Monday, April 22, 2013

Upcycle Your Soda Bottles, Bottom to Top!

 These projects are fun to make, fun to give, or to present at a green event or community fair to inspire others to transform trash into treasures.

Plastic soda bottles are convenient and they’re simple to recycle, but only one in five are. The rest pile up in landfills, where they can stick around for hundreds of years. Upcycling them is a creative way to do something nice for the environment and is easy on the pocketbook!

These ideas will delight you day or night! Slice off the flower-shaped bottom of several plastic water bottles. You can use colored plastic bottles or decorate clear bottles with paint markers.

Punch a hole in one “petal”. Thread a length of sturdy thread or jewelry cord through and hang in a sunny window.
Michelle Brand
BLOSSOM LIGHTS by Michelle Brand
Love how she punched a hole in the center of each flower, then added a string of twinkle lights.

Crafting awesome apple boxes thanks to Sara's directions!
APPLE BOX by Sara Rivka
Cut the bottoms off two 1-liter plastic seltzer bottles; use a knife to make the first cut, then continue with scissors.Trim bottles to desired height. Cut 1-1/2" stick for stem. Hot glue stem to top of apple. Punch four corresponding holes in top and bottom at the front and back of apple with a heavy-duty hole punch. The back holes will be used to create a hinge, while the front holes will be tied with a bow for opening the apple. Wrap a small gift in red fabric and place inside. Tie apple closed with ribbon. Cut out felt leaves and hot glue them to the stem. Check out our version on Instagram :)

Zitta Schnitt
This was created by Zitta Schnitt from two bottles and a colorful zipper. It’s a bit complicated, but oh, so cool! How would you embellish and fill it?
  • Pop in a pincushion and flower-head pins for a seamstress friend.
  • Add wiggle eyes and fill with treats for a favorite child or party favor.
  • Add rhinestone stickers and bling for a fancy coin purse.
Ok, so you’ve used the bottoms of your bottles. What are you going to do with the top half?

Cut the bottom off a 2-liter plastic bottle, create a hinge and colorful yarn or ribbon tie, like the Apple Box above. Insert the yarn, pull a strand through the top opening and tie closed. The yarn will be kept from rolling all over the place and getting tangled.

These make sweet Mother’s Day gifts! Plant seeds or a seedling in small clay pots. Then pop on the upper portion of the plastic bottle. Craft a tag with the name of the plant and tie it on with a bit of twine. The dome holds in the humidity to keep the soil moist, so less frequent watering is needed. 

Let’s not forget the caps. Most plastic soda bottles are made from PET plastic, but the caps are commonly made from polypropylene, which must be processed separately. When you toss a bottle with the cap on into the recycling bin, it can cause problems at the recycling center. So let’s get busy!

Photo by Scott Phillips via
They’re made from craft felt and hand-embroidered.

Kids just add paint, wiggle eyes and giggles!
Check out her Jar Lid Glitter Bugs, too!

Happy Upcycling!
- Toby


  1. Hi! I just wanted to share my recycled water/soda bottle wreaths with you. The patriotic one was the first one I made. I love using the bottles to make these wild and crazy wreaths because the colors & ideas are limitless! :D Eventually I'll have made one for every occasion...

    Geri Johnson

    The Christmas Wreath:

    The Halloween Wreath:

    The Summer to Fall Wreath:

    The 4th of July Wreath:

  2. Thanks so much for including Crafts by Amanda! I noticed that your link title says Plastic Lid Ladybugs, but it's actually linked to my Jar Lid Glitter Bugs. Not sure which one you meant to link to, but here's the link to the ladybugs if you wanted it :)

    1. Thanks Amanda! We'll make sure to include both. They are super cute! :) -Kim @ Jo-Ann