creative challenge #5: plastic bottles

Make something with Plastic Bottles

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to raise a little awareness toward the enormous amounts of plastic bottles used around the world, coupled with some thoughts on recycling and upcycling those bottles into creative products. My family is hooked on bubbly water, and while the number of bottles we go through each week is staggering, each of these bottles gets recycled…and occasionally upcycled into art (our Recycled Sculpture project can be found here).

creative challenge #5: plastic bottles

Sobering Statistics

The Challenge

Make something with plastic bottles! Have you cut the tops off to use them as funnels, added them to a marble run, used them as sand scoopers, or turned them into something surprising? The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes!

To join in

  • Use plastic bottles, along with any other materials of your choice.
  • Attach a link to your blog post, a YouTube video, or photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.


creative challenge #5: plastic bottles

Instructions for adding an image file

    • Click on the “Choose File” button (below the “Submit” button)
    • Choose a JPEG file from your computer
    • Type in a description of your experiment into the comment text box
    • Click the “Submit Comment” button
    • Grab the Creative Challenge button and add it to your site, or copy this text into your HTML.

creative challenge #5: plastic bottles

For more Creative Challenges, click here.

How are you celebrating Earth Day?


  1. We have none. None! We all have Camelbak water bottles that we fill daily with the wonderful water from our well. My oldest received a kit for his birthday 1 1/2 years ago to construct a little windmill generator that uses a plastic bottle, and he still hasn’t made it. The last time my husband traveled he came home with a water bottle from the plane, and I told him not to recycle it, but he accidentally did anyway, so the windmill STILL hasn’t been made!

    • None!!! You’re my hero, Amy! And oh, to have a well. Plastic bottles are sadly a dime a dozen and easily found at any recycling center or public garbage can, so I’m sure your son still has many more chances for windmill building in his future.

  2. Thanks for the mention! Were you thinking of doing this all along? Too funny that I already had a project!
    I’m working on a variation of these bottle flowers! The beaded bottle curtain link is cool, but you may want to check it…nothing is on the page!!! A Great experiment!! It will be neat to see what else your readers can come up with! (I have a few more ideas.)

    • In response to Amy! We don’t buy water bottles either!!! You can find them everywhere….thrown about! I found a bunch on a playground and just threw them in the dishwasher and they were good to go! There really is a problem with too many water bottles—I only buy them if forgot my reusable water container!

      • I love that this is turning into a conversation about how to FIND plastic water bottles!! I have the most earth-friendly readers!! And I think I fixed the link — thanks for that, Melissa.

    • Oh, goodie! Looking forward to it!

  3. We just spent 6 weeks in Russia and our milk came in bottles similar to water bottles so that became our little project…how many things can we make with milk bottles?

    Some of my favorites were a boat, parachute, tunnel, basket, legs of a robot, space ship


    Needless to say we had tons of handmade things by the end of the trip. It was a great way to pass the time, be creative and have something new to play with everyday!

  4. If you added a word linky it would be free (and easy to submit to!) I made a simple cause and effect baby play game when Pop was smaller, using a milk container and some blocks. I cut the top off and some circles into the sides that were big enough for her to put her arms into. Then she dropped and posted the toys through and collected them again, and repeated!

    • Such a good idea! I just made something similar with a yogurt container filled with fabric. It’s not that interesting to my 7 month old, but I think this could be just the thing for our her to enjoy. And thanks for the linky suggestion. I can’t find it in wordpress, and will drop you a line to see if you can guide me 🙂

    • Okay, I’m sold!! I need to find a soda maker pronto. And thanks for the link. This experiment is right up my alley. What a lot of fun, and a good lesson too.

    • Stacy! These are so cool! With the heat gun, they’re almost like shrinky dinks. Thanks for sharing the image with us — it’s inspiring, to say the least. 🙂

  5. Great, that worked.
    Hmn. Am now trying to put up a pic of the tea-light twinklers… here goes. x

    • Hi Julia! These are a first for me — I haven’t seen anyone turn plastic bottles into tea candles before. And the bottles actually look, um, pretty! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • So cool, Michelle. I’d wear those bracelets!

  6. We’re a bubbly water family too! But we’ve recently purhcased, at BJs, a SodaStream. It comes with a couple reusable, BPA free plastic bottles, the “machine” itself and a big CO2 cartridge. You make your own bubbly water from the comfort of your own kitchen counter simply by filling the bottle with cold water. It’s super easy and the bottles are good for a couple years. We too were going through a big number of plastic bottles. Had to just say NO!

  7. I am unusual to see this new liquid bottleful. So far I exclusive use untarnished steel water bottles because of the hit.

  8. We have the same TJ sparkling mineral water bottles. We stripped off the label and put a curled up piece of colored construction paper in each and now have a full set of bowling pins. They are perfect.

  9. I have devoted myself to the idea of creative recycling for waste management and mental health. Turning the trash in our lives is a metaphor for well, turning the trash in our lives into treasure. Same problem solving different problem. This photo is my water bottle chandelier.

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