Recycling bottle tops, caps and that sort of thing

bottle-cap-art1.jpgFollowing my post at the start of the month about Jan turning pop bottles into flowers, Jennifer Houck got in touch about some art she’s made out of old rubbish.

I have made quite a few things out of plastic bottles and caps. Our recycler only comes once a month, and will not take bottle caps. So with overflowing amounts of caps and bottles, I decided to see what I could do with this surplus.

This picture she says is playing with colour and texture of the original bottles but in other photos she sent, she painted the bottoms of clear bottles with marble-effect paint – which I think highlighted the cool, and often pretty shapes, of the bases themselves.

She’s also made these really fun figures out of old bottles – using the curved shape of the bottles to full advantage on the bug’s wings and chicken’s tail – and papier mache from old magazines. I like them a lot and am very tempted to give it a go myself.


(Are you, or anyone you know, making art by reusing/recycling random old stuff? If so, let me know and I’ll feature it here.)

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22 Responses to “Recycling bottle tops, caps and that sort of thing”

  1. Ann Harmon says:

    I started my company, Ann-Made, LLC last September. We make “Bracelets with a Conscience” out of soda can tabs. We’ve sold over 1,000 bracelets since then in juried craft shows, our website and the 13 retail stores we’re in. Guess we’re not the only ones that think this is a great way to make a statement about your commitment to recycling and helping the health of our planet. Oh, not only do we purchase our tabs from a non-profit organization that collects them, we pay them over 3 times what they get from the recycler…and redonate back all the tabs that aren’t good enough for our bracelets. We also donate a portion of each bracelet sale to environmental causes.

    They are funky, and chic and get a lot of pesky tabs off our streets as well as, get a lot of attention. Our goal is to do whatever we can to be a business that “does good” in all aspects of our operations.

  2. louisa says:

    I’ve had a follow-up email from Jennifer and she sent this cool photo frame she decorated with random old fixings – I like a lot :)

    decorated photo frame

  3. twinks says:

    Oh I LOVE the pop bottle sculptures – very witty!

  4. PainChaud says:

    I saw someone do a beaded door drape with plastic bottle caps…I think I’m gonna do one and put it somewhere on my porch

  5. Elizabeth says:

    What kind of adhesive did you use for your bottle cap art?

  6. Hi, your works are amazing great! !!! It’s one of the way to save the word from the rubbish…!!!!

  7. andityas says:

    thaNks 4 the idea…
    needs more to improve mine too…. well im art teacher with no new material on the door so … recycle material is the best solution in my teaching methode. may good idea upon u



    • Anonymous says:

      Do a search on youtube. I just recently found some how-to’s there on doing the same with beer bottle caps, and resin was being used.

  9. Michael Freeman says:

    I have been recycling plastic, metal & card etc for many years, running music workshops and performances at schools, museums, festivals, theatres etc., The level of engagement and enjoyment of the participants has been very rewarding. See my YouTube video at For further information:

  10. I love the the global draw of this blog the kids always wonder who everyone else is with all these great ideas. Necklaces are a favourite in our house.

  11. gino says:

    i have collected a lot of these soda tabs . I can definetly donate them to anyone who needs them. I feel that a greater good can be achieved by doing somethign with them –ok please let me know.

  12. Dani says:

    I saw plastic caps used like a bugs body, you can use some type of plastic for wings & planting wire to make labels for a small herb garden, can’t find the pic of it though.

    You can make magnets with plastic or metal caps. I use metal caps & decorate the inside & fill with dimensional glue for magnets, attach a bail & make a pendant, or attach a paper clip on the back & make a bookmark. I even put small photos & beads inside for decoration.

    You can attach a stick or paper clip & use it like a tiny spoon for crafts, such as for embossing powder, glitter, etc.

  13. Handyman says:

    I am a regular follower of this weblog and I am fascinated with the recycling ideas. I love to utilize the things which are often thrown into dustbin, and try to make different decorative pieces. I collect even better ideas from here , every time I click here.

  14. theartgirl says:

    What is the rooster made from? I really like it!

  15. Jennifer Houck says:

    I made the recyled art above. I used the glue, E6000. It is an amazing adhesive! I use it on my mosaics and outdoor peices as well, very strong.
    For the rooster, I cut a plastic coke bottle in half for the body, wrapped a bottle cap in magazine paper with tape to make a ball, covered the body in strips of magazine paper and used hangers for legs.

    Lately I have had my local japanese restaurant save chopsticks for me and am experiementing with this bountiful free and otherwise trashed by the millions medium. I want to make sculptures and wall peices with these.

  16. Another great idea and it looks fantastic too, the rooster looks amazing!!

  17. Robbie says:

    Hello louisa,

    I am a school child who has a project and that project is to make something out of things we don’t need. So if you recieve this could you please give me instructions on how to make the cockerel out of plastic bottles?


  18. David Hartwell says:

    We have 1000’s of bottle tops to give away to a charity if someone is interested and can collect from Canterbury. They were formerly going to buy wheelchairs etc, but that charity is no longer involved.
    Let me know by email if interested.
    David Hartwell

  19. ducky says:

    my girlfriend is making a bracelet out of beer and ale bottle caps by hammering them flat then linking them together with wire. my friend also collected coke or pop can tabs to make chain mail out of.

  20. fantastic way to make new things from bottle caps . and we can save our earth

  21. Junk Bunk says:

    Plastic caps don’t biodegrade, meaning it will take hundreds of years for them to decompose in a landfill, so it is much better to find a way to reuse them.

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