Easy Ways To Repurpose Your Plastic Water Bottle Around The House

Landfills in the United States are overrun with single-use plastic water bottles, as it's estimated that Americans collectively buy 50 million water bottles annually. These plastic items are a large environmental problem, as it can take up to 500 years for them to decompose. That's why upcycling or crafting with plastic bottles is a great idea, as it saves them from sitting in a landfill or ending up in our water supply. So, if you have a single-use bottle, discover several easy ways you could repurpose it to help you organize your home, decorate your space, or garden in a small area.

For all its faults, plastic is a durable material; that's why it takes so long to break down. However, when you reuse a plastic container in a DIY, it suddenly becomes a versatile craft supply. Plastic bottles work well in the garden, and they can also help you decorate around your home. They're extremely easy to customize, so you can make your pieces match your unique aesthetic.

Propagate plants

Propagation stations are a clever way to reuse plastic water bottles because they can create a greenhouse effect. Starting seeds in a plastic water bottle keeps them moist and warm while germinating. Then, once you have more sprouts than the bottle can handle, you'll be ready to transport them into your garden or another pot. If you have limited space, hang the bottles to save square footage on a balcony or porch. Use the bottle vertically for a shorter plant by cutting out part of the middle or, for a taller plant, position the bottle on its side and cut out a panel for the plant to grow through.

Make a bird feeder

Invite birds to your yard with a DIY bird feeder. It's easy to make and requires very few tools. You'll need a plastic bottle or jug, scissors, tape, and screws to affix the feeder to a tree or string to hang it from a branch. To complete this project, simply cut an opening in the side, tape the sharp edges to avoid harming the birds, hang the feeder, and add seeds. The outside of the container presents a good opportunity to get creative, so paint or decorate to your heart's content. Cover the paint with a weather-resistant sealant so it doesn't wash away in harsh weather. 

Get a better seal on bags

Though this DIY doesn't use the entire bottle, it is a solution to a common problem — securely closing bags. There are many bags that cannot be closed once opened, but with the top of a water bottle and the cap, you can create an airtight seal. To complete this hack, you must cut off the top portion of the water bottle, remove the cap, thread the bag through it, and spread the bag out over the opening. Then, you can screw the top on, thus sealing the contents inside. Once you need whatever's in the bag, simply remove the cap and pour it out.

Water your plants

Plastic bottles make surprisingly-effective gravity watering systems. To construct this simple watering solution, you only need to cut the bottom of the bottle to create an opening. Then, you can place the mouth of the bottle into the soil near the plants you wish to water. When you fill the bottle with water from the bottom, it will disperse into the ground and nourish the roots of nearby plants. Though you'll have to fill the bottle regularly, this watering method will keep your plants hydrated without having to water them every single day.

Store small, loose objects

We all have that junk drawer or catchall cookie tin, but plastic bottles make good holders, too. Consider hanging these bottles in your garage or another area where you may need to use small parts on a regular basis. Storing items like screws or buttons in a clear plastic bottle lets you see what's inside and makes them easily accessible, so you don't have to stop and search for a tiny item that may easily be lost.

Hold your plastic bags

Just as repurposing plastic bottles helps the environment, so does reusing plastic grocery bags. Keep plastic bags contained by storing them in a plastic bottle. To fill the bottle, cut off the bottom and attach the bags together by pushing one bag through the handle of another. Continue this process until all the bags are connected, then push the top bag through the cap's opening and reattach the bottom of the bottle. When you pull the top bag out, the next one will come with it like tissues in a tissue box, so you can easily remove one anytime you need a bag.

Use as succulent pots

Many plant pots are made out of plastic. Instead of buying these planters, make your own out of the bottom of plastic water bottles. The larger the bottle, the grander the plant can be, but typical water bottles make excellent succulent holders. This DIY is great for kids who can decorate the holders or keep them clear to observe the soil and growing roots. Be sure to add drainage holes near the bottom so your little plants do not get root rot or develop another fungus.

DIY a basket planter

While perhaps the most complicated DIY on this list, this basket planter is worth the time. To complete this hack, cut off the top of the bottle, then slice about 2-inch long slits vertically all the way around the bottle. Next, bend the pieces down into a curved shape and hot glue them to the bottom of the bottle. Cut two strips of plastic out of the top of the bottle and hot glue them to both the bottom of the planter and the top for a handle. Poke drainage holes in the bottom, then spray paint the piece whatever color you desire and add your plant.

Organize your desk with a pencil cup

Loose pens, pencils, and markers are constantly rolling around and getting lost. A plastic bottle pencil cup will solve the issue of missing writing utensils and declutter your desk. The cup is simple to make, but the customizations are nearly endless. Cut your water bottle to an appropriate size, which is likely ⅓ of the bottle's overall height, and then decorate with paint, twine, stickers, or any other material. This DIY project is a fun way to add some character to your office. Additionally, this is a clever craft for kids who are always misplacing their coloring supplies.

Have a better-smelling bathroom

This water bottle hack is as easy as poking a hole into the bottom of the bottle and filling it with cleaner, because that's literally all it requires. You won't see this plastic bottle, but you will smell what's inside. Fill it with a toilet-bowl-safe scented cleaner or a solution of equal parts water and fabric softener. Then, submerge the bottle in your toilet tank. When you flush, some of the liquid will disperse into your toilet bowl, cleansing it and making it smell pleasant.

Create a plastic flower centerpiece

Unlike real ones, plastic flowers are hypoallergenic, need no maintenance, and last forever. That's why you may want to create a fun floral display by cutting up plastic water bottles. Colored transparent bottles work best, but clear ones are easy enough to paint or color with markers. To create these, cut out petal and leaf pieces, decorate them, and hot glue them to a wire stem. Be cautious with these flowers, as the plastic pieces may have sharp edges. These flowers work nicely as a centerpiece but will also shine atop a windowsill, where sunlight can pass through the transparent petals. 

Mimic stained glass

DIYing stained glass decorative items sounds complicated — until you realize it can be done with plastic water bottles. To start, you'll need decide what you want to make. For instance, you could paint the whole bottle to create a vase or cut off the top portion to create a bell, as pictured above. Once you've decided what you're making, create your design with puffy paint and fill in the small sections with colorful paints. Hanging or placing this piece near a light source like a window or over a flameless tea light will allow it to shine.