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Uses for Prescription Bottles

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pill bottle hide a key

Old prescription bottles can come in handy for sorting, storage and craft projects. The come in a variety of sizes and it's not hard to find a use for them around the house. This is a guide about uses for prescription bottles.


Video: Pill Bottle Hide-a-Key

If you are looking for a way to hide a key outside, a pill bottle makes a great weather-proof container. With a rock to disguise the top, you can tuck it into a rock garden or partially bury it to hide it's location. View the full project here: Pill Bottle Hide-a-Key

Solutions: Uses for Prescription Bottles

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Pill Bottle Hide-a-Key

rock hide a key

If you are looking for a way to hide a key outside, a pill bottle makes a great weather-proof container. With a rock to disguise the top, you can tuck it into a rock garden or partially bury it to hide it's location.

Approximate Time: 10 minutes


  • prescription pill bottle
  • a clean rock
  • E6000 glue


  1. Choose a rock that will completely cover the lid of the bottle. Thoroughly wash and dry it. Remove the label from your pill bottle.
  2. clean pill bottle
  3. Apply glue to the bottle lid and to the rock. Allow them to sit for approx. 2 minutes, when stick the rock onto the lid. Allow the glue to cure for 24-48 hours before adding a key and placing it outside.
  4. glue on lid and rock
  5. Once your hide-a-key is ready to use, either dig a hole just deep enough to put the pill bottle in. In our case, tucking it into an area of our rock garden worked well too. NOTE: Just remember to find a place where people won't see you retrieve your key.
  6. hidden key 1hidden key 3

By lalala... [619]

Tip: Prescription Bottle Auto Air Freshener

I had my husband drill several small holes in the lid. Then I stuffed cotton balls inside and poured scented oils in it. It doesn't leak. I put them in my vehicle to make it smell good.

    By michele [7]

    Tip: Keep Pins in a Prescription Bottle

    Keep Pins in Prescription BottleKeep straight pins in a prescription medication bottle. This keeps them out of children's hands.

    By kirstenenswan from Logan, UT

    Tip: Uses for Prescription Bottles

    I have seen several people ask about uses for pill bottles and decided to give my assorted uses for them.

    • I have many of various sizes in my sewing box to sort out the different sizes of snaps, safety pins, and buttons. I have two bigger pill bottles for large safety pins and straight pins.

    • I have a long bottle in with my yarn, holding crochet needles, one with yarn needles and assorted small knitting items in it.

    • I keep one bottle by my computer with rolaids, gum, and denture numbing stuff in it.

    • I have one with dry beans in it for my infant granddaughter to use as a rattle. It has a safety cap that I cannot remove and is too big for her to remove.

    • My granddaughter said to add using them for barrettes and other assorted hair gadgets, school things such erasers and pencil sharpener.

    • In my purse I use a large one as my 'wallet', I keep folded bills and my change it it. When I need it, I just look for the white lid. I have a smaller pill bottle in there with bus tokens in it, making them easier to find when needed.

    • I have one that is just the right size to hold a roll of quarters, that money is for laundry only.

    • There are many, many other household uses for them, a man can use them to sort nails, tacks, screws, washers, bolts, etc. Let your imagination run wild. Uses are endless.

    By knitter926 from Bloomington, IL

    Tip: Make Dispenser From Old Pill Bottles

    Use empty pill bottles to dispense elastic and similar items. Coil the item to fit into the bottle. Then cut a simple slit/opening in the lid to pull the item out as you need it, as much as you need. Use this to hold and dispense yard string. It works for crafting, beading, and floral wire, as well as, beading threads.

    By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

    Tip: Prescription Bottles for Travel Size Toiletries

    Instead of buying travel sized bottles of shampoo and other things, at our house we used old prescription medicine bottles. They ones with the kid proof lid from Walgreen's can hold liquids with out leaking. It saves a lot of money and helps the environment too. The best way to mark the bottle is to write what it in it on a paper label with a sharpie marker.

    Source: This is a tip we came up with after learning the the Walgreen's prescription bottles could hold water without leaking.

    By McCollonough from TN

    Editor's Note: Check with your airlines to make sure that this would be acceptable for airport security checks.

    Tip: Recycled Bottles As A Sharps Containers

    For quite some time, I've been using old vitamin bottles, pill bottles, etc., to store the lancets, blood test strips, etc., I use to check my glucose levels, until they can be disposed of. They are much cheaper, e.g., $0.00, relative, than the sharps containers sold at the drug counters; are more compact; easier to store; and easier to dispose of.

    Source: My wife suggested it one day after I had filled a store-bought container, and was lamenting not having gotten a new one.

    By Oldvet from Owensboro, KY

    Tip: Save Coins in Prescription Bottles

    I have had some rather large pill bottles that would hold a lot of coins, so I decided to sort them and label each bottle by quarter, dime and so on. I just sorted the money by bottle and counted the coints and placed a piece of paper with that dollar amount at the top of the stack. When I added any new coins, I just marked through the amount and put the corrected amount. I was amazed how much money you can save in those pill bottles. They were easy to store too.

      By Teresa Webb W. [1]

      Tip: Use Prescription Bottles for Storing Quarters

      I save pill and film containers to put quarters in - for laundry, toll booths, snack vending machines, car wash, vacuum coin slots, or anything else I need quarters for in a hurry. They fit easily in my purse or in my car cup holder and they don't take up too much room.

      By Angeltea9 from Pawtucket, RI

      Tip: Use Prescription Bottles for Custom Paints

      When I create a "custom" color with acrylic paint, I'll pour the "leftovers" into an empty, clean prescription bottle. Affix a white sticker on the cap and put a dollop of paint on it so you know what color is in the bottle.

      Tip: Discard Old Needles Inside Prescription Bottles

      When you are all done with a prescription bottle, save it to discard old craft needles or small knives in. Throw out the entire container. Wide containers also will hold a rotary cutter blade to dispose of.

      By quilter40 from Niagara Falls, NY

      Tip: Use Pill Bottles to Store Seasonal Hardware

      When putting away seasonal things that contain loose screws, bolts, etc., take an empty safety capped pill bottle to store them in. Label and then select a drawer or empty tool box/container to keep them in. You will always know where they are.

      By Joyce from Benson MN

      Tip: Prescription Bottle Sewing Kit

      You can use a prescription bottle to make a little sewing kit for travel or as a gift for a college student. It's the perfect size to fit a couple small spools of thread, a few needles, a needle threader, a thimble and some buttons.

      By Fisher

      Tip: Using Pill Bottles for Storage

      pill bottles

      I found the labels were really easy to get off my med bottles, so I am going to use them for this year's and last years seeds. I may also use them for craft stuff. So now whenever I finish a medication I clean the bottle and remove the label. That way they are ready to use when I find a need for one. I might paint some of them with chalkboard paint, as a way to label them. There are lots of sticker-type label options too. Reduce, recycle, reuse!

        By Bella Blue [43]

        By Bella Blue

        Tip: Reuse Prescription Bottles As Plant Filler

        I am on several different medications and every month I would throw the bottles away, because I did not know of any use for them, other than beading. The other night, I thought maybe they can be used in the bottom of plant jars, along with rocks. I haven't tried it yet, but I wanted to share the idea before I forgot about it. Take care all.

        By Nancy from Dover, DE

        Tip: Portable Sewing Kit in a Prescription Bottle

        One way to reuse prescription bottles is as a portable sewing kit. Put a spool of thread into the bottle, pierce a small hole in the lid and run the thread end out the lid. Put several needles and pins, however many you might need, inside.

        This way I can take sewing projects with me and finish them while I am waiting for appointments, etc. When I have a number of items to mend or hem, I either stack different bobbins in the bottle in different colors or use gray thread, which blends with almost any color.

        By Lynn

        Tip: Clean Medicine Containers Throughly Before Using

        Use old clean medicine containers to store change, buttons, or anything small. Just make sure you wash it carefully.

        By DEBRADJ from ILLINOIS

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        Here are questions related to Uses for Prescription Bottles.

        Question: Selling Empty Prescription Bottles

        Where can you sell empty prescription bottles?

        By mama62 from Fairhaven, MA


        Most Recent Answer

        By Catherine [5]01/15/2011

        Actually someone is selling them on eBay, or was a couple of months ago. You could post them on Craigslist or FreeCycle.
        Used prescription bottles are not safe for food since medications can leach into the plastic, and then back out into your food, but like others here, I couldn't see putting them in my recycle bin without at least trying to see if anyone wanted them. I posted on Craigslist in the 'for sale/wanted' section to see if anyone wanted them, and I had 4 responses within a couple of hours. One person wanted them to store beads and beading supplies, another to organize and store electronic parts, another wanted them to organize small craft supplies and one wanted them for a film he's making about the prescription drug industry. 2 of the people who wanted them said they'd check back with me in a few months to see if I had more.
        My DH put together a toolbox for a friend and he used a whole bunch of prescription bottles to hold different sizes of nails, screws, bolts and washers and the like.

        Question: Uses for Empty Prescription Bottles

        Does anyone have any ideas on how to use empty prescription bottles? Unfortunately I receive many medications on a monthly basis and I really do not want to throw them out. I have been using the large ones to collect spare change, mainly quarters for laundry. Thanks for your feedback!

        By Myrna from Bronx, NY

        Most Recent Answer

        By Alicia [6]04/11/2013

        I put sewing needles, pins, extra bobbins, buttons, etc. in them.

        Question: Old Medicine Bottles

        How can I earn money with old medicine bottles?

        Angelica from Thomaston, GA

        Most Recent Answer

        By pam munro [447]06/23/2009

        If you mean vintage bottles, many people like to collect them. I would think you could put them on consignment at a local antique store or sell them on eBay.

        Question: Reusing Prescription Bottles

        Can I legally reuse my prescription bottles? I put flax seed in empty ones. Do I have to take the label off?

        By Karen

        Most Recent Answer

        By cybergrannie [30]09/15/2013

        Hi - are you asking this question for your own personal/family use? If so, then it is okay to reuse as others have responded. If for other reasons - then I would not reuse.

        Question: Crafts Using Prescription Bottles

        Several prescription bottles.I have an abundance of empty prescription bottles. Does anyone have any ideas for craft projects using these bottles? Does anyone have other suggestions on how to use empty prescription bottles? I just hate throwing them away.

        By Squishy

        Most Recent Answer

        By Donna07/23/2012

        They are great for storing small crafting items like straight pins, seed beads, etc.

        Question: Using It All - Prescription Containers

        Has anybody figured out a use for those blue cases that some prescriptions come in?

        By zeke47 from Boise, ID

        Most Recent Answer

        By Dana Sipe [21]08/20/2009

        I haven't found a use for them so I just recycle them with our other plastics once a month. I make sure I peel the labels off first. Our garbage company takes plastics numbered 1-7!

        I like them because the days are labeled and I can remember if I took my pill that day. I also take the plastic foil thingy out (don't know what it's called)
        and throw it away before recycling.


        Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

        Archive: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        Does anyone have tips or craft ideas for using empty prescription bottles? I have many, and I hate to throw them away if they can be used or made into something. Thanks! Cathy from Bristol, TN

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        You can put together a mini first aid kit with first aid tape wrapped around a wooden match, a couple of needles, thread, bandaids, samples of antibiotic, alcohol prep wipes, & whatever else you can fit depending on the size of bottle. On the lid place a piece of sandpaper to light the wooden match in an emergency or to sterilize a needle. Empty Film Canisters also work well for this. (11/21/2006)

        By Sherri from Utah

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        CRAFT: We used to melt them and make pins out of them or necklace. You can press small beads into them when still hot or put beads inside and let the bottle melt around the beads. (11/21/2006)

        By cindy

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        You can re-purpose pill bottles by adding a few stones or marbles, putting the cap back on and using them as a pedestal holder for those tiny bathroom cups. (11/21/2006)

        By hsorbits

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        I label 7 bottles with the days of the week, and put them in a small dish. I put the medications and vitamins for each day in the proper bottle. Since we take some pills in the morning and some in the evening, I have one dish for A.M. and one for P.M. If we go out of town for a few days, I just put the bottles for the days we are going to be gone in a ziplock bag and pack them with our luggage. Harlean from Arkansas (11/21/2006)

        By Harlean from Arkansas

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        They can be sent to places like Haiti where they don't have them. A church should be able to help. Otherwise, another use is for forming flower petals for a panty hose flower. (11/21/2006)

        By Sharon

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        Why don't you decorate them (using scrapbooking papers) as containers for toothpics, sewing kit or waterproof matches. There are loads of ideas on scrapping sites.

        Have fun (11/22/2006)

        By Diana

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        They are great for dressing to take to pour on the salad rigth before eating. That way you do not have soggy salad for lunch. (11/22/2006)

        By patg

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        In addition to all the great ideas others have contributed, here's my small idea.

        As kids, we used to remove/soak off the labels, add beads or sparkle or crayon or anything interesting (including small flowers) and place the bottles on a cookie sheet. Mom would bake them for us (low heat for 10 minutes, I think). While still hot, we'd use a knitting needle to make a hole near the top and when cooled these made the greatest jewellery and window/wall hangings. If you're looking for a great way to entertain kids (and get them away from the TV), they might have fun with this.

        Cheers (11/22/2006)

        By Rose Anne

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        Take unused prescriptions back to your pharmacy for them to dispose of. DO NOT throw into the toilet or garbage. This is true for non-prescription medication as well. Check your medications for expiration dates every few months. I'd love to find out what temperature to melt the bottles at. I think I'm going to try the suggestions about melting them with a few beads inside as a craft project. (11/23/2006)

        By Connie from Canada

        RE: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        They are great for saving seeds that you picked and dried for next year. Just label a wall-ah. Ready for you in the spring. (11/25/2006)

        By kduchn

        Archive: Uses for Empty Pill Bottles

        Does anyone have ideas for using medicine bottles? I have a bucket full of clean, empty plastic pill bottles. Hate to just toss them.


        Archive: Uses for Empty Pill Bottles

        My husband and I have a lot of medicine bottles that I throw away. I hate throwing them away if they can be used for something else. Could someone give me some ideas on how to recycle them?


        Archive: Uses for Prescription Bottles

        Anyone have any ideas of what to do with old prescription bottles? I have been saving them for a long time. I want to use them for something useful or crafty, but haven't thought of anything yet.