Crafts Using Laundry Detergent Bottles

July 25, 2007

Craft ideas using laundry detergent bottles.

Detergent Bottle Boats

These "Detergent Bottle Boats" are adapted from Crafts to Make in the Summer by Kathy Ross. The Millbrook Press, 1999.

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.)

Ball Catchers

You can make ball catches out of the bottles. Here's a link with instructions.

By Kathleen Bennett


Clean them up really good. Let the kids drop clothespins into the opening. Good for fine motor actions.

By Mildred


Try cutting small holes in the bottle and punching a hole in the cap. Thread a sturdy wire or string through the hole in the cap. Paint or decorate the bottle, fill with bird seed and hang outside for your feathered friends to enjoy while the kids play outside.

By Jennifer

Camping Clean Up

Wash your hands when camping. My mother used to do this whenever we would go camping. It worked well, we could clean up before getting into the camper before meals.

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.

By Mary

Storage Containers

My aunt still uses hers on her clothesline to hold clothespins. You could make a row of them and decorate them for the laundry room. Cut tops off of them, leaving the handle (or not). Use one to hold fabric softener sheets, solo socks or mittens, etc. I have a jar on my laundry shelf that I store anything I find in the laundry. My kids have to sit and stare at it knowing they have to earn it back from me. I also have a jar for money, I call it "Paying the maid" or "Paying the laundry lady".

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.

By Tawnda

More Uses

Use them to put salt in for winter time. Since they already have a handle and spout, it'd work great! Also, you can find a way online to make your own laundry soap, and fabric softener. If you clean it good enough, you could even use it to put pet food in for easy pouring. Also, for the smaller laundry bottles, you could wash well, and use as a watering pitcher for your indoor or large outdoor plants. When it rains heavy, you could put it outside to collect the rain to use to water the plants instead of using house-water.

More Reading:

You can find more ideas for laundry detergent bottles on here:

Do you have ideas for making crafts with plastic laundry detergent bottles? Post them below.

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8 More Solutions

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December 18, 2009

Make a Christmas tree made out of a laundry bottle. Cut out the shape of the tree using leather shears. Punch the holes using a heavy duty hole puncher. Next punch out holes from other bottles to get circles of different colors.

tree shape cut from a green laundry soap bottle with ornaments punched from a red one

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Save the bright orange liquid detergent bottles during the year. Decorate the front of the bottle with either black felt, or black fun foam cut into triangle eyes, and nose, and zigzag mouth.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 1, 2007

Looking for a pattern to crochet around a plastic detergent bottle.

Dorothy from Herman, NE


December 6, 20070 found this helpful

several on this page

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December 7, 20070 found this helpful

There are a couple here. Scroll down through list.


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February 1, 2012

Looking for a pattern for a grandma doll made from an Ivory soap bottle.

By Barb Sc from Daytona Beach, FL


February 6, 20120 found this helpful

How about this one?

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December 16, 2009

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 smith from Boston, MA


January 7, 20100 found this helpful

I can't think of any reason why the bottles themselves wouldn't be safe to use as toys.

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January 21, 2009

Does anyone have a doll pattern made from a detergent bottle?

Tina from Weber City, VA


January 21, 20091 found this helpful

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May 25, 2012

Anybody have crafts for empty gallon laundry jugs?

By Donnawyn01

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