Re-Purposed Pill Bottle Christmas Tree Ornaments

Today would be a great day to use up a few of those pill bottles that you have been collecting. Why not turn a few into Holiday tree ornaments and be able to add them to your Christmas ornament collection. This is an easy project and will upcycle a few of those plain bottles that have accumulated over time.
My friend Tina whose son I went to school with many years ago suggested I take a few pill bottles and make Holiday ornaments with them. The request was made a few weeks back while we were at a tractor club meeting.
I didn't get very far at the time and the Holiday was still a ways away. Next thing you know it's the end of November and I had a project yet to do. I did get 5 or 6 bottles painted right away and a few days later developed the face ornament using 3D eyes purchased last year and painting on the rest.
Now that we are into December and you also may be looking for a simple craft to do why not base paint a few pill bottles ( including the lids but separately ) using good spray paint. Give them enough time to dry and you'll be ready to go. This project is something the kids can do as well and requires minimal supervision.
You can work with solid colors as in the second photo above. You can also take and stipple color onto the base coated pill bottle . I use worn brushes to do this but you can also crumple a piece of paper or plastic and dab the paint on . It is not necessary to apply a heavy coat of paint. Just place a small amount of two colors on a small plate dab the crumpled paper in each color then apply to the pill bottle.
A very basic abstract design can be painted like the two on the right. Or you can set up a can with some water in it , add a couple colors of oil base paint or fingernail polish to the top of the water and dip the bottle slowly into the water. The paint will coat the bottle with a unique pattern. This will take a while longer to dry, and may be a process you want to practice a couple times to get a good idea of the best way to go about it.
In the previous photo. Check out post, Marbelizing flower pots with spray paint by Ronda B. I did not take a picture when doing my pill bottles. I also used paint that could be poured.
Now for these guys. Using any of the painted bottles you could paint on a happy snowman or using a peel and stick piece simply stick the item on the pill bottle. ( Great idea for the little ones to do).
And it is not necessary to have the ornaments relate to winter. Much better to have it something that could be reflected on in the future.
The pill bottle with the fork was originally made as a recipe or message holder. I had removed the forks from some to now re-purpose and upcycled item. The artificial flowers came out okay but the fork was not willing.
I kept these bottles in the easy to do category so that one can get their own creative mind going and also keep it in the area that younger ones can do . Thanks for spending some time here.
Be glad to have you stop over to my website and check things out. You can also find out some about Card's Creative Canvases.
Good Crafting.
I set this tree up quickly 12/6/16 so the pill bottle ornaments could be seen.
I apologize for the cloudy photos. The camera lens has been scratched enough now that it really shows. Doesn't that blue faced guy have a great smile?

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Donna Jordan Nelson Donna Jordan Nelson on Oct 18, 2017
    How do you get the label off?

  • Sandra Sandra on Dec 08, 2018

    I am wondering, if the plastic is lightly sanded, to cause it to have a “bite”, would that help keep the paint from chipping off? Also, what about a spray sealer before putting the design on?

  • Betty Betty on Dec 10, 2020

    When you screw in the top for the hanger on the lid isn’t the sharp point sticking down in the top.? Do you understand what I mean?


Join the conversation

3 of 165 comments
  • Kim Fletcher Kim Fletcher on Jul 15, 2019

    I think this is a great idea. I think I would not glue the lids on, because they would make a great place to stash a surprise gift inside.... (money, candy, etc). Great way to Up-Cycle Old Pill bottles!

  • Jaye Jaye on Jan 04, 2021

    I unfortunately have several prescription pill bottles. I too love upcycling and have bags of these. The Christmas ornaments idea is a new one for me. I use the bottles to hide cash in when I want to pass it to someone discreetly when out in the public. The bottles are also where I save coins for the laundermat. Slips easily in my pocket. No need to take my purse or a change/coin purse inside.

    I am also a cross stitcher. I enlarge and print out the floss color and symbol codes for the pattern. I cut the information into strips and glue each strip to an individual bottle. As I am completing a project I have a place to neatly store my floss. There is always thread left on the needle so I throw the needle in there too until I need the color again. No lost needles and no confusion about which color floss to use. This is especially useful for projects with several different colors and shades of colors. When the project is completed and there is floss left over, I neatly place the bottles with floss in a utility cart drawer for use later. I include the list floss color numbers so that I know what I have. Saves money from having to purchase a skein of floss that I already have.