I love bottles. I wouldn’t say I have a huge fetish for bottles, but I do save glass bottles and plastic bottles that are unique in shape or size, or that may come in useful for re-purposing. For instance, my daughter colored rice at preschool many years ago and brought it home. I put the colored rice in a glass bottle (old milk bottle) and it now sits on the hutch to her desk – 11 years later. This has made for a great memory of something she did when she was young. I’ve also saved some really cool wine bottles from when I worked as a bartender. My hope is to turn them into lamps someday. Clear bottles can be etched and turned into lamps. Larger mouthed bottles are great for filling with seashells (we have two filled with seashells that we gathered as a family).
Uses for Glass Bottles
1. Make a snow globe/dome
2. Making candles
3. Homemade jellies and jam
4. Gifts in a jar (the ones using dry ingredients that are layered) – cover the cover with cupcake liners and a ribbon for an added touch
5. A message in a bottle – then send it out to sea
6. Unused paint – there was just a tad bit left in a gallon that was used in my son’s room.
I put this in a jar to save for touch-ups or for a craft
7. Clean hair brushes and combs – enough bleach will disintegrate the hair.
8. Grow roots from plant clippings – these do best when placed in a window – usually within 3 or 4 days – you’ll start to see the roots sprouting
9. A group of different sized bottles, used as vases to hold a single flower, make a nice statement
10. Paint the outside of the bottles to use as a colored vase
11. Store bath accessories – use a sticky label to indicate what the contents are
12. Store sewing supplies – buttons, ribbons, pins, etc.
13. Use for sorting and storing screws, nails, washers, etc. Get the jars off the workbench by screwing the covers to the under-pinion of a board – then attach the jar to the cover (you can do this with arts & crafts supplies and sewing gadgets too)
14. Turn them into lamps
15. Etch the glass and use for vases
16. Wrap string or yarn around them to display as a group or use as vases
17. Cut the tops of the bottles (particularly wine bottles) off with a glass cutter to create wider-mouthed vases – try cutting at different angles for a custom look
18. Using different colored bottles (or painted) to create a unique edging for your garden or walkway – longer necked bottles work best for this
19. Make an oil lamp. Add dried flowers to the bottle with some lamp oil. Top with a plastic ring with a wick through the middle (found in craft stores) and you’ve got yourself a pretty decorative oil lamp
20. Store noodles in them
21. Make chandeliers
22. Make a bottle tree
23. As incense burners using a wine or tall bottle and a loop key ring with a clip (bobby pin will work) to dangle the incense inside the bottle
25. Reed diffusers
Uses for Plastic Bottles
1. Cut the bottom of the bottle off and use as a funnel
2. Add sand to the bottle to use as weights
3. Cut the bottle to start seedlings in
4. Let the kids create sand art
5. Make your own sprayer (I save sprayers from different cleaners, wash them, and then cut the straw to fit the bottle)
6. A plant self-waterer – cut the bottom off or hole in bottom, and put neck near plant with cover on loosely, fill with water. Water will slowly trickle out of the bottle to hydrate the plant.
7. A message in a bottle – then send it out to sea
8. Protect toilet paper from frisky cats – cut the top and bottom off a large soda bottle wide enough to fit a roll of toilet paper. Next cut a thin slice out of one side, thread the toilet paper through the slice, and place it all on your toilet paper holder.
9. Pill bottles make great storage for small items
10. Mini green houses – cut the bottoms of the bottles off, slip the top over the dirt/plant, decorate the bottle with some string or ribbon and add a tag displaying the plant’s name
11. Save your shirts from the dreaded hanger marks – slip water bottles through the ends of the hanger – tie on if necessary
12. Cut the tops off to create holders for pens, pencils, scissors, paint brushes etc. – decorate with stickers or self adhesive contact paper
13. Cut the bottom off of soda bottles and trim with decorative ribbon – use for small desk items such as paper clips, elastics, tacks, etc.
14. Milk cartons lantern – decorate the outside with permanent marker, place a string of Christmas lights inside and you’ve got a lantern – you could make a jack-o-lantern faced luminary, Ghost, Santa or Snowman face etc.
15. Cut the tops off the bottles and use as funnels
16. Save those bags of flavored cooking chips (chocolate chips, butterscotch chips etc.) or nuts and seal with the top of a water/soda bottle and cover
17. Bird feeders
18. Plant Planter – lie the bottle on its side, cut an opening wide enough for a plant to grow then fill with dirt and let the plant do its thing
19. Ice packs – fill bottles with water and freeze. Best thing about these is that you don’t have to worry about water getting all over your foods in coolers.
20. Piggy Bank – cut a slot in the bottle near the top (to slide coins in) you can even decorate the bottle with self-adhesive contact paper or fabric. When you want the money out – cut the bottle
21. Yarn holders – 2 liter bottles are great for this. Cut the bottom open, insert a skein of yarn – threading the yarn lead through the top, tape the bottom back on. Yarn stays clean and detangled.
22. Toilet tank water saver – place a plastic bottle of water (try a 2 liter first), pebbles or sand in the toilet’s tank. This saves about a half-gallon of water each time you flush. If you find it’s not flushing properly remove it. I’d even try a smaller bottle – any water savings will help no matter whether you’re on public water and sewage or you have a well and septic tank.
23. Make a scoop – for dog food, for cat food, as a pooper-scooper, for spreading sand, if using a heavy plastic container like laundry detergent comes in – you could make a scoop for using at the ocean
24. Keep a couple jugs filled with kitty litter or sand in your trunk during the winter months. Use a smaller bottle to keep on a bag of a wheelchair.
25. Make a watering can – punch or drill some holes in the jug (plastic bottle with handle works best) near the top – about a dozen or so. When you tip the jug the water will filter out.
26. Store leftover paint – funnel the paint left in the can into the plastic bottle then label the bottle. Hint – adding a few marbles to the bottle will help with mixing the paint when you need it next.
27. You can do the same with peanut butter and mayonnaise jars as you would in #13 in the glass bottle section above
28. Strainers – Cut the top off a plastic bottle and poke some holes in the bottom of the jug. Fill with fruits or vegetables that need washing. This also would be a good way to store fruit in a cooler for the day at the beach or for a picnic – the fruit wouldn’t get smushed or bruised from rolling around and other items would be kept safe
29. Make a chandelier (must use LED or CFL lights to avoid melting the plastic)
30. No juicer? Turn a soda bottle bottom into one. Simply cut the bottom off the bottle and you’ve got something that will do as a fill in juicer.
31. Only need one serving of pasta? Use a 20oz soda bottle to measure the serving by slipping spaghetti in the bottle at the top
There you have it. Re-purposing bottles is a thrifty way to save from purchasing retail products and it helps the environment. I am sure that you may have a few ideas on what one can do with glass bottles or plastic bottles. Please share them with us 🙂Photo Credits: (top) www.freedigitalphotos.net by luigi diamanti (Bottom) www.stockfreeimages.com/