 90 degrees and squeeze again to form a square shape. Repeat the same for the other piece to get 2 squares.
  • Insert 1 square into the other, so that open sides face the closed side to form a box.
  • Tie a ribbon around it for decoration.

gift boxes made with plastic bottle 

Method 15: Stink Bug Trap

Get rid of annoying stink bugs from your house with this homemade bug trap made with plastic bottle. It uses light as a bait to lure stink bugs and trap them inside the bottle.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need to make bug trap made with plastic bottle

  • Plastic 2-liter bottle
  • Black electrical tape
  • Craft knife
  • LED light that can fit into the bottle

Step 1. Cut off the upper portion of the bottle and cover the base with tape

cut off the upper portion and cover the base with tape

  • Cut off the bottleneck, 2 inches down from the top. Set the bottleneck aside.
  • Wrap electrical tape around the lower portion, covering up to 3 inches from the base.
  • Affix 4 strips of tape vertically, along the length of the bottle and placed at equal distance from each other. These will serve as crawl-paths that the stink bugs can grip onto.

Step 2. Install the LED light inside the bottle

install led light inside bottle

  • Using the craft knife, make a small cut in the bottom of the bottle for the light’s wiring.
  • Insert the LED light into the bottle with the light facing upward.
  • Pull the wiring out through the hole made in the bottom.

Step 3. Secure the inverted neck into the lower part of the trap and turn on the light

secure inverted neck into the lower part of the trap and turn on the light

  • Remove the cap and turn the bottleneck upside down.
  • Place it over the top of the lower portion of the bottle, and secure it in place with the electrical tape.
  • Place the stink bug trap in the infested area.
  • Turn off the surrounding lights and plug in the trap’s LED light. If using it outdoors, turn it on after sunset.
  • Carefully dispose of the trapped stink bugs the next morning.

bug trap made with plastic bottle


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