- Micro Greenhouses: How To Make A Pop Bottle Greenhouse
- How to Make a Pop Bottle Greenhouse
- Hydroponic Gardens: A Great Experiment For Kids
- What Your Child Will Learn
- The Materials You’ll Need
- Step 1: Prepare 2 Liter Bottle
- Step 2: Prepare The Water
- Step 3: Add Wick and Growing Media
- Step 4: Plant Your Seeds!
- Finished Product
- Great Crafts Made With 2 Litre Pop Bottles
- 1. 2 litre bottle apple picker
- 2. Irrigation reservoir
- 3. Blooming garden light
- 4. Plastic bottle charging station
- 5. Soda bottle birdhouse
- 6. Instant mini greenhouse
- 7. Soda bottle cat planter
- 8. Painted bottle passive heating system
- 9. Plastic bottle watering can
- 10. Pop bottle sprinkler
- 11. Zippered pop bottle pencil case
- 12. Hanging planters
- 13. Plastic bottle greenhouse
- 14. Coloured pop bottle canopy
- 15. Plastic bottle kayak
- 20 Ways to Reuse and Recycle Empty Plastic Bottles
- Here Are 20 Ways to Reuse and Recycle Plastic Bottles:
- 1. Create Recycled Plastic Bottle Supply Cups
- Plastic Bottle Recycling Idea:Upcycle Bottles to Keep Your Kids’ Crafts in Order
- 2. Reuse Coffee Creamer Containers for Snack Storage
- 3. Make a DIY Plastic Bottle Planter
- 4. Upcycle Laundry Detergent Bottles Into a Watering Can
- 5. Turn a Milk Carton Into a Garden Scooper
- 6. Start an Herb Garden With Empty 2-Liter Bottles
- 7. Create a Piggy Bank Made From a Reused Plastic Bottle
- 8. Upcycle a Lotion Bottle Into a Charging Dock
- 9. Reuse Honey Bear Bottles by Making a Lamp
- 10. Make a Beach Bucket From Laundry Detergent Containers
- 11. Recycle Empty 2-Liter Bottles Into DIY Water Filters
- 12. Turn Plastic Bottle Trash Into a Trash Can
- 13. Build an Outdoor Broom From Recycled Plastic Bottles
- 14. Craft a Lamp From Your Plastic Bottle Caps
- 15. Make Airplane Toys From Shampoo Bottles
- 16. Reuse Soda Bottles by Creating a Vertical Garden
- 17. Create a Recycled Plastic Bottle Jet Pack for Kids
- 18. Recycle Laundry Detergent Containers Into Toy Cars
- 19. Reuse Plastic Bottles to Make a DIY Sprinkler
- 20. Make Sure All Plastic Bottles and Products Are Recycled
- Find More Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact
- How to upcycle two-liter soda bottles
- Bird feeder
- Toilet water savings
- Piggy bank
- Storage containers
- Drip irrigation
- Automatic water dispenser
- Self-watering planters
- Hanging garden
- Watering can
- Snack bowls
- Full-sized greenhouse
- 1. Pallet mini greenhouse
- 2. Mason jar mini greenhouse
- 3. CD case mini greenhouse
- 4. Recycled container mini greenhouse
- 5. Umbrella mini greenhouse
- 6. Mini greenhouse made out of old windows
- 7. Plastic bottle mini greenhouse
- 8. CD spindle case mini greenhouse
- 9. PVC mini greenhouse
- 10. Fishbowl mini greenhouse
- 11. Wooden Greenhouse
- 12. Your window as a mini greenhouse
Micro Greenhouses: How To Make A Pop Bottle Greenhouse
If you’re looking for a super fun yet educational project for the little ones, creating a 2-liter bottle greenhouse fits the bill. Heck, making a soda bottle greenhouse is fun for adults too! Read on to see how to make a pop bottle greenhouse.
How to Make a Pop Bottle Greenhouse
Pop bottle greenhouse instruction couldn’t be simpler. These micro greenhouses can be made with one or two soda bottles with the labels removed. All you need to begin is:
- One or two empty 2-liter soda bottles (or water bottles) that have been thoroughly washed and dried
- A craft knife or sharp scissors
- Potting soil
- A plate to put the soda bottle greenhouse on to catch any drips.
Seeds can be veggie, fruit or flower. You can even plant “free” seeds from your own kitchen pantry. Dried beans and peas can be used, as well as tomato or citrus seeds. These seeds may be hybrid varieties, however, so they may not turn into a replica of the parent but they’re still fun to grow.
The first step to pop bottle greenhouse instruction is cutting the bottle. Of course, this should be done by a grown-up if your kids are little. If using one bottle, cut the bottle in half so the bottom piece is deep enough to hold the soil and plants. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the bottle for drainage. The top half of the bottle will be the top of the micro greenhouse with the cap on.
You can also use two bottles with one bottle cut 4” high to create the bottom and base and the 2nd bottle cut 9” high for the lid or top of the greenhouse. Again, poke a few holes in the base piece.
Now you’re ready to finish creating your 2-liter soda bottle greenhouse. Simply have your child fill the container with soil and plant the seeds. Water the seeds in lightly and replace the lid atop the soda bottle greenhouse. Put your new mini greenhouse on a plate and put it in a sunny spot. The lid will retain moisture and heat so the seeds will sprout quickly.
Depending on the type of seed, they should sprout within 2-5 days. Keep the seedlings moist until it is time to plant them in the garden.
Once you transplant the seedlings, reuse the bottle greenhouse to start some more. This project teaches kids how their food is grown and allows them to watch all the stages a plant goes through before it finally becomes food on their plates. It is also a lesson in re-purposing or recycling, another lesson good for planet Earth.
I was chatting with Charlotte, a subscriber on the Epic Gardening YouTube channel and she had a REALLY good idea:
Actually, it would be kinda cool if you had a page on the site for kids….. school projects and such for hydroponics.
I homeschool 5 kids, and this would be a pretty cool science project. How to do it on the cheap (most homeschoolers sacrifice a parent’s income to homeschool). Something say a 3rd or 4th grader could put together and get big results. Not a bad school project either! – Charlotte
Why didn’t I think of this before!
Oh well, big thanks to Charlotte for the suggestion for this project!
Before we get into the written guide, here’s a video overview:
Hydroponic Gardens: A Great Experiment For Kids
As a kid, I remember growing a bean plant in school. It was 3rd grade and I vaguely remember the lessons that the teacher was trying to convey…but if you asked me for details today, I wouldn’t be able to tell you any. Looking back, this was for a few reasons:
- I didn’t connect growing the plant to growing food
- I didn’t see the final product (we didn’t grow the plant to the point where it produced new beans)
- It just wasn’t that cool – it was a bean in a cup with some of that old green foam they use for floral arrangements (you know the kind)
For this tutorial, I wanted to put together a guide that solves all three of those problems for your child…something I would have loved back in third grade!
What Your Child Will Learn
The Growth Cycle of a Plant
From germination, to seedlings, to vegetative growth, all the way to harvest – this guide shows kids the full lifecycle of a plant.
What Plants Need to Grow
By growing in a hydroponic environment, the “cloak” of using soil is removed – kids will learn how proper nutrition, water, and light help a plant to thrive.
Where Food REALLY Comes From
No longer will food be something that just magically shows up on their plates. By growing edible leafy greens, your child will learn exactly what happens before the food they eat hits their mouths every meal.
P.S. If your child doesn’t like eating veggies, this is an especially good project for them…kids seem to “magically” want to eat lettuce and spinach after they grow it themselves. Funny how that works…
The Materials You’ll Need
This is a pretty simple project, so don’t be scared off by the materials list. You can find most of it lying around the house. For the few specialty items, Amazon or a local garden store will work just fine!
|Item||Amount||Where to Buy||Price|
|2 Liter Bottle||1||Grocery or Home||$0-$1|
|Growing Media (Coconut Coir)||2-3 cups||Amazon or Garden Store||$6|
|Wick(s)||1-2 wicks||Amazon or Home||$0-$6|
|Aluminum Foil||2 sheets||Grocery or Home||$0-$5|
|Nutrients (GH Flora Grow)||Quart||Amazon or Garden Store||$22|
|Seeds||1 packet||Amazon or Garden Store||$3|
|Optional – pH Kit||1||Amazon or Garden Store||$15|
|Optional – Seed Starters||1 pack||Amazon or Garden Store||$17|
|Total w/ Optional||$57-$75|
2 Liter Bottle
Price: $1 or Free
Location: Grocery Store
A container of some kind is needed to house the water and nutrient mixture. Grab any 2 liter bottle that’s lying around, or pick up a cheap $1 bottle of club soda and either empty it out or drink it if you don’t already have a 2 liter bottle around the house.
Personally, I have a weird addiction to club soda, so I had a couple bottles lying around the house for this project 🙂
Location: Amazon or Gardening Store
You will need something for your plant’s roots to sit in and hold on to if you want to grow a healthy plant.
I highly recommend using coconut coir, which you can buy on Amazon. It’s a natural, sustainable hydroponic growing material that’s really cheap.
If you want to try something else, use larger-sized growing media so it doesn’t fall through the hole in the bottle. Gravel, expanded clay pellets, or lava rock are all good choices.
*Refer to the Epic Gardening Growing Media Guide for more details.
Location: Amazon, Home Depot, or Home
We’ll be using the wick method to get water and nutrients up to the plant’s roots, so you’ll need some material for this. Felt or cotton towels are best for this. I typically cut up a washcloth into a strip and use that.
If you want to get fancy, you can use Tiki Torch Replacement Wicks – but they’re not necessary – grabbing some cloth from around the house works just fine!
Water straight out of the tap is ok, as long as you let it sit out overnight to evaporate the chlorine in the water. Distilled, filtered, or reverse osmosis water will also work!
Location: Grocery or Home
If you don’t cover the bottom of the 2 liter bottle with something opaque, light will get it and your garden will start growing algae in the water reservoir – no good! Aluminum foil helps to block out the light.
Location: Garden Store, Amazon, or Home
For this experiment, it’s best to choose a fast-growing, leafy vegetable so your child can see progress really fast. Don’t pick anything that needs to fruit to be edible (beans, tomatoes, etc). Any lettuce, spinach, or basil variety is a great choice.
Recommended Varieties: Black Seeded Simpson or Genovese Sweet Basil
Nutrients / Fertilizer
Location: Amazon or Garden Store
For your plant to grow successfully to a harvestable stage, you’ll need some nutrients. Because you’re only growing a plant in the vegetative phase, you can use something like General Hydroponics Flora Grow and get amazing results.
pH Kit (Optional)
Location: Hydroponics Store or Amazon (recommended)
Most plants need water to be a bit lower pH than typically comes out of your tap. While it’s not 100% necessary for this experiment, your plant will grow better if you pick up a cheap pH Control Kit to adjust your water down to a ~6.5 pH.
Seed Starters (Optional)
Depending on the growing media you chose, you may need something to start your seed in so it takes root successfully. I personally like Rapid Rooters, though you can also use Rock Wool Cubes or even make your own DIY Seed Cubes if you want to save some money and have some more fun with your kid!
Step 1: Prepare 2 Liter Bottle
Draw a Line
Rinse out the bottle to remove any residue of whatever drink was in there before it was empty.
Take your 2 liter bottle and draw a line around it right where the curve ends and the bottle transitions to a straight line. It’s important to draw the line below the curved area, so you have enough space to grow your plant!
Cut The Bottle
Next, cut across the line, making sure to cut as straight as possible. Then flip the top over. Pretty simple, right? Now you’ve got the basic structure of the system built.
The top area is where your growing media and seed will go, and the bottom section houses the water and nutrient mixture. A wick will be fed through the hole…but before we get to that, we have to prepare the water…
Step 2: Prepare The Water
pH Your Tap Water
Note: pHing your water is optional, but it’s highly recommended not only for helping your kid’s plant grow better, but also for teaching him/her some really cool principles about chemistry and WHY a plant needs water with a lower pH than what we typically drink.
Now that we have built our simple 2 Liter Garden, we need to pH the water and add nutrients. Most tap water is in the 7.0-8.0 range. The plants you will be growing need water with a pH in the 6.0-6.5 range, so you will need to use some pH down. The picture to the left shows the forest green color of average tap water in the 7.0-8.0 range.
pH down is highly corrosive, so be sure not to get it on any part of your body. You don’t need much to adjust the water – try a drop to start. Mix it into the water thoroughly and then test again. When the color matches the 6.0-6.5 range like the picture below, you’re ready to mix the nutrients.
It can take a while to get the color just right – try not to get frustrated. This is one of the most important steps in making sure that your plants get all of the nutrients that they require for vigorous growth. If you don’t correctly adjust pH, you will prevent your plants’ roots from absorbing certain nutrients.
Learn More: How pH interacts with nutrient uptake
Now we need to remember how much water we added to the reservoir. Take a look at the nutrient mixing chart on the back of your bottle of General Hydroponics FloraNova Grow. This will give you the exact amount to mix into your system. If you’re starting from seed or cuttings, use ¼ tsp/gallon and if you’re starting from established plants you’ve bought from a garden store, use 1 tsp/gallon.
Learn More: Hydroponic Nutrients Guide – What Plants NEED To Grow
After you prepare your water, pour it into your 2 liter bottle until it reaches the point where the cap would touch, then move on to the next step!
Step 3: Add Wick and Growing Media
Add The Wick
Take your wick and thread it through the cap hold in the 2 liter bottle. Pull it through to around 2/3 of the height of the smaller growing area.
You want it to be high enough so that when your seeds sprout, the roots won’t have to travel far to get to the wick area (where your growing media is moist and filled with nutrients.
Prepare Your Growing Media
If you decided to use coconut coir, this step is simple: all you need to do is add some water to your coco coir brick, which will hydrate it and expand it to around 5 times its original size. Drop a few handfuls into your bottle, making sure the wick is in the center of the media.
If you are using another type of media, repeat the process, but don’t add extra water!
The cube in the middle is a Rockwool Cube, used to start seeds outside of the system
Step 4: Plant Your Seeds!
Now comes the fun part – planting your seeds. Grab your packet of seeds and pour a small amount out in your hand.
Pick three or four seeds and clump them together on the tip of your finger. Now, you might be thinking:
“Why am I planting 3-4 seeds if I’m only growing one plant?”
It’s a good question! The reason we do this is because of germination rates. A seed does not have a 100% chance of sprouting…usually it’s anywhere from 80-95% for fresh seeds for most common varieties.
We plant 3-4 seeds in one hole to increase the odds that we get at least one that sprouts – it’d be a shame to wait 5-7 days only to have your seed not sprout – so avoid that problem altogether by planting a few!
Follow the directions on the seed packet to figure out how deep to plant your seeds – usually it’s 1/4thto 1/8th inches below the growing media. Make sure to cover them up with a little coconut coir so they’re in a dark environment.
Using a Different Growing Media?
If you’re using a larger growing media (pebbles, lava rock, expanded clay pellets), then you’ll need a seed starter like a Rapid Rooter or Rockwool Cube to get the seed started. See the materials section for more information.
Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a really awesome 2 Liter Hydroponic Garden that will produce a head of lettuce, spinach, or some tasty basil within a few weeks! Read on for some important details on taking care of your garden.
Why Is There Aluminum Foil Around The Bottle?
If you want to be absolutely sure of the health of your garden, you’ll want to encase the 2 Liter Bottle in something opaque – aluminum foil works well.
Why? Plants aren’t the only organisms that like water, nutrients, and light – algae does too. If you let too much light hit the nutrient reservoir, you might find that you get some nasty visitors that will make your garden look gross and smell a little weird.
This garden is really easy to take care of. Just follow the guidelines below with your child and you’ll have a healthy plant!
Here’s a list of plants that I would recommend trying with your child for this garden:
|Basil||5-10 days||2 weeks||As leaves mature|
|Lettuce||7-10 days||2 weeks||As leaves mature|
|Spinach||7-14 days||2 weeks||As leaves mature|
In my example garden, I planted Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce. If I had to recommend a particular plant, I would go with lettuce – it’s easy to grow, fast growing, and most kids will eat it…and if they wont…they will after they’ve grown it themselves!
Once your seeds begin to sprout, you will need to thin your seeds. Because you planted 3-4 seeds, you will usually have at least 2-3 that sprout up.
This garden is designed for only one plant – so you’ll need to clip off the weakest looking seedlings with a pair of scissors…leaving only the healthiest seedling.
Every seed has a chance of not sprouting, so by planting 3-4 seeds at a time we lower the chances that we don’t get any seeds to germinate.
Place your garden in an area that gets as much natural sunlight as possible. Ideally, you want an area that’s getting at least six hours a day.
If you can’t find a spot in your home that fits these requirements, you may want to consider lighting it artificially. A compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) will work just fine for lettuce, basil, or spinach.
Make sure that your plants get no less than six hours of sun per day, supplementing with lights if you can’t get this much light naturally.
Taking care of your 2 Liter Garden is simple. All you have to do is make sure that you keep the water at the correct level.
As your plant grows, it will suck up water and nutrients, so keep some properly prepared nutrient mixture ready to fill it back up to normal levels when the reservoir drops.
The best part about setting up a 2 Liter Garden is the fact that you can harvest all of the time!
Have your child cut off the outer spinach, lettuce, or basil leaves and leave the smaller, less developed leaves to grow. You can keep harvesting over and over for at least a month using this method!
If you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this guide, drop me a comment below!
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Great Crafts Made With 2 Litre Pop Bottles
If you’re an enthusiastic pop or soda drinker, then you know how often 2 litre pop bottles are recycled, but have you ever considered reusing them at least semi-often? Most people who create a lot of empty 2 litres aren’t even aware of just how many amazing things they can create with them, or just how many awesome things they can use those bottles for.
Check out these 15 awesome DIY projects that upcycle 2 litre pop bottles in ways that you’ll actually benefit from!
1. 2 litre bottle apple picker
VIEW IN GALLERY
Do you have an annual family tradition with your loves ones that involves the whole group going apple picking each fall? Do you get tired arms and sore muscles each year from lifting the littlest members of your family up to reach the high brands where the best apples are so they don’t feel left out? Grit is here to save the day with this extended apple picker idea made from a recycled 2 litre pop bottle!
2. Irrigation reservoir
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Have you tried planting strawberries before but they dried out too quickly and were either very high maintenance for you to maintain, or they failed all together due to lack of moisture? A Piece of Rainbow had a similar experience, so they solved it using a 2 litre pop bottle! They tell you how to do it.
3. Blooming garden light
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Instructables shows you how to create a blossom shaped outdoor lampshade for a porch or walkway light out of a 2 litre shampoo bottle! Choose a light bulb that won’t heat up badly against the plastic and follow the tutorial to make the stand.
4. Plastic bottle charging station
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Make It, Love It shows you how to make a hanging phone or iPod charging station that will help you keep your cords from getting tangled or bent no matter where you decided to charge your devices. This particular version isn’t made from a 2 litre pop bottle specifically, but it could be if you don’t have a shampoo bottle like this one available!
5. Soda bottle birdhouse
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Cool 2 Craft guides you through the process of making an adorably rustic birdhouse and feeder out of a 2 litre pop bottle, but you could make a similar design out of any reclaimed plastic bottle you have access to.
6. Instant mini greenhouse
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A Piece of Rainbow shows you how to set up large plastic bottles like miniature greenhouses for specific plants in your garden. This idea is perfect for you if you have a few plants that would benefit from being grown in a green house, but not so many that it’s worth actually building yourself a green house for!
7. Soda bottle cat planter
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Bru DIY teaches you how to make adorable little planters shaped like sleeping cats using the bottom half of a 2 litre pop bottle that you’ve painted. You could switch up the design and create any look you like, but these kitty planters caught our eye immediately.
8. Painted bottle passive heating system
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If you do have a green house and you’re looking for a way to keep it heated even during the night when there’s no sun, a large bottle can save the day! Follow How Does She‘s footsteps by painting a group of bottles completely black, filling them with water, and letting them sit inside the greenhouse all day as the sun heats it. The water will heat up throughout the day and, come night time, the bottles will radiate heat and keep your plants around them warm.
9. Plastic bottle watering can
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Are you more likely to have an empty 2 litre milk carton than a pop bottle? Put that bottle and its handle to good use by poking some holes in the lid of the jug and using it as a water can for your house plants! A Journey to Dream shows you how they made theirs.
10. Pop bottle sprinkler
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Is it the kind of how day outside that calls for immediate cooling down but you’ve realied you don’t actually own a sprinkler anymore? Sure, you could just hose yourself down, but sprinklers are a lot more fun! Grab the nearest empty pop bottle (or poor you and all your guests an iced drink) and repurpose the bottle into a sprinkler just like Clever, Crafty, Cookin’ Mama did here!
11. Zippered pop bottle pencil case
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Doodlecraft guides you through the process of making yourself or your kids a zippered pencil case that lets you see through so you know what’s inside! This is a novelty way to avoid buying extra pencil cases for your art supplies around the house and upcycling is always a good way to stay green.
12. Hanging planters
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Are you looking for a unique, shabby chic way to display your plants and upcycle at the same time? Bit Rebels has an awesome solution for you! Turn some 2 litre pop bottles on their sides, cut a section out, and fill them with dirt and seeds. Next, display them by attaching them across a wall or fence to create an awesome plant wall once everything has started growing.
13. Plastic bottle greenhouse
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Are you really feeling open to a challenge and do you have a lot of space in the back yard to work with? Master Gardening guides you through the process of making an entire green house out of recycled pop or water bottles. Besides upcycling bottles en masse, you’ll create yourself a lush, green space!
14. Coloured pop bottle canopy
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Do you love the idea of upcycling many plastic bottles at once but you don’t have the space or the need for a green house? Try something a little more decorative but still with some function! Tree Hugger guides you through the process of making a plastic bottle car canopy that brightens up the whole street with differently coloured water in the bottom of each!
15. Plastic bottle kayak
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Are you looking for a way to keep your teenagers busy in the summer that’s just fun and silly enough to amuse them? Instructables shows you how to create a whole kayak boat out of all the Gatorade or pop bottles they’ve been drinking all summer!
Next time you get your hands on a plastic bottle, there is much more you can do than just add to the pile of local plastic waste. All you need is some creativity and you can create almost anything out of these pop bottles.
20 Ways to Reuse and Recycle Empty Plastic Bottles
50 million plastic bottles are thrown away each day in the United States. They work themselves into just about every aspect of our daily lives. The examples are plentiful, from water bottles to laundry detergent, to how we squeeze out our honey. You’ll likely spot one of the 50 million if you do a simple scan of the room that you’re in.
Our dependence on them makes recycling and reusing plastic bottles essential for the health of the planet. So what can we do? Completing crafty DIY projects is a great way to minimize environmental impact and even save money. Check out our list of 20 creative projects to reuse and recycle empty plastic bottles and get to work.
Here Are 20 Ways to Reuse and Recycle Plastic Bottles:
1. Create Recycled Plastic Bottle Supply Cups
Office buildings are one of the leading contributors to the rise of landfills. So, after guzzling down a Mountain Dew to kick a 2 p.m. slump, don’t just toss the bottle when you’re finished. Make plastic bottle cups to house pens and supplies at the office, or craft supplies at home. Impress your coworkers and kids with your sustainable efforts.
Image via seaviewsanctuary.com
Plastic Bottle Recycling Idea:
Upcycle Bottles to Keep Your Kids’ Crafts in Order
Keep your little ones’ playroom organized using a few old plastic bottles, zippers and a little hot glue. Cut off the top of one 20 oz. soda bottle, and the bottom of another. Hot glue the zipper pieces to both ends and connect to create your own makeshift colored pencilcase.
2. Reuse Coffee Creamer Containers for Snack Storage
Looking for a sustainable way to organize your kitchen counters? Repurpose old bottles into snack containers to save space on snack storage. They make pouring incredibly easy, allowing you to take all types of food on the road. Recycled coffee creamers can also be used to store sugar, salt and similar products.
Image via buttons4crafts.com
3. Make a DIY Plastic Bottle Planter
Cat planters from plastic bottles. Yes, this is a real thing. Spark your DIY spirit with a simple project that turns 2-liters into a useful and appealing indoor planter. Here are some simple step-by-step instructions for how to make a DIY plastic bottle planter:
- Cut the bottom third of a 2-liter bottle.
- Paint the bottle white or the color of your choice.
- Use parts of the rest of the bottle to cut out ears.
- Draw a face and other features on the bottle.
- Fill the bottle with seeds and soil.
Image via lynnpetersson.se
4. Upcycle Laundry Detergent Bottles Into a Watering Can
Don’t pay for plastic watering cans. Make sure to keep your empty laundry detergent containers, drill or punch some holes in the cap and you’ve got yourself a new watering can. Feel free to remove the label so your neighbors don’t think you’re weird for pouring laundry detergent on your plants.
Image via childhoodlist.blogspot.com
5. Turn a Milk Carton Into a Garden Scooper
The one area where 1% fanatics and 2% lovers can agree: save your milk cartons after use. One of the easiest and most useful projects is to create a scooper from the empty carton. Whenever you need to melt ice on your steps, garden your plants or even clean up after your dog, just scoop and toss. Check out this tutorial to turn a milk carton into a DIY scooper.
Need to get rid of more than just a few plastic bottles?
Call 833-499-7507 to rent a dumpster today.
6. Start an Herb Garden With Empty 2-Liter Bottles
This project gets you extra green points. These can be cashed in for absolutely nothing. Well, maybe to feed your eco-soul. Regardless, upcycling 2-liter bottles into sub-irrigated planters is one of the more creative plastic bottle projects. Follow these steps to create an herb garden from a recycled bottle:
- Remove the label from the bottle and clean the inside.
- Take a sharp object and poke drainage holes in the top third of the bottle.
- Poke a hole in the side of the bottle about half-way down.
- Wrap a piece of paper around the bottle.
- Take a marker and trace a cutting line around the bottle.
- Cut along the bottle on the line.
- Flip over the bottle top and insert a strip of fabric.
- Make sure the fabric is in contact with the soil.
Image via ithinkwecouldbefriends.com
7. Create a Piggy Bank Made From a Reused Plastic Bottle
Recycling plastic bottles can save you money in more ways than one. Create a plastic bottle piggy bank and start cashing in on your craftiness. You can paint the entire bottle so the amount inside is a surprise. You can also leave it transparent so you can see how your saving is progressing. Simply put, this is a project that makes a lot of cents. Find out how to make a DIY plastic bottle piggy bank.
Image via letsfixit.co.uk
8. Upcycle a Lotion Bottle Into a Charging Dock
It will be a great day when cell phones no longer have to be charged. Or at least can get us through a three-hour Instagram scroll session. Until that day, we charge away. Make it easy on yourself and guests by creating a recycled cell phone charging dock. All you need is a lotion bottle, a marker and a box cutter.
Image via makeit-loveit.com
9. Reuse Honey Bear Bottles by Making a Lamp
Teddy bears shouldn’t be thrown away. That’s more of a fact than an opinion. When you’re finished with a bottle of honey, get ready to recycle and reuse. Learn how to recycle your honey bottle into a honey bear bottle lamp.
Image via thepinkdoormat.blogspot.com
10. Make a Beach Bucket From Laundry Detergent Containers
It’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel when a mounting heap of clothes is waiting to be washed. But as your washer powers through load after load and you come to the end of the detergent bottle, remember to stash it away for a rainy day. Similar to the scooper project above, it can be cut up and made into a beach bucket. So, there’s your light at the end of the tunnel: a recycled plastic beach bucket.
Image via funinthemaking.net
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11. Recycle Empty 2-Liter Bottles Into DIY Water Filters
Have you ever been stuck in the wild with no source of clean water? Oh, you haven’t? Well, it’s still good to filter the water you drink. And you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a water filtration system that’s effective. Follow the video below to convert a 2-liter bottle into a DIY water filter.
12. Turn Plastic Bottle Trash Into a Trash Can
A trash-trash can. That has a ring to it. There’s no bigger symbolic gesture of going green than creating a trash can out of recycled plastic bottles. Make a statement and create a container perfect for outside trash disposal. Just don’t throw away your plastic bottles.
Image via instructables.com
13. Build an Outdoor Broom From Recycled Plastic Bottles
If we haven’t already proven that plastic bottles can be recycled into just about anything, let’s settle it. Recycle a 2-liter bottle into an outdoor broom in just a few steps. The sturdy bristles make it easy to sweep up dirt and common outdoor items. Follow the video below for detailed instructions on how to build an outdoor broom from plastic bottles.
14. Craft a Lamp From Your Plastic Bottle Caps
We’ve given plenty of love to the bottle portion of plastic bottles, but what about the all-important cap? After all, it saved you from frying your hard drive and spilling on your new carpet. Follow this guide on how to make a plastic bottle caps lamp to complete one of the more time consuming projects in the list.
Image via ThaitrickDIY
15. Make Airplane Toys From Shampoo Bottles
You can’t forget about the children. Keep them entertained during bath time with airplane toys made from recycled shampoo bottles. Talk about coming full circle. This project can be completed in a variety of ways, so use your creativity to paint, stick and glue different elements to the outside of the bottle.
Image via junkmailgemsblog.blogspot.com
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16. Reuse Soda Bottles by Creating a Vertical Garden
Warning: You may need to consume 2-liter beverages to knock out this project. Reusing your soda bottles to create a vast and impressive vertical garden is a simple and low-budget way to beautify your yard. In addition to soda bottles, you’ll need clothesline, twine or picture wire. Check out the step-by-step instructions on how to create a vertical garden from recycled soda bottles.
Image via outhwickarboriculture.com
17. Create a Recycled Plastic Bottle Jet Pack for Kids
Waiting until the very last minute to find a costume is a Halloween tradition in many households. If this sounds familiar to you, we have the perfect idea to get your child ready to fill a pillowcase with hundreds of mini-sized candy bars. Create a plastic bottle jet pack and lift the Halloween costume burden off your shoulders.
Image via themomcreative.com
18. Recycle Laundry Detergent Containers Into Toy Cars
Sometimes the simplest toys are the biggest hit with kids. Try this theory out and save yourself some money be recycling laundry detergent bottles and creating toy cars. You’ll need to save some extra caps for the wheels, and a big bottle should leave plenty of room your kids to decorate.
Image via inhabitat.com
19. Reuse Plastic Bottles to Make a DIY Sprinkler
Who doesn’t remember the days of running through a sprinkler in the front yard? Make an easy DIY sprinkler with reused plastic bottles and recreate this memory for your kids. Simply poke holes in a 2-liter bottle and you’ve made it happen. You can also recycle ballpoint pens that no longer work for a more effective sprinkler.
Image via clevercraftycookinmama.com
20. Make Sure All Plastic Bottles and Products Are Recycled
While we are fully behind your crafty spirit, it’s likely you won’t be able to use all of your recycled plastic bottles in fun, creative ways. Make sure you have a plan to recycle all the plastic bottles you have yet to use. It’s a good idea to set up sorting bins or containers to make it easy on everyone in your house to recycle bottles and more.
Image via laurasplans.com
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Find More Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact
We hope you take on one or more of the plastic bottle recycling projects we’ve listed above. If you’d like to build on that momentum, check out our 10 steps on how to reduce waste at home. You’ll be surprised how small steps can save you a lot of time and money.
If you completed any of our 20 DIY Projects to Reuse and Recycle Plastic Bottles, let us hear about it! Drop a comment below.
How to upcycle two-liter soda bottles
Photo by Sam Schipani
Office gatherings, birthday parties and backyard barbecues can lead to sacks of empty two-liter soda bottles. But with a little ingenuity, you can upcycle those bottles into something useful.
Research shows that over half of Americans enjoy a sugary drink every day. Besides the health impacts of super sugary drinks — including weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — soda also takes a toll on the environment. According to a 2013 life-cycle analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom that looked at the environmental impact of carbonated beverages, packaging is the main culprit for soda’s impact on the planet.
Even if you aren’t hosting, you can salvage those soda bottles and reuse them around your house. Here are 13 ways to do so.
Attract birds to your hard by upcycling your two-liter soda bottles and old wooden kitchen spoons into a beautiful bird feeder and filling it with wild birds’ favorite food. This DIY from Kelly Leigh Creates shows you how to attract birds to your yard with this handy upcycled feeder.
Toilet water savings
Save water when you flush by putting a weighted two liter soda bottle in the tank. The empty soda bottle takes up space in the tank that would normally be filled with water, so less water is used both to flush the tank and fill the toilet again. The simple trick can help you save up to 10 gallons of water per day. Put a few pebbles or other weighted material in the bottle and place it in the tank in the back of your toilet. Be sure the bottle is not touching the working parts of the toilet.
A direct stream from a hose can be a little intense for your plants or frolicking children. Poke holes in a clean two-liter plastic soda bottle using a sharp-edged tool or a drill and fasten the hose to the mouth of the perforated soda bottle using either a one-inch connector or duct tape. Turn on the tap and the homemade sprinkler is ready to water your garden or for your children to play in.
This fun craft will help you track your savings when you spend less on groceries, gardening supplies or just around the homestead in general. Check out this DIY from Sassy Townhouse Living to create a cute piggy bank out of used plastic bottles of various sizes (we suggest two-liter to encourage more savings).
Bulk quantities of small, dry foods like beans, grains and cereal can be easily stored in plastic soda bottles (be sure to avoid storing anything perishable or susceptible to bugs, though). Thoroughly clean and dry the bottles and use a funnel to pour the food into the bottle. Seal tight with the cap. Store in a cool, dry location.
Make fast work of watering your plants with this handy hack. Much like with your used plastic milk jugs, you can drill a few holes in your cleaned plastic soda bottles, bury them so that the mouth emerges from the soil and fill with water in order to make your own water-efficient drip irrigation system. The Gardening Cook shows you how to make your own and includes some handy reader tips in this instructional.
Automatic water dispenser
Keep your pets hydrated while you are out during the day using an automatic water dispenser upcycled from two-liter soda bottles. Fill a two-liter soda bottle with water and and set up an apparatus to hold it over your pet’s water bowl. As your pet drinks and the water dips low enough so that the full bottle is no longer submerged, water will come flowing out to replace the displaced liquid. This DIY from Instructables shows you how.
Want to grow herbs in your apartment but always forget to water? You can create your own self-watering planters for shallow-rooted plants using upcycled two-liter soda bottles.
- Two-liter soda bottle
- Yarn, string or a strip of fabric from an old t-shirt
- Drill or other sharp object
- Potting soil
- Cut your two-liter soda bottle in half.
- Drill or poke a hole in the cap of the top half of the soda bottle.
- Run your yarn, string or strip of fabric half way through the hole. This will serve as your wick.
- Fill the bottom half of the two-liter soda bottle with water.
- Snugly fit the top half upside-down in the bottom half, so that the wick is submerged in the water.
- Fill the top half with potting soil.
- Plant your seeds or transplant your plant into your self-watering planter.
Take your soda bottle container garden to the next level. If you want to maximize your outdoor or apartment space, consider making a hanging garden out of two liter soda bottles (they are slightly thicker and more likely to stand up against the weight of soil and plants than water bottles). This comprehensive step-by-step WikiHow article shows you how.
The lightweight, easily-squeezable plastic makes soda bottles an excellent makeshift watering garden, especially for seedlings and tender young plants that need special attention paid to their roots. Drill holes in the cap, fill with water and use it to spray your plants.
Save money on this handy season extender by making them out of the top half of a two-liter soda bottle. Simply cut the bottle in half and place the top half over your tender seedlings to protect them from unexpected chill. Remove the cap of the bottle during the day in order to relieve heat and prevent moisture or mold buildup.
If you have already cut the top half off of your two-liter bottles for cloches, used the bottom half to make snack bowls. Melt the jagged cut edge of the bottom half of a soda bottle smooth by pressing it on a warm pan, decorate the outside as you please and fill with your favorite snacks.
Only for the craftiest among us. If you have accumulated a large number of two-liter soda bottles that need a new life, follow this DIY from Dengarden to make your own full-sized greenhouse.
Do you have a creative way to upcycle two-liter soda bottles? Share in the comments below.
Are you dreaming of a nice greenhouse and have had lots of greenhouse plans, but you don’t have enough space? Don’t worry, we’ve got some good news for you. We’ll show you how to create some beautiful mini greenhouses from scratch. Using simple, everyday things such as PVC pipe, plastic bottles, plastic sheeting, off-cut pieces of lumber, and so on, you can make DIY mini greenhouses that not only work, but are extremely affordable and, in most cases, free! Here is our list of the top 12 DIY greenhouse ideas…
1. Pallet mini greenhouse
We’re starting our list with this awesome mini greenhouse. As we all know, pallets are an extremely useful recycling material, so if you are looking for having your own small greenhouse on your patio or rooftop garden, you should try this. It’s very simple to install and everything you need are pallets and some plastic. Make a triangle door using the pallets and fix it with two hinges. Cover it with a piece of plastic and then staple the plastic sheet to the wooden frame. That’s it!
2. Mason jar mini greenhouse
A great idea, right? And it’s perfect for plant germination. Fill a tray with soil, add the seedlings, grab one or more large mason jars and put it over the plants of your choice (lettuce, for example). For enhanced air flow, add a bendy straw under the soil to act as a little plant snorkel.
3. CD case mini greenhouse
Another awesome recycling mission! You’ll need some CD cases, some plastic clear glue, tweezers, painter’s tape, safety glasses, a ruler, a cutting board, and a craft knife. Start by gluing several CD cases in order to have four walls for the greenhouse’s main part. Add the center CD case to the peak of the wall (use the ruler to measure). Glue into place. Next, cut some other cases (using your craft knife) for the wall peak. Don’t forget to use your safety glasses here and focus on getting the angles accurate. Glue everything into place. After that, glue those four walls together. Hold the walls in place with tape until the adhesive dries. Make the roof peak and finish the roof with folding panels. Take out the tape when the glue has dried.
4. Recycled container mini greenhouse
Reuse little containers and make a cute, tiny greenhouse. You’ll need a container with a cover, potting soil, and seeds. Wash your container, let it dry, add the soil, and plant the seeds. You can keep in inside or, if the weather is mild, outside. Make sure that it receives plenty of sunlight and that the soil stays moist. If you notice that it’s drying out, add a little bit of water. Easy peasy!
5. Umbrella mini greenhouse
For this fun project, you’ll need a bubble umbrella, a pot, potting soil, duct tape, and herbs. Fill the pot with potting soil and add the plants or seeds. Don’t plant anything in the center of the pot, as that’s the place where the umbrella’s pole will go. Cut the handle off your umbrella and cover the end with some duct tape. Open the umbrella and fit it over the pot using its pole as a post to anchor the umbrella in place. Remove the umbrella once a week to water your plants.
6. Mini greenhouse made out of old windows
Grab four window frames with clear transparent glass—make sure they have similar sizes. You’ll also need a slightly smaller window (but of the same width), some wooden pallets, two hinges, drill, screws, and a handle. Drill holes in each window frame in order to be able to screw and join them. Using screws, fix and join the similar sized windows, leaving the top and bottom part of the structure. Place the smaller window on top of the joined structure and measure the amount of space that’s left open. Cut a pallet to the measured size and fix it on the top of the structure’s remaining open space. Finally, screw the two hinges on wooden board and screw the small window on a hinge. Add the handle to the smaller window’s frame.
7. Plastic bottle mini greenhouse
And we’re back to recycling plastic. There are plenty of smart gardening ideas involving plastic bottles. Well, this is one of the simplest greenhouses you can ever make. Simply cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle, and unscrew the cap. Yes, that’s all you need to do! It’s economical and ridiculously simple. If you want your plants to grow bigger and for a longer time, use larger bottles, such as water jugs.
8. CD spindle case mini greenhouse
Find an empty CD spindle case and cut off its center column. If it leaves a hole, just patch it with some tape. Drill a few ventilating holes in the top. Find a pot that fits and add some comport, seeds, and water. Admire your plants growing.
9. PVC mini greenhouse
Take the measurements for your PVC greenhouse and start joining the pipes together by means of couplings L- and T-joints in order to adjust the greenhouse’s length and width. After you’ve created this basic structure, cover it with a plastic sheet and secure it whenever it needs with plastic glue or tape. You’ll have a functional, versatile, greenhouse that’s compatible with several needs!
10. Fishbowl mini greenhouse
It can’t get any simpler than this: cover a small plant in a bed with an upside-down, wide opening fishbowl. Ta-dah!
11. Wooden Greenhouse
Measure the space where you’re planning to keep your greenhouse and cut the wooden board according to the measured length. Using nails, make the frame by fixing wooden boards in right place. Add a fitting plastic sheet and arrange it all over your frame. Fix the top area with some hinges in order to make sure that it’s functional and to easily take the plants in and out.
12. Your window as a mini greenhouse
Choose a large window that receives plenty of sunlight and turns it into a tiny greenhouse. Measure the window’s frame depth and width, subtract 1/2 inch from the width, and cut some glass shelves. Make pencil marks where each shelf support should go on the window frame. Make the supports using molding. Drill evenly spaced holes in each support. Hold one of the supports against the appropriate mark on the window frame, push the electric drill bit through the hole, and drill a starter spot into the frame. Repeat for each hole. After you’re done with the supports, add the glass shelves. Now it’s time for the flower/herb/plant pots to go on the shelves and to complete your project.
If you feel like going one step further, you can actually build a real greenhouse. This wonderful mini greenhouse kit is perfect for small spaces. Easy to make, efficient, pocket-friendly, minimal tools required, and you’ll have lots of fun.
Now is the time to start sprouting seeds if you’re planning a garden this Summer, but this easy technique is also perfect for a windowsill collection of herbs or bright flowers. Save your paper egg cartons and plastic water bottles for a fun project that is so eco-friendly — and supercute. These mini greenhouses are sure to have your space filled with fresh herbs or pretty blossoms in no time.
What You’ll Need:
- Plastic water bottle
- One egg carton cup
- Seeds or seedlings
- Small dish
- Sprouting seeds is easier than you think, and creating a dome of happiness keeps the starter cups moist and warm. Cut a water bottle in half, saving the bottom half.
- Now cut away one cup from a paper egg carton and fill with soil. Tuck a seed or a seedling in the cup, and write the name of the plant on the egg cup or tuck in a little marker.
- Place the cup on a small dish, lightly water the soil, and cover with the bottom half of the water bottle, creating a mini greenhouse. Place in a sunny spot, and tend to daily with a few drops of water. Within a few weeks, you should see sprouts growing!
- Once the plant starts to outgrow the egg cup, plant in a pot or outdoors. The egg carton biodegrades and nourishes the soil.