Save your empty detergent bottles for use in a wide variety of crafts from seasonal decorations to toys. This is a guide about crafts using laundry detergent bottles.
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Plastic purse for a toddler, made from recycled detergent bottle.
Approximate Time: half an hour
By preserver from Manitoba
Editor's Note: Be sure that your bottle is entirely clean. Do not use any bottles that may contain a chemical residue, for safety.
Save the bright orange liquid detergent bottles during the year. Remove the label by soaking in hot water.
Decorate the front of the bottle with either black felt, or black fun foam cut into triangle eyes, and nose, and zigzag mouth. Glue these on with a craft glue.
If the lid to your bottle is not green, spray paint it green. Make leaves from green felt or fun foam. Attach leaves to green pipe cleaners. Attach to green lid. Use extra pipe cleaners wind them around a pencil to make them curly like a tendril from the vine.
The Cub Scouts made these to brighten the dining room of a local nursing home. They had as much fun making them as the older folks enjoyed them. Of course, seeing the young boys was a treat too!
To have enough bottles, they asked friends, neighbors to save the bottles for them. Most of the dining rooms have quite a number of tables.
By Barb from east TN
This is a fun and challenging project. But I think you will agree that the results are well worth it. Sean the Leprechaun is made to sit on a table or to hang on your door or wall. He is my adaptation of the Santa Heads that were so popular a couple of years back. I tried to use materials that were easy for anyone to get or that were recycled. That being said his parts can be any thing you have already around your house. The only things I bought at the Walmart were the felt and the goggle eyes. I had the ribbon left over from Christmas and also the chenille sticks.
Time to complete: 4 hours
In the area of the bottle where the label would be, cut a piece of felt and cover this area. Using the CD cover as if you were going to open it, Wrap the yarn around it 30 times. Slide off and wrap the center with a piece of a chenille stick. This is a yarn pouf. You will want to make 7 poufs of these to go across the front of the bottle. With scissors, poke holes in the bottle, push the two ends of the chenille stick in and open them up on the back. Use the CD case again but this time the long way, Wrap 6 poufs for each side of the face. Then using the DVD Case, wrap 8 poufs for the beard putting these on the bottom part of the bottle. Using the CD case again long ways, make 7 more poufs to go above the row of the beard. Make one more with the long way CD case for the mustache, centering this above the second row of the beard. Glue on Google eyes above the mustache and glue one flat gem on the mustache as a nose. Glue red scrap of felt under mustache for mouth.
For the brim of the hat: On corrugated cardboard, draw a half circle that is circumference of the bottle, Go out one inch from that line and make another half circle. This is the brim that you will cover with green felt. Go in one inch from the circumference line and draw another half circle. Cut around the line that is the brim line around the half circle. Now cut from the first line inward toward the circumference line so that you have tabs that can be bent up and glued to the bottle. Cover rim part of half circle with green felt. Cover bottom of the Country Crock margarine container with a circle of green felt. Cover sides of the margarine container, making sure to have a 2 inches longer that the container. Hot glue the margarine container to the bottle. Stretch the extra two inches down and glue to the brim of the hat. This will cover the tabs that you used to glue on the brim of the hat. Decorate hat rim with gold braid to cover the edge of the cardboard. With wide gold braid, make hat band and hot glue to hat. Decorate with foamy shamrock.
By Debra Frick
Laundry and detergent bottles can be cut using leather shears to make a variety of pre-school crafts. You will also need a heavy duty hole puncher purchased at an office supply store.
Soak the bottles and scrape labels off with a butter knife. Thoroughly dry them and cut out a large side of the bottle. Next cut out a desired shape such as a heart or star. Trim again to smooth the edges. Punch holes along border to make lacing board. Cut away a shape from center to make a stencil.
To make a Christmas tree, use a green bottle and cut out the shape of a tree. Punch lots of holes all over the tree. Cover the back of the tree with contact paper. Then punch out different color circles from other bottles to stick inside the holes in the tree. They will stick to the contact paper and look like lights.
By Barbara from Boston, MA
Craft ideas using laundry detergent bottles.
Cut the top half off a plastic clothes detergent or fabric softener bottle leaving as much of the handle as possible. The bottom half of the bottle will become the boat. The boat can be decorated with permanent markers. Put a stick down into the hollow handle and use a rubber band to attach a laundry detergent cap to the top to make a crow's nest. Provide lots of corks to be made into people to man the ship. Details can be added to the cork using a permanent marker. (Cork people are very good swimmers.)
You will need a clean, empty detergent, bleach or a gallon milk bottle, an old piece of pantyhose about 2-3 ft. long, depending on the height of those washing their hands, a bar of soap, a string with a larger nail tied to it on one end.
Insert the bar of soap into the pantyhose,s hake it to the bottom and tie off to enclose soap, then tie the other end of the pantyhose and the string with nail to the detergent bottle handle. With your nail, poke a hole into the bottom-side of the bottle, opposite the detergent bottle handle, fill your bottle with water, put the cap on and tie it to a tree branch.
You will want to have a towel near by. When you want to wash up, just pull the nail, lather up your hands with soap, then rinse and dry. Don't forget to put the 'plug' (nail) back so there is enough water for others.
You could do the same thing with craft supplies. WRite or make a label for each bottle and leave it handle side out toward the shelf and store crayons, markers, etc.
These are good to hang from trees full of bird seed or to use as a water scoop. Our well water is too cold to water our garden in the summer (Alaska) so we keep a large trash can full of water to water the garden. It warms up in the sun between waterings. A "detergent bottle scoop" would work well for scooping the water out.
Do you have ideas for making crafts with plastic laundry detergent bottles? Post them below.
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Here are questions related to Crafts Using Laundry Detergent Bottles.
Anybody have crafts for empty gallon laundry jugs?
Looking for a pattern for a grandma doll made from an Ivory soap bottle.
By Barb Sc from Daytona Beach, FL
By LadyMichelle 02/06/2012
How about this one?
I make toys out of laundry and detergent bottles. They are used by children over 3 years of age who typically do not put things in their mouth. But are they safe?
By Barbara from Boston, MA
I can't think of any reason why the bottles themselves wouldn't be safe to use as toys.
Does anyone have a doll pattern made from a detergent bottle?
Tina from Weber City, VA
By Marjorie C. Woodworth 01/21/2009
Looking for a pattern to crochet around a plastic detergent bottle.
Dorothy from Herman, NE
By Teena 12/07/2007
There are a couple here. Scroll down through list.
Can any one provide detailed instructions for making a bird house out of plastic laundry detergent bottles?
Elizabeth Jane, NC
By liz (Guest Post)02/24/2009
Gallon detergent bottles-Place with mouth of bottle faceing to the front-Hang from handle on top-For small birds leave in pouring spout-For large birds take out by pulling with pliers.