10 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Plastic Bottles

hero shot of craft supplies on wooden table water bottle

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Sure, you toss your plastic bottles into your recycling bin instead of the regular trash, but did you know you can go one step further by upcycling? Here are 10 creative and easy projects that will add a homemade touch to your living space.

1. Self-Watering Water Bottle Garden

upcycled plastic water bottle turned into plant self water

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Do you forget to water your plants? Here's a cool way so you don't always have to remember: Cut the bottle in half and thread a string through the bottle cap. Water goes in the bottom half. A plant and soil goes in the top half, placed upside down inside the bottom half. The thread that runs through the center draws moisture up into the plant.

2. No Sew-Zipper Bottle

upcycled water bottle turned into pencil storage with glued on zipper

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Organize your pencils and kids' crayons with upcycled bottles. To make the top removable, just cut the bottle a few inches from the top, then hot glue a zipper to both edges. If you need more space, use the bottom sections of two different bottles.

3. Bottle Mobile

brightly colored plastic bottles upcycled into outdoor mobile

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Add some color to your back patio with a flower-styled plastic bottle mobile. Cut the tops off of your bottle and cut the edges into "petals" so that the bottle top resembles a closed crocus. To decorate them, you can either paint them different colors or glue tissue paper onto them. Hang them into a mobile with a piece of yarn.

4. Milk Jug Votive Candleholder

recycled milk jug carton as lotus flower candle holder

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Your friends will have no idea these chic lotus candle holders are DIY. Simply cut the different sized petals from a milk jug and glue to the bottom of an electric tea light. You can make about one plastic lotus flower per gallon milk jug.

5. Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

recycled plastic water bottle as bird feeder with wooden spoons

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Transform your water bottle into a bird feeder by cutting holes into the sides and sliding wooden spoons through them. These will serve as perches and feed catchers, so make sure they're slanted slightly downward. Once filled with seeds, you can hang your DIY bird feeder with a sturdy piece of wire or a metal hook.

6. Soda Bottle Sprinkler

plastic soda bottle upcycled to be hose sprinkler

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Here's one of the more ingenious ways to upcycle a plastic bottle if you're someone who has a lawn or garden to water. Drill or poke small holes in all around the bottle, remove the cap, and duct tape the opening to the end of a hose. Voila! You have a homemade sprinkler.

7. Soda Bottle Lantern

plastic soda bottle repurposed as candle holder

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Who says plastic bottles can't be decorative? For this soda bottle lantern, cut off the top of a clean 2-liter bottle, then fill it with fairy lights and wrap the whole thing with a layer of cut paper. You can decorate the paper as you wish—perhaps with paint or colorful tissue paper.

8. Recycled Wind Chimes

recycled plastic bottle as wind chime hung in tree

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Another way to turn your old plastic bottles into fun decor is with a whimsical wind chime. Just cut the bottom off your bottle, paint it, turn it upside down, and hang strings of colorful beads and buttons from the edges. Hang it in a tree and let the wind do its thing.

9. Cellphone Charger

recycled plastic bottle upcycled into cell phone holder for charger

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Reuse a lotion bottle by turning it into a cord-hiding charging station. Cut the bottle so it has a "handle" large enough to hang the contraption from your wall charger. Dress it up to suit your surroundings by adding a fabric facade courtesy of Mod Podge. Once it's dry, hang it on your charger and hide those ugly cords in it.

10. Bathroom Organizer

recycled plastic bottle turned into toiletry holder in bathroom

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Organize your toiletries by taking old colorful spray bottles, cutting them in half, and pressing a hot iron the jagged edges to make them smoother. Be careful not to burn yourself or melt the plastic.