Upcycling pill bottles for craft projects is a great way to recycle and reuse them. Find inspiration to get those creative juices flowing.
I try very hard to use herbal remedies in our home, but plastic pill bottles of medications still squeak in from time to time. I HATE tossing things, and I consider myself rather skilled at discovering new uses for old things. There is a chance I’ve morphed into an upcycling addict. Oh well, there are worse things.
So with a huge stash of pill bottles needing a new purpose, I hopped on Pinterest to get some ideas. If you’re not following me on Pinterest, you really should.
Gather your imagination and repurpose these containers into functional organizers, charming decor pieces, or even personalized gifts. With a dash of ingenuity, we can breathe new life into these overlooked items, crafting not only beautiful creations but also contributing to a sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, get our craft on, and turn those pill bottles into something truly amazing!
#1 Fire Starters
You can create fire starters with them. They label this as a fun project to do with your kids. I’m not sure I’d get my kids involved (we have some “rambunctious spirits”), but maybe this would be a fun bonding experience for parents of responsible kids.
You can easily make a hide-a-key for your spare key with some hot glue on the lid. I saw a similar one that used a pine cone. I’m not sure how long it would hold up, but given how cheap and easy it is, does it really matter if you need to keep replacing it?
#3 Travel Bottles
You can use pill bottles to store shampoo, conditioner, and lotion when traveling. I believe that these are the proper size for airline security to approve. Obviously, you’ll want to investigate before you get to the airport.
#4 Portable Sewing Kits
You can make a travel sewing kit that holds a needle and thread with an attached pin cushion. This is a great thing to keep in the car or purse in case you’re out in the world and discover you’ve lost a crucial button or something.
#5 Survival Kit
You can make your own pill bottle survival kit. My boyfriend is an outdoor enthusiast who has made about twenty of these and has them everywhere he spends his time. I won’t lie; they’ve come in handy a time or two, and I’m glad to have one in my hiking backpack.
#6 Crafting Storage
You can store small craft and hobby items, such as cake piping tips, small beads, and needles. I have several stashed around the house with safety pins and paper clips, and I used pill bottles to keep the gems from my diamond painting kits.
#7 Halloween Decor
You can make cute Halloween potion bottles out of over-the-counter pill bottles. I really like these. I made some last year to put on the mantle, and I got a lot of compliments. They took my gourd “autumn” decor to a new spooky level.
#8 Snowman Ornament
Maybe Halloween isn’t your thing and you’d prefer a winter snowman made from medicine bottles? My youngest made an entire community of pill-bottle snowmen a few years ago. They didn’t really “go” with my vintage Christmas village, but how could I deprive him?
#9 Rainbow Crayons
You can make fun rainbow crayons using standard-sized prescription pill bottles as molds. You get two “upcycle points” if you are upcycling broken crayons (another thing I refuse to throw away).
#10 Unique Vase
You can make a faux bamboo vase. When the bottles are nested into each other it creates a vacuum seal, so they are watertight without glue. Some cool science for you.
#11 Nail Polish Remover
You can make one of those nail polish remover tubs in minutes with some acetone and cotton balls. These are much less messy to use than acetone right out of the bottle on your nails. I feel like there’s less waste this way as well.
#12 Ammo Storage
You can store ammo in them. Dry ammo is happy ammo. My super thrifty boyfriend keeps the ammo organized in empty prescription bottles and then he stores those in an old Christmas tin. If you open the gun cabinet, it looks like we’re hoarding those yummy danish cookies. Alas, we are not.
#13 Yarn Baller
Okay, knitters and crocheters will love this one. Make your yarn balls center-pull using old prescription bottles. No more chasing balls of yarn everywhere. My very sweet friend, Janet of Timber Creek Farm, gifted me an official yarn ball winder, but I used this trick for the years prior.
#14 Ink Dauber
You can make your own ink daubers with empty prescription pill bottles. I’m not sure what one would do with an ink dauber – BINGO maybe? – but it looked like a cute idea. Okay, upon further research I discovered they use daubers for scrapbooking as well.
#15 Coin Storage
If you’re having trouble finding a place to store all your quarters (I’ve never had that problem… my children always seem to be pilfering my coins), you can use a pill bottle as a coin holder. It would be handy to have them in the glove box of your car in case you need to swing by the car wash for a quick clean or vacuum.
#16 Party Lights
You can make some cool amber-colored party lights. I’m not sure what occasion these would be appropriate for. Maybe for a doctor’s graduation party? I’m sure you could add elements to make them more appropriate for other occasions.
#17 First Aid Kit
You can create a travel first aid kit. We use these all the time! Again, I have rambunctious children (okay, ONE rambunctious child, but I’m not naming names… smallest dude). Often the smallest dude has used up all the bandaids in the bathroom closet, so my mini first-aid kit is my salvation.
#18 Tooth Storage
You can help out the Tooth Fairy by giving her something a bit bigger than a tooth to look for in the mess of bed sheets. You have no idea how many panicked nights “she” has experienced trying to locate a teeny tiny tooth lost between stuffed animal friends.
#19 Hair Supply Container
You can store tiny hair doodads in them. I am not a girl who puts a lot of effort into hairdos, but I seem to be always searching for the bobby pins I bought 15 years ago because they are little and get lost. I refuse to purchase more because I’ll only use them once a year. Hair elastics (including those tiny clear ones) can be wrapped around the outside of the bottles.
#20 Q-Tip Holder
You can lock up your cotton swabs so your children don’t attempt to clean each other’s ears – yes, it’s happened.
#21 Seed Storage
If my DIY Printable Seed Packets weren’t for you, you could store seeds in them. The childproof cap means you won’t have an incident that requires you to spend hours organizing your seeds after collecting them off the floor.
#22 Battery Organizer
Last, but not least, you can use pill bottles to organize batteries. Because most old prescription bottles are watertight, the batteries won’t likely become corroded.
Frequently Asked Questions
And remember, health doesn’t come from plastic bottles, but if it does, make something cute with the bottle afterward!
Also, be sure to check out 12+ Fun Ways to Upcycle Holiday Cards After the Season, Mason Jar Crafts You’ll Love to DIY, and 12 Uses for an Old Milk Jug.
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Repurposing old pill bottles opens a world of possibilities for both practical organization and creative DIY projects. From clever storage solutions to crafting unique items for everyday use, these innovative ideas breathe new life into what would otherwise be discarded. Embracing the art of upcycling not only contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle but also showcases the potential for creativity and resourcefulness in transforming the mundane into something truly extraordinary.
What great uses have you come up with for old pill bottles? Share in the comments below.