Craft Ideas for Used Medicine or Pill Bottles

August 1, 2011

Empty Pill BottlesI really hate seeing the medicine bottles from Target go to waste and would like to know what they can be used for other than keeping screws or such in them. What have others done or might think to do with these? It's such a waste and I figure since the holidays are coming up that it would be fun to create some kind of project with them.


By Beth


August 1, 201121 found this helpful

I have put rice or small things like that in them, sealed them shut with hot (or regular) craft glue. You can put a pom-pom on the cover and Poof! An inexpensive cat toy. I've also seen them decorated to look like angels, etc. with the wooden ball glue on the top of the bottle for the head, etc. (Angels, Nativity figures, etc. come to mind as do Santa, elves and reindeer).
Once I got to thinking about this, I did a quick search and found a lot of ideas. I saved some of my favorites. I'll share with anyone that wants them. Now my mind is running to the craft store to get

August 2, 20118 found this helpful

As far as crafts, I'm not quite sure. But I re use them all the time for when I travel with my vitamins and such, so I don't have to take the whole freaking bottle. I suppose you could hot glue some type of fabric around them to decorate them? :p

August 2, 20110 found this helpful

I saw something in one of my magazines once a couple years ago. I believe it was ReadyMade, but could have been Martha Stewart, too. They gathered a whole bunch of the bottles, and attached them together to make a red wreath. You know where the labels are stuck on the bottles? They were attached together label to label. Because they're wedge-shaped they made a wreath very nicely.


I'm going to do a quick search . . .

. . . it was ReadyMade! I found where a few people mentioned it, but no images. This person wrote up some instructions. Wish I had a pic to share, but this is the best I can do:

August 3, 201111 found this helpful

I keep one in each vehicle for giving change at the bank or pharmacy windows. It holds quarters quite nice. One in my purse for loose change, so I never have to hunt. A couple are used for sewing needles and small craft items. One is a toy for the cats, partially filled with beans. I have stuffed plastic shopping bags in the larger ones (you can fit three in a medium bottle) so you always have a plastic bag.


Try it. I have the washcloths in one that you can buy that are dyed, and look like a big tums tablet until you wet it so we have washcloths we can wet with bottled water. The list can be endless.


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August 3, 20117 found this helpful

If you have the proper tool to punch a small hole in assorted types of plastic you could make some nice wind chimes by punching a hole in the bottom of the bottle and stringing them chime style. The different sizes and types of plastics of the bottles would make a nice delicate melody in the wind and you could decorate them with paint made for plastics :-)

April 7, 20163 found this helpful

You don't need a special too. Just heat up a pin tip and apply to the plastic. You will probably have to do this a couple times, but the plastic meltls.


You can also heat up a small metal screwdriver if you need a bigger hole.

September 5, 20167 found this helpful

I collect empty pill bottles and make bubble blowing containers out of them. I make a blower out of plastic canvas and hot glue the blower to the inside of the lid.


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September 3, 20170 found this helpful

Your link took me to the front page of the newspaper. I guess you have to subscribe to get to the activities page, or to go directly to any specific page.


What is ReadyMade? Is it a magazine, a website, or what?

January 9, 20181 found this helpful

I am Recreation Director at a nursing home now. Previously I worked at a pharmacy and could still have access to a lot of empty medicine bottles. I will appreciate it if you would share your ideas with me. Thanks, Meena.


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January 21, 20180 found this helpful

I have an Ice pick dedicated to craft projects. Just heat it and then use to make the hole. If you have a gas stove that works best. Just stick in the fire a but. My pick has a wooden handle.

July 2, 20180 found this helpful

I am interested in crafting with pill bottles. If you have any thoughts, I could use any crafting ideas for children to do at the after school program I work at. Thanks.

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December 23, 2009

Recycled medicine bottles for carolers. I took 3 medicine bottles and turned them upside down. I painted the wooden balls a flesh color, let dry then painted faces with black paint.

Three medicine bottle carolers.


11 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

July 15, 2012

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 Nonniebo23


July 16, 20126 found this helpful

Yes. These are great fo many uses. Sequins, safety pins, straight pins, tacks, Few dollars or change for vending machines, toll booths, car wash, Etc. beads, jewelry, bit of Epson salts or bath salts or bubble bath, shampoo & conditioner, facial wash-when traveling, stick matche, -but you'll need a strip of the part to scratch on to light it.


Other craft things-bits of string or ribbon, jewels, stickers, charms, earring backs, or hooks, buttons, snaps, pin backs, household hooks & small magnets, screws, nails, nuts & bolts, cone inscense, postage stamps, fresh herbs & spices, cake sprinkles, cake decor dots. I bet you can think of some more! The possibilities are endless with small things.

July 23, 20125 found this helpful

I use mine for storage of small craft items, rubber bands, etc. But I took a large amount to the veterinarian - asked first.


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July 23, 20122 found this helpful

Try to see what they look light with a light inside them. If it looks good buy a led garland and put a led in each bottle.

July 23, 20123 found this helpful

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

September 24, 20160 found this helpful

I have made spice racks with the larger pill bottles for spice containers. They make great Christmas gifts.

May 19, 20170 found this helpful

Try making a Christmas Tree!!!

January 1, 20180 found this helpful

I've used them in many of the same ways. My all-time fave use is for OTC pills (Ibuprofen mostly). A cap with raised font is awesome for touch recognition in the car, the dark, etc. Also superior for coins instead of buying paper wrappers, toting paper clips, single serving of candies (M&Ms! Skittles); ear plugs! Sugar/salt packets. So on and so forth

December 12, 20180 found this helpful

They are terrific for holding toothpicks. I have one in every glove box!

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September 23, 2007

Does anyone know of a way to use the brown pill bottles as an arts and crafts project?

Theresa from Hibbing, MN


September 24, 20073 found this helpful

Well you can use those brown label pill bottles to hold craft items
2-you could decorate those pill bottles for display as curios
3- you could use those pill bottles as supports for homemade things like artificial trees bridge supports or other miniature display things.(Only you will know that pill bottle is part of it)
4-I would imagine the caps could make great handicap checkers
5-and with a lot of your imagination Christmas tree ornaments are possible.
I can probably come up with many more. Feel free to Email me.
Crafts Are Partly Supplies The Rest Is Your Imagination
Good Luck from Mr. Thrifty

By Jazzylazzy (Guest Post)
September 25, 20074 found this helpful

Remove the label. The sequins and sparkly things package from a crafts store or party confetti and clear packaging tape can be used to make a treasure bottle or a dry match container for scouts or campers. Cut a piece of tape that will fit around the bottle. Lay it down sticky side up. Put your design of sequins or confettin on the tape. Place the tape around the bottle. I use small boxes of wooden matches by putting the matches in the container, cutting the striker piece off the box, and putting it in the container as well.


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September 25, 20073 found this helpful

I bought an xacto knife set.2 handles&5 different blades.I had a pill bottle tall enough.In the bottom I put in 2 cotton balls.As I said in another post,I invested in a hand held label maker...I label every thing...Keeper

By pikkymama (Guest Post)
September 26, 200710 found this helpful

Place pill bottles on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven - you have to watch them as they start to become soft. You don't want them too soft to the point of becoming "mushy". Remove them from the oven when they are pliable and either shape them the way you want or leave them the way they come out of the oven. They cool down rapidly. They usually come out different shapes when you use different size bottles. My mother used to do this but I can't remember what oven temperature she used. I can't ask her because she passed away a couple years ago. After they cooled down she would fill them with different colored sand making a rainbow in the bottle. In the top of the bottle she would place the stems of a few minature flowers (purchased from craft store) in the sand and then seal that with a small amount of hot wax. They looked like little vases with flowers. You can also take these bottles of different shapes and sizes, punch holes in the bottom while still soft then string fish line thru them and paint or otherwise decorate them making them like hanging chimes!

October 10, 200718 found this helpful

A craft I have bought locally is a "cheer-up/get well soon" bottle which is filled in this manner...

1. Put a sticker on the top of the bottle (lid). A smiley face works well.

2. Print a Label that says something like "God's prescription for cheer."

Instructions would be to "read a note inside for instant cheer."

3. Put that label on the side of the bottle.

4. Take verses from the Bible, especially the ones in Proverbs, and print those on cardstock. Cut these apart, and put about 8 to 12 of these in each bottle.

I can not give you a source of the lady who does this craft. But she is from North Carolina, and sets up at a crafts show near me every year. I am not sure if it is her original idea or not, but it really does sell well at $1.25/each bottle.

February 20, 20171 found this helpful

Use a "locking" bottle to give batteries with toys.

April 28, 20170 found this helpful

I make a game of them, stack as high as you can to make a pyramid then count them , as the next kid awaits their turn. Each kid knocks down their own pyramid that's their favorite part.

July 16, 20171 found this helpful

My Mom would let us put 5 or 6 of her clear, coloured plastic beads in a pill bottle, then bake it/ them in the oven until it melted into a circle. We drilled a small hole at the top of the circle, & hung them as suncatcher ornaments.

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April 7, 2011

I am trying to come up with "crafty" ways to make something out of medicine bottles and margarine containers (other than using them to store things in, etc., an actual object). Any suggestions?

By DEB from Fulton, NY


April 13, 20114 found this helpful

I remember my grandmother had a margarine tub "doll" when I was a kid. She kept buttons in there. It was a crocheted skirt with ruffle edging around the tub. The lid had an actual barbie doll's upper torso attached and a crocheted dress that draped over, so when the lid was on it looked like a girl with one of those old period gowns on. As for medicine bottles, I've been wondering what to do with them myself!


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April 16, 20114 found this helpful

Cover the bottles with "Sculpey" or "Fimo" polymer clay designs. I have found that the plastic bottles and lids will come through the 275 degree baking process just fine. I sold a lot of these bottles a few years ago to people who wanted them for pill containers.

April 24, 20126 found this helpful

I use washed out margarine tubs for the following :-
To store my seeds that I collect in eg runner beans, sunflower
To keep left over foods in the fridge, eg baked beans,
To fill with soil and start off my seeds in them on the window sill
To use as 'saucers' to hold my small plant pots

February 8, 20168 found this helpful

Empty pill bottles: store q-tips for travel; store jewelry for travel; loose coins for the car console; art school teachers/kindergarten use them; paint the top of the pill bottle-then glue a small flower or beads to the top - put a pretty pair of earrings into the pill bottle as a gift; a paper gift certificate in the bottle; carry band aids in the bottle; paper clips.

May 27, 20180 found this helpful

He could hot glue a bunch of them together in a rectangle shape and use them to organize your desk drawer in an office are in your home office. Put tacks, paper clips, rubber bands, stapels, ect...

December 19, 20180 found this helpful

Can you plz send me a picture of your crafts specially the pill bottle. Thank you and god bless. Cookie

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April 17, 2016

Currently I take many medications and have leftover bottles. I would like to make a prescription bottle wreaths and deck lights. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to make these crafty ideas?

Thank you.


July 23, 20173 found this helpful

Cut out bottoms (except bottom one) and stack/ glue on top of one another to create a bamboo effect to create a "bamboo vase ". Also you can decorate and use to store ear buds.

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February 26, 2016

This is a page about making a pill bottle first aid kit. Having a mini first aid kit in your purse or backpack can come in handy.

Making a Pill Bottle First Aid Kit

February 18, 2016

This is a page about making a pill bottle hide-a-key. It is easy to have a weather proof hidden key outside your home to make sure you can always get inside.

Making a Pill Bottle Hide-a-Key

May 15, 2017

Get creative with empty medicine bottles and make as many of these cute carolers as you like. This is a page about how to make medicine bottle carolers.

Three medicine bottle carolers.

October 7, 2015

This is a page about making pill bottle pumpkins. Recycle your empty prescription bottles into these cute treat holders.

Making Pill Bottle Pumpkins

May 30, 2020

Medicine bottles can be used to create this decorative bamboo vase. The bottles are drilled through the bottom and glued together to resemble a bamboo stalk. Artificial bamboo is used here, but if the assembly is water tight it can be filled with water and live bamboo added.

Medicine Bottle Bamboo Vase - vase with a bamboo stalk and several stalks taped to the back

July 9, 2019

Pill bottles, spray paint in your choice of color, and some yarn are used to make these cute little vases to gift Mom on her special day. This page contains photos and easy to follow instructions.

Mother's Day Pill Bottle Vases - painted bottles with flowers inside

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