Turn your used bottles into cool things!
If it’s easy to amass anything, it’s bottles–glass, plastic, whatever! When taking a big haul to the recycling bin at the end of the week, you might be wondering if there’s something better you could do with all these bottles.
Luckily, we’ve collected some upcycled bottle projects for the sustainable, crafty homesteader, fit for bottles of all kinds.
1. Cell Phone Charging Caddy
Clean out that old plastic lotion bottle and put it to good use! With a little cutting and gluing, you can make an attractive hanging caddy to hold your phone or other gadgets as they charge from a wall outlet–cleaning up space and freeing your devices from tangled wires. Check out the tutorial here.
2. Self-Watering Planters
Many small plants are fairly simple to take care of, but everyone’s forgotten to properly water a plant in their lives. A self-watering planter will keep your plant hydrated with little work on your part–and they can be made fairly easily with used bottles! You can use a 2-liter soda bottle or that bottle of wine you finished last weekend. Here are tutorials for plastic and glass bottles.
3. Chalkboard Paint a Bottle
Take any old bottle and spray some chalkboard paint on it, and you’ve got a great tschotske for any season. Label it with something you’d like to contain inside, or decorate and write messages matching a theme or time of year. What’s great about these bottles is whatever you put on them can be erased and redrawn. Try mixing and matching a few to spell out phrases or complete a look
4. Make a Wind Chime
One or two glass bottles can make for a cute DIY wind chime for your yard or deck. The process is a little more involved–requiring the cutting of glass–but isn’t very complicated and certainly worth the effort. Imagine the beautiful chimes you could make with many bottles of different colors! Find out how to do it here.
5. Glass Cups
If you’re fine with cutting glass but want an easier project than wind chimes, try making a glass cup for drinking–or to use as a tea light! Represent your favorite spirit while sipping a cocktail, or give a set as a gift. Simply cut the bottle under its neck and sand the edge immediately until smooth to avoid cuts.
6. Beautiful Patterned Vases
Modge podge some patterned paper, or decoupage lace and patterns for unique vases of your design. Experiment with bottles of different shapes and sizes for an elegant arrangement for your living or dining room. Find decoupage instructions here!
7. Candle Holders
Romantic and bohemian, the wine bottle-turned-candle holder is a popular prop on many movies and TV shows–but you may have noticed that a candlestick is usually a little too wide to fit into the neck of a bottle.
Here’s how to do it: first, make sure your bottle is clean and free of any remaining alcohol! Hold the bottom of a candlestick over a flame until the wax begins to melt a little. Now that it’s soft, try to fit the stick into the bottle. You won’t get very far, but a layer of wax will come off the bottom of the candle. Unpeel it, then heat the bottom of the stick again. Repeat these steps until the bottom of the candlestick is able to fit sturdily in the neck of the bottle.
8. Torches for the Yard
Here’s another project that requires a little more effort, but is sure to impress visitors to the garden: hanging bottled torches. These are a modern twist on the iconic yard tiki torch, and it’s not too difficult to make your own. As an added bonus, they’ll keep mosquitos away in the summer in addition to adding mood lighting on warm nights. Simply follow the steps here.
9. Custom Containers
Most instant coffee containers are in a vaguely humanoid shape–think Mrs. Buttersworth bottles, but much rounder. This shape is perfect for painting cartoonish characters into custom bottles and containers, and makes for a great kid’s craft! Check out a tutorial here.
10. Plastic Bottle Terrarium
Terrariums make for beautiful, self-contained environments you can fit on a shelf. While a plastic bottle terrarium might not sound too fancy, it makes for a great kid-friendly and educational project. With a little bit of work, you and your child can transform your everyday two-liter bottle into a plant home that you can both be proud of. Find out how here.