a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

Re-uses for plastic pill bottles

on July 12, 2012

If you’ve been following my blog, at all, you’ve figured out that I love to upcycle, recycle, and re-use whenever possible – sometimes just to be practical, sometimes just see if I can do it (I love a good challenge as long as it doesn’t involve a trip to the E.R.).

Plastic pill bottles. Realistically, there must be dozens (or more) uses for these, including taking them to the veterinarian (which is what I do with most of ours) and animal shelters for re-use, to the homeless shelters to store small items, or turning them in to a local recycling plant (if you have one).

I try to keep a few back to have on hand because I’m always finding a new use for them. In addition to keeping a couple in the car to collect wildflower seeds from our travels, I also use them to store small crafting beads and earring backs. (I’ve even heard of someone using them to store Barbie doll items like shoes, brushes, & purses – clever!) 

Here are a few other uses for the (washed out and dried) bottles…

This is my emergency sewing kit. It has some safety pins, a couple of buttons, some duct tape (wrapped around a piece of plastic drinking straw and used in case sewing is not an option for that hem that’s falling out), needle and thread. I have white and black thread – each is wrapped around the end of another piece of plastic drinking straw (long enough to hold the thread but short enough to fit in the bottle). I clipped a 1/4 inch “notch” at the end of the straw to keep the thread from unraveling. The needle is always kept threaded – you can slip it into the straw and stick the thread in the straw notch to keep it from falling out. The only thing I’m missing is a little, inexpensive pair of nail clippers to cut the thread with (a small pocket knife would work but you can’t travel with that).

Rubber band 3 or 4 pill bottles together (use several rubber bands — some to hold the bottles together and some in case you need an elastic!) and use them to organize your desk or drawers. Push pins or thumb tacks, paperclips, safety pins, straight pinsstaples, postage stamps, or even small erasers will fit. Write the contents (or color code?) on the lids and you’re good to go – and no more spilling! Leave the lids off on wide-mouth bottles and use for pen/pencil holders.

(Here’s a great wish list of fun and useful office gadgets; http://workawesome.com/office-life/11-gadgets-you-should-have-on-your-office-wishlist/ My favorite is the “app magnets.” Must put those on my Christmas list…).

You can also use the wide-mouth jars as a small first aid kit for your car, purse, or travel bags. You can get many small packs or singles of things at the local drug store (ie; hand wipes, aspirin, etc.) and, for other things, like I have here (sting, iodine, & alcohol wipes), you can purchase singles of these at http://www.shelfreliance.com/all-products/emergency-kits-supplies/first-aid.html. Add a few band-aids (adhesive strips) and any other item you think you might need, like a small whistle or burn cream packs and you’ll always be ready for those little mishaps. (Get a few of each thing to make up several small first aid kits to keep on hand, no matter where you are).

I’m always needing change for something so I keep a small pill bottle of it in my car. This smaller size is perfect for quarters (and you can always see if you’re running out!) but I also include a few dimes, nickles, & pennies – you never know what you’re going to need when you’re out and about.

I’ve also used pill bottles to; store matches for both camping and my go bag (you do have your go bag ready, don’t you?); to keep a couple of plastic bags on hand (I know, a plastic bag doesn’t seem too important but, when you’re traveling with dogs, something always seems to get wet and/or barfed on so it’s a godsend – really); to store toothpicks that won’t fit in the regular holder; and for all those hardware bits and pieces that I have just one or two of rolling around the junk drawer.

(And, if you get really creative, you can decorate these with mod podge & papers, fabrics, paints & markers (for plastic) — and have the kids help. They’d love it!  And, speaking of kids – please don’t use pill bottles for food. Small kids might not know a bottle of medicine isn’t for them to eat if they associate the bottle with food/candy).


2 responses to “Re-uses for plastic pill bottles

  1. Reblogged this on Real Penny Wi$e and commented:
    Some great re-uses for the lowly prescription pill bottle! Visit me on Pinterest for the best examples of re-purposed items!

  2. LB Driver says:

    Thank you, so much, for the re-post! I love sharing ideas! 🙂

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