Recycle Water Bottles by Making Crafts

by sheilamarie

Make some crafts with your kids with empty clear plastic bottles.

Kids love to make things, and with so many plastic bottles being used these days, it's a good idea to incorporate them into some of the projects we do with our kids.

Here are some projects that I really love to make for and with the little ones I know. I'm not even a soda drinker or a person who buys my water in plastic bottles, yet I have been known to raid my friends' recycle bins just to get a plastic bottle with lid to make one of these projects to give to a child.

These would be fun projects for kids to make themselves, too, with a little supervision, of course.

Recycle Water Bottles

Reuse Your Water and Soda Bottles to Make Toys

Buying water in bottles is not a good idea in general, but if you have empty water bottles or clear soda bottles, here are some fun projects you can do to recycle them.

I have made these craft project to recycle water bottles with several children, and they loved it! You can make some of these water bottle projects, too.

Recycle Water Bottles to Make Toys

Peek-a-Boo Bottle and Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle and Peek-a-Boo Bottle
Wave Bottle and Peek-a-Boo Bottle

Peek-a-Boo Bottle

Try This Project to Make a Toy and Recycle Water Bottles

At about 6 months, a baby learns to make a mental image of something she cannot see. You can help your baby practice this new skill by making a Peek-a-Boo bottle. When your baby points out half a ladybug, can she imagine the whole ladybug in her head? Does she shake the bottle so more sand falls away to check whether she was right? You can name the items in the Peek-a-Boo bottle and help her build new vocabulary, too.

An older child can use the Peek-a-Boo bottle as a guessing game or an I-spy game.

Gather together these ingredients:

  • clean, empty plastic bottle with a tight-fitting lid
  • salt or clean sand (you can also substitute another small-sized grain, such as rice or couscous)
  • colorful electric tape and a little glue
  • small treasures (ex: tiny plastic toy animals, small shells, a shiny stone, a penny, tiny spruce cone, a paper clip)

Whatever treasures you choose, keep in mind:

  1. They must be able to fit through the bottle's mouth.
  2. The more colorful they are, the more interesting they will be to your baby.
  3. Unusual shapes will also spark interest.
  4. Be prepared to name what you put into the bottle.


  1.  Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with the sand or salt.
  2.  Add the treasures.
  3.  Screw lid on tight. (You may want to put a little glue around the lip to secure it, but that's optional.)
  4. Put about three layers of electric tape around the lid to keep it closed.
  5. Write down what you've put in the bottle on an index card to refer to later. It may come in handy.

Even with the glue and the three layers of electric tape, be careful with this toy. If the bottle were to open, the small items could pose a choking hazard for children under the age of three. It is a wonderful toy, however, to look at with a baby on your lap and the toy on hers.

Peek-a-Boo Bottle

A Way to Recycle a Water or Soda Bottle
Peek-a-Boo Bottle
Peek-a-Boo Bottle

Do You Reuse Water Bottles?

How Have You Dealt with Your Waste?
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I have made these projects with lots of kids, but I try not to buy my water in bottles.

Wave in a Bottle

Another Way to Recycle Water Bottles

This is one of my favorite projects.


  • Clean, empty plastic bottle
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Mineral oil (can use baby oil or another oil with less successful results)
  • Colorful electric or duck tape and a small amount of glue
  • Glitter (optional)


  1. Fill the bottle about halfway with water.
  2. Squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the water. (You can use any color you want, but if you want your creation to look like an ocean wave, you may want to use a blue green color -- mostly blue with a drop of yellow.)
  3. Add a little glitter.
  4. Add oil until your bottle is full.
  5. Put a little glue around inside the lid and screw it on tight. Cover with three or more layers of electric tape or duck tape.

Tip the bottle side to side for wave action. Playing with this bottle is very soothing.


I hope you enjoy many hours playing with these bottles with your child. Together you can increase your observation skills, develop vocabulary, and delight in the bonding time you share.

Wave Bottle

Another Way to Recycle Water or Soda Bottles
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle
Wave Bottle

Which of These Two Projects Will You Try First to Recycle Water Bottles?

Vote for Your Favorite Recycle Water Bottles Craft
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Wave in a Bottle
GrandmaMarilyn on 06/22/2011

My grandson did this for a project in school. I think it looks pretty cool. I don't have any grandchildren young enough for the toys yet but will probably do them when I do.

PeggyHazelwood on 06/14/2011

I have older grandkids so I may try the wave in a bottle. Sounds like a fun thing to watch!

Peek-a-Boo Bottle
sandyspider on 06/14/2011

I think I would try the peek-a-boo.

Recycle Decals

Let Everyone Know You Recycle!

What About the Bottle Caps?

Here Are Some Project Ideas

Check out some of the amazing projects you can make with bottle caps!

Includes a bottle cap band and barnyard animals. Fun for all ages!

Craft Cycle

Earth-Friendly Projects

More than a hundred projects for recycling ordinary stuff. If you like crafts and want to find some ways to recycle everyday items, look at what this book has to offer. This would make a fine addition to your craft book shelf.

Other Projects Using Recycled Stuff

Recycled Milk Cartons
Find out what you can do with recycled milk cartons.

Okay, So This Isn't a Kids' Craft

But It's Another Great Use for Recycled Water Bottles!
Updated: 05/23/2015, sheilamarie
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Mango Juice on 10/04/2012

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

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sheilamarie on 09/27/2012

Thank you so much, Mango!

mangodash on 09/27/2012

I absolutely adore reading your blog posts, the variety of writing is smashing.This blog as usual was educational, I have had to bookmark your site and subscribe to your feed in i feed. Your theme looks lovely.Thanks for sharing.

<a href="" title="Mango Juice Manufacturers">Mango Juice Manufacturers</a>

sheilamarie on 06/06/2012

"Fancy meeting you here!" If you find out how to water your baskets that way, you could make a great wizzle teaching the rest of us, Katie.

katiem2 on 06/05/2012

How cool I was looking to find a tutorial on how to use plastic bottles for watering hanging plants as I'm running myself ragged watering my out doors hanging baskets. But I found your fun page of crafts for plastic bottles. I recycle everything I can and if I can't reuse it I toss it in the recycling bin. Thankfully my city has a recycling program, they pick it up and take it to the recycling center. Great craft ideas thanks.

sheilamarie on 03/22/2012

Sheri, there have been several projects lately in other places, too, that use plastic bottles. I think people are becoming very creative with all the possibilities for reusing stuff.
Kinworm, those are great ways to use plastic bottles, too.

Sheri_Oz on 01/18/2012

I was pleased to see a street sculpture put up by the city (Haifa, Israel) made of used plastic bottles. It was quite impressive. Always happy for new ideas for reusing stuff.

PET preform manufacturers on 08/11/2011

Very good post, I was really searching for this topic, as I wanted this topic to understand completely and it is also very rare in internet, that is why it was very difficult to understand.

Thank you for sharing this.


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Marie on 07/19/2011

We recycle plastic bottles as holders for pencils and pens by cutting the tops off and covering the sharp edges with duct tape. They also get used as paint pot holders when we are doing crafts. When my daughter was a baby, we filled them with sand and small stones, taped the top up and used them as shakers.

GrandmaMarilyn on 07/13/2011

Cool ways to use the recycled bottles. I am going to add this to my Squidoo lens on Recycled Materials In Crafts ( Way to go keeping the environment clean.

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