Environment Recycling & Waste 10 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Plastic Bottles By Kelly Ladd Kelly Ladd Writer University of Central Florida Before Ladd became a full-time artist, she was a parade performer at Disney World and an editor and prop stylist for Parenting magazine. Learn about our editorial process Updated May 17, 2020 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Treehugger / Sanja Kostic Recycling & Waste Plastics Zero Waste 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.