ContainersRecycled Crafts

Medicine Bottle Bamboo Vase

My dad saves all his medicine bottles in a big bag, just waiting to make new use of them. He is, after all, the one who taught me to be a thrifty upcycler. Here, I've made him a bamboo vase from 4 of his bottles. Depending on the type of medicine bottle, it is possible for them to interlock, creating a vacuum seal. If yours do not, you can use some strong glue like Loctite and hot glue to create a tight lock. Adding water is optional, and should only be done if you do achieve that tight seal. Have fun!

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 bamboo vase



  1. Drill a hole the size of your bamboo stems in 3 of the bottles bottoms, leaving 1 untouched.
  2. Place the undrilled bottle on the bottom as the base of the vase. Lock on or glue on a drilled bottle above it.
  3. Continue to add on the other two.
  4. If you've done the glue version, you can use a blade to trim some of the glue, or leave it as is.
  5. Pour some water in if you're using living bamboo stalks. It's nice watching the water slowly trickle down! Then, add the bamboo leaves. I taped a couple shorter stalks around the back of the vase to make it look more dramatic. :)

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September 11, 20180 found this helpful

This is neat and even the color is not bad - I'll have to think on this.
I know your Dad loves the things you make for him..
Glad we can share in your ideas..

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September 11, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you! He really likes the ones where he saves the items and I reuse them. He used to get in a lot of trouble for hoarding these things, but now he's part of the process. He will sit there and clean them real well, too, which is much appreciated! ;)

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September 18, 20180 found this helpful

Our outlook on what we may consider as "hoarding" can change as we sometimes have to look at why a person may be keeping certain things, especially as we all grow older (and wiser?).


I took care of my older sister the last 3 years of her life when she had Alzheimer's and I had to adjust to many things that were not the "norm" in my life. She would hoard rolls of paper towels and no matter what was said in the grocery store, she had to have several rolls in her basket or she did not want to go home.

Of course, she had "special" places to hide these rolls and we learned it was best to just let her have these things as they undoubtedly meant something to her that we could not understand.

She has been gone for many years now but I find that I can understand (and forgive/forget) matters like this a lot more after going through it with a loved one.

I'm glad that you can find things to do with your Dad that brings a smile to his face because, as you already know, these are the things that lasting memories are made of.

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September 19, 20180 found this helpful

I am so happy you wrote this to me, Betty. A lot of times my mother and I feel like no one understands us when we watch Dad's latest habits. You hit close to home with your recollections of your dear sister, and I thank you so much for sharing them. My dad also hides things in special places. I used to let it get to me until I finally understood that it's something only he gets.


I used to get annoyed finding empty plastic bottles stashed away. Now when I find them, I ask him if I can use them to create, and his eyes just light up. He takes interest in the fact that his idea of saving the plastics might have been a good one. He takes even more interest when we are photographing the finished product and he was the one who "gathered the materials" :) Thanks, again, Betty. Your insights and shared memories do me so much good.

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September 20, 20180 found this helpful

I have found that working with seniors with disabilities (real or imagined) and some that are just plain lonely has made me realize how fortunate I am to be 84 and still able to occasionally help others to forget about themselves and enjoy reminiscing or making something for themselves or for a loved one (they rarely see).

This is why I love your simple crafts that young and old can do and be able to display them proudly. Money always seems to be a factor in gift giving so I think this idea is going to be really neat for some of my friends as there is a never ending supply of medicine bottles and many are like your Dad and like to "save" things.


We may have to help with the gluing part but some love to buy flowers at the Dollar Tree when on their outings so I think we can cut the one or two flowers they like and fix it so they can change it.

I have decided to try a couple of the larger bottles and put some of our Dollar Tree marbles/stones in the bottom bottle to help steady it so this is kinda a "work in progress".

Everyone is trying to think of how to decorate the outside so there should be lots of ideas as we work on making gifts for the holidays. The easiest ones will be ribbons or tack on tiny objects but we'll see what they come up with in the coming weeks.

Tell your Dad that everyone is excited about using his and your idea for the medicine bottles.

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September 22, 20180 found this helpful

Aw thank you! I will tell him tomorrow-- he will be SO thrilled to hear about this. Please do let me know how you get along with this. I'd love to know about your twist on it! :)


You are very fortunate, indeed. You are a spunky soul and I'm so happy I have gotten to know you, thanks to ThriftyFun!

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