DIY Projects to Upcycle Plastic Bottles

colorful plastic bottles

While many of us are working to cut down our use of plastic, sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid. Luckily, there are many ways to upcycle your used plastic bottles to be kinder to the planet and reduce waste.

Bird Feeder

Invite some beautiful feathered friends to your outdoor space with upcycled bird feeders. The only other things you need are two old wooden spoons (or any straight stick-like objects).

Cut two pairs of holes on the bottle at different heights, lining them up to stick the wooden spoons through. The holes should have a little excess room above the spoon to let bird food out. The large part of the spoon acts as the perfect perch for a flying friend.

Fill the bottle with bird food, paint the outside if desired and it’ll be ready for use!

Soap Dispenser

Attach the old pump top from a used cosmetic container to a plastic bottle to create a convenient soap dispenser.

If you use a large bottle, you can save some money by buying bulk soap to refill your homemade dispenser. You can do the same with lotion or any other products that can be pumped.

Arts and Crafts Organizer

For an artist or a kiddo on the go, plastic bottles are the perfect place to store crayons or colored pencils. Slip them in there and they’ll be simple to throw in a bag or take into someplace like a restaurant.

Watering Can

An empty plastic laundry detergent bottle can be easily re-purposed to be a watering can. To facilitate this transformation, simply take the label off of the bottle and drill some holes on the top of the cab to allow water to pour out.

upcycled plastic bottle planter

Garden Planters

Take the label off of the bottle, then use something sharp to create small holes on the bottom for water drainage. About halfway down on the bottle, poke a hole. Then, take a piece of paper and wrap it around the bottle so the bottom of the paper aligns with the hole.

Trace the bottom of the paper and then cut along that line. Insert a small scrap of fabric into the bottom of the planter and you're ready to add soil and seeds!

Honey Bear Lamp

Use an unusual plastic bottle—such as an empty bear-shaped honey container—to create a sweet little lamp. This DIY project is perfect to place in a child’s room.

Take all labels off the bottle and clean it, drying it completely. Pick up a corded light bulb that will fit inside your chosen receptacle, and use an X-Acto knife to cut the bottom off evenly.

Spray paint the bottle with white paint—use a couple coats for best results. Allow the paint to dry completely, and then insert the bulb. The muted glow makes for the perfect night light.

a honey bear on its side

Homemade Sprinkler

Allow your kids the joy of running through the sprinkler without even having to buy one! Use an empty two-liter bottle and poke an array of small holes along the top. Simply attach a hose to the opening of the bottle and turn it on. Once the bottle fills with water, it’ll be pushed through the holes, sprinkler style.

Beach Bucket

Make an easy-to-use beach bucket with a recycled laundry detergent bottle. Cut the bottom of the bottle off at a slight angle. Leave the cap on and you now have a beach bucket that has a built in handle for scooping up sand, perfect for those castle building days.

These are just some of the many ways to reuse your used plastic bottles. With nearly 50 million plastic bottles being thrown away in the United States alone every year, each bottle that gets used for something else helps protect the planet just a little bit more.