Your recycling bin may be overflowing with valuable craft materials. Empty plastic and glass water, soda and wine bottles can be turned into jewellery, decorative items and useful gifts. Next time you're feeling crafty, raid the recycling bin instead of the craft store. With just a few additional materials, you'll always have simple, earth-friendly craft projects at hand.
Cut up a plastic soda or water bottle into small pieces -- plastic bottles can be cut with scissors. Cut it into free-form shapes, circles, stars, hearts or squares. Punch holes in each piece using an awl. Paint the shapes with acrylic paint, if desired. You can either paint both sides, or just one side. Then string the beads on an elastic string, adding glass, wood or homemade salt dough beads as spacers to make necklaces and bracelets -- or hang them from earring hooks.
Plastic water bottles can become impressive plastic flowers that you can make quickly. Cut off the top half of the bottle. The cap will be the centre of the flower. Cut the plastic around the cap into petal shapes that are rounded, pointy, large or small. Experiment with different types of flowers. You can paint your flowers with spray paint, brush paint them with acrylics -- or leave them in their original plastic, translucent colours.
Glass Candle Holders
Turn empty glass bottles into candle holders by placing the end of taper candles into the top. Buy candles that drip in multiple colours. Each time you burn a candle in the bottle, it drips down the sides, creating layers of wax drips.
If you have a clear glass bottle, you can make a sand art candle holder: Using a small funnel, fill the bottle with alternating layers of purchased fine sand in contrasting natural shades or bright colours. Cap it off with a taper candle.
Turn soda, water and milk bottles into piggy banks. Use a craft knife to cut a slit into the middle of one side of the bottle. Hot-glue four plastic water bottle caps on the other side of the bottle to make legs. Paint the bottle as desired using acrylic or craft paint, and glue on embellishments such as felt ears, googly eyes and glitter -- or leave the bank clear so you can see the coins.