I stopped buying bottled water a couple of years ago. I now drink filtered tap (because water here tastes bad, not because I’m afraid of the quality of it) and only buy bottles when I find myself unexpectedly on the go without a canteen of filtered tap.
But bottled water isn’t the only kind of recyclable plastic bottle: milk jugs, antacid jars, shampoo bottles, etc. This stuff is everywhere, so if you can reuse it somehow, that’s the way to go.
Recycled plastic bottle crafts
- Fish Mobile – this is not the simplest tutorial in the world, but it results in a gorgeous mobile with beautifully colored fish suspended from an old CD. It has a terrific hand-crafted look – you could even make these and sell them at a crafts booth. This would be great for a kids’ room, but it could also be nice on a porch or patio, with the breeze stirring it.
- Scenes in a Bottle – this is a brilliant idea, suitable for kids old enough to handle a slightly tricky scissors job. You end up with a scene inside a sealed plastic bottle. It’s like ships in a bottle, except the plastic is much easier to work with than glass, and it doesn’t have to be a ship.
- Lamp Base – this craft is especially suited to bottles that aren’t clear, such as old antacid bottles. You’re going to use a molding plastic (or plaster) to make it look more attractive, but what you want is really a plastic bottle with an interesting shape.
- Plastic Vase – you’re probably thinking “right, lop off top of bottle, stick water and flowers in.” Nope, this tutorial guides you to make a stunning looking plastic vase that absolutely passes for glass. I do wonder a little about the stability of it, but you could definitely paint the base with clear gesso to give it a little added strength and weight.
- Bell – this one is terribly simple, and kids can help on most steps. Especially the decorating, which you can do any way you like – paint on designs, use stickers, markers, whatever.
- Solar hot water kettle – this one’s not just a craft – it’s really useful. A plastic bottle is transformed into a kettle. Even in 30 degree weather outside, you can use this device to heat some water up to 95 degrees (even when it’s below freezing out) for handwashing or making sun tea while camping.