Plastic bottles contain many common products, from water and juice to household cleaners. While plastic bottles are very easy to recycle (and may even earn the recycler a deposit refund), the majority of plastic bottles are simple thrown away. To make the most of this trend there are a number of creative projects that reuse common plastic bottles.
Just about any plastic bottle can become a bird feeder, regardless of its size or shape. To make a bottle bird feeder, cut two small holes near the base of a plastic bottle. Insert a dowel rod through the holes to form a perch. Add several larger holes a bit higher up, near the midsection of the bottle. Meanwhile, remove the bottle cap and drill a hole through it to insert a hanger. A bent wire coat hanger will serve this purpose quite well. Fill the container with seed through the neck and reattach the bottle cap to hang it in a tree where you can watch birds flock to the feeder.
A scoop is one of the easiest things to make from a plastic bottle. Simply cut off the base of a bottle that has a built-in handle, such as a 1-gallon milk jug. To change the angle of the scoop, cut away part of the bottle's side wall on one side. Kids can decorate plastic bottle scoops to personalize them or use them as-is for digging in the sand or playing catch with a tennis ball by flinging and snaring it with the scoops.
Plastic bottles can serve as the base of a decorative, transparent purse. Combine one or more cut bottles to form the base of the purse. Use thick tape to mend any seams or connect different pieces of plastic. Use a large, curved needle to sew in a zipper between two pieces of plastic to access the inside of the purse. Sew on a fabric handle or decorate your plastic purse with gemstones, stickers or original art with markers or paint.
Ship in a Bottle
A plastic bottle can serve as the housing for a classic ship in a bottle project. The secret to fitting a large ship inside a bottle with a narrow neck is to construct a ship that can fold down to a very small size, then insert it into the bottle and reach in with a wire hook to open the folded ship and position it in place. Construct a ship out of paper and balsa wood, making sure that it will just fit through the neck of the plastic bottle. To make the bottle lay flat, apply a bead of hot glue to one side and attach it to a heavier piece of wood or solid plastic to serve as a base.
For a miniature terrarium, a clear plastic bottle can become the walls and roof of a small greenhouse. Plant some seeds in a clay pot and cut the base off of a plastic bottle. Place the bottle with the cap on over the soil and place the terrarium in the sun. The plastic will help trap humidity and heat inside, encouraging the seeds to sprout and preventing the soil from drying out.