Tutorial + How-to plastic bottle lights. cc photo by flickr user f-r-a-n-k

Published on April 14th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe

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Re-Inspiration: A New Life for Discarded Bottles

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Plastic Bottle Lights

Whether we’re talking plastic or glass, empty bottles are full of potential. Sure, you can recycle them, but that still takes energy. In fact, both plastic and glass are often downcycled into products of lesser quality, which means they can only be recycled so many times before they end up in a landfill.

Of course, the obvious solution is to upcycle those bottles into something new. Need a little inspiration? We’ve got some upcycling eye candy to get you going!

Plastic Bottle Flowers

Soda Bottle Flowers

How sweet are these flowers made from recycled soda bottles by Frozen in Time? I love how she used the shape of the bottle to form the flowers and used darker paint on the tips of the flower petals. Gorgeous!

Wine Bottle Wind Chimes

Wine Bottle Wind Chimes

I’m loving the elegant simplicity of these wine bottle wind chimes that Wiccked shares. It looks like they were made using a bottle cutter to remove the bottoms, and assembled with wire and fishing line.

Recycled Plastic Bottle Lights

Plastic Bottle Lights

This cluster of plastic bottle lights is ingenious! It takes advantage of the various bottles’ colors, and looks pretty simple to string together. You’d probably just need the right sized drill bit and some hot glue to create your own strand of upcycled lights. Photo by F-R-A-N-K.

Let’s keep the re-inspiration going! What are some of your favorite projects for upcycling plastic and glass bottles?

[Image Credits: All photos via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.]

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen

    the flowers are beautiful! along with the lights…a solar hot water heater is another great use (but not as pretty as these) :P

  • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen

    the flowers are beautiful! along with the lights…a solar hot water heater is another great use (but not as pretty as these) :P

  • http://www.shopmissmalaprop.com/ Mallory – Miss Malaprop

    My fellow New Orleans Craft Mafia members, Heather Macfarlane and Mark Kirk make some amazing upcycled lighting installations using recycled plastic and glass bottles. (They also do great things with old Mardi Gras beads!) http://www.shopgreenneworleans.com/

    I love the cluster of lights in that bottom picture of this post!

  • http://www.shopmissmalaprop.com/ Mallory – Miss Malaprop

    My fellow New Orleans Craft Mafia members, Heather Macfarlane and Mark Kirk make some amazing upcycled lighting installations using recycled plastic and glass bottles. (They also do great things with old Mardi Gras beads!) http://www.shopgreenneworleans.com/

    I love the cluster of lights in that bottom picture of this post!

  • http://www.the-onion.net melanie

    thanks for including my windchimes! That’s exactly how they’re made… hubby makes them :)

  • http://www.the-onion.net melanie

    thanks for including my windchimes! That’s exactly how they’re made… hubby makes them :)

  • http://macaroniandglitter.com steven james

    These are awesome ideas! I want to share my upcycled project, jewelry made from plastic bottles, in this case a bracelet > http://twitpic.com/1e3cg4

    • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen

      those beads are really cool! nice work :)

  • http://macaroniandglitter.com steven james

    These are awesome ideas! I want to share my upcycled project, jewelry made from plastic bottles, in this case a bracelet > http://twitpic.com/1e3cg4

    • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen

      those beads are really cool! nice work :)

  • http://www.sadiesez.etsy.com Di

    Wow– the lights are gorgeous– love these ideas!!!

  • http://www.sadiesez.etsy.com Di

    Wow– the lights are gorgeous– love these ideas!!!

  • http://www.simplegreenaction.ca Nicolas from simplegreenaction.ca

    That’s a great idea! It looks nice and the reusable factor is amazing! I’m going to try it for sure! Thanks,

    Nicolas
    simplegreenaction.ca team

  • http://www.simplegreenaction.ca Nicolas from simplegreenaction.ca

    That’s a great idea! It looks nice and the reusable factor is amazing! I’m going to try it for sure! Thanks,

    Nicolas
    simplegreenaction.ca team

  • http://yipsandhowls.wordpress.com Linda

    You may like to check out my blog where I talk, among other things, about plants and flowers crafted from soda bottles. Here’s one link:
    http://yipsandhowls.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/pansies-where-i-present-my-newest-creation/
    You can find the others by clicking on the “soda bottle” category on the right side of the page.

  • http://yipsandhowls.wordpress.com Linda

    You may like to check out my blog where I talk, among other things, about plants and flowers crafted from soda bottles. Here’s one link:
    http://yipsandhowls.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/pansies-where-i-present-my-newest-creation/
    You can find the others by clicking on the “soda bottle” category on the right side of the page.

  • http://www.outdoorstringlightsexclusive.com Outdoor String Lights

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Please tell me, thanks

  • http://www.outdoorstringlightsexclusive.com Outdoor String Lights

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Please tell me, thanks

  • http://thechocolatemuffintree.blogspot.com/ Majordan

    These are Great! I shared this on my fb page!

  • http://thechocolatemuffintree.blogspot.com/ Majordan

    These are Great! I shared this on my fb page!

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