How to Upcycle a Plastic Bottle Into a Flower Vase

6 Materials
30 Minutes

This is a super easy project to make your own DIY vase from a plastic bottle. You’ll also find a great hack for removing label residue from plastic bottles without using harsh chemicals or rubbing alcohol.

I love a nice bubble bath and recently during a soak the blue colour of my plastic Bubble Bath bottle got me thinking about this upcycle project idea.

As well as bubble baths I also have a bit of an addiction to blue glass bottles. I pick them up at charity shops whenever I see them. My bubble bath bottle was exactly the same shade of blue as my glass bottle collection, so I decided that rather than recycle it, I should add it to my collection – despite it not actually being made of glass!  

First off, obviously you want to remove whatever labels are on the plastic bottle you have chosen. My Dr Teal’s Bubble Bath had labels on 3 sides. If your labels come off in one go and you have minimal sticker residue great! Just give it a rinse and dry and move on to the next step. 

If like me you were left with bits of label and sticky residue on your bottle then you can find my hack for removing this sticky label residue from a plastic bottle without harsh chemicals or having to leave your bottle to soak overnight in the full tutorial here.

I first intended to draw a line around the top of my bottle where I wanted to cut it, but then I noticed that where I really wanted to cut was along the line of where the bottle curves up to the top so I didn’t really need to draw a line as the bottle naturally had a line to follow. 

If your bottle is more straight up and down, then you can use a measuring tape to measure the height you want your vase to be and draw a line at that level all around the bottle with a sharpie. Use that line as your cutting guide. Ideally draw the line a tiny bit higher than where you actually want the top to be.

I started by piercing the bottle a little bit above where I wanted the top of my vase. The hole I made was just large enough to get my scissors into. I used a steak knife (because it was nearby), but you should use a craft knife as they are safer! Either way keep a good grip of your bottle while you make your fist hole so you don’t slip and hurt yourself. 

Once you can get your scissors in just cut around the bottle to remove the lid.

Once you have cut your bottle you will be left with some rough edges at the top. To ‘remove’ these you can use an iron.

I used the wool setting to do this, but essentially you just want a medium heat. This is also easier if you have an even height all the way around your vase. Mine is slightly raised and the front and back so I just had to angle around a bit to get the hot iron to touch all the edges enough to do the job.

Video of how to remove the rough edges with an iron.

That’s it, all that is left is to fill your vase with water and flowers. This is a super simple DIY vase tutorial for using your old plastic bottles – especially the ones with a fun colour!

I think it fits right in with my collection!

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Kristen Hubert

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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4 of 8 comments
  • Johnavallance82
    on Oct 29, 2019

    Hi, When I want to smooth the edges of a cut plastic item, I place an aluminium foil plate on top of electric cooker ,and put on low heat, then hold the cut edges of bottle etc. onto the aluminium plate and it melts evenly...

    • Kristen Hubert
      on Oct 29, 2019

      Nice. I’m getting so many different methods since posting this! Thanks!

  • MJ
    on Oct 29, 2019

    Great idea ! Final vase blends in with your other collection. A hot glue gun tip (minus the glue stick) works to smooth plastic as well.

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