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How to Recycle Plastic Soda Bottles Into Gift Boxes

Rebecca is a retired special education teacher, a freelance writer, and an avid recycler.

Create festive gift boxes from recycled soda bottles this holiday season!

Create festive gift boxes from recycled soda bottles this holiday season!

How to Make Eco-Friendly Gift Boxes Using 2-Liter Soda Bottles

Your eco-friendly friends will love this idea for getting small gifts from you in these boxes this holiday season. A little spray paint and some odds and ends from the Dollar Store can turn a two-liter soda bottle into an amazing little gift holder for gift cards, cash, jewelry, and other small gifts.

It’s a good project for kids, too—if you wanted to use it with them. You must do the cutting though, and let them decorate with acrylic paint, paper, and other safe items.

This idea can also be used for other gift-giving occasions by changing how you decorate the boxes.

Follow the tutorial and be a little “green” this year for the holidays. Best of all—your friends can reuse them!

Supplies Needed

You will need:

  • Empty (and clean) soda bottle
  • Card stock
  • Spray paint that adheres to plastic
  • Gift-wrapping tissue
  • Small bows
  • Holiday stickers
  • Sharpie
  • Xacto knife
  • Scissors

Step 1: Trace a Pattern

Trace a pattern like this one with the given dimensions on card stock. (A file folder will do—it's the same thing.)

Here is the pattern traced onto a file folder (or cardstock).

Here is the pattern traced onto a file folder (or cardstock).

Step 2: Trace Again With a Sharpie

Using a Sharpie, trace the pattern four times around the soda bottle a little more than halfway up.

Step 3: Cut Out the Shape

Use an Xacto knife to cut along the lines.

Use an Xacto knife to cut into the plastic 2-liter bottle.

Use an Xacto knife to cut into the plastic 2-liter bottle.

Step 4: Trim With Scissors

Don't worry if you didn't cut evenly. Trim it up with scissors.

Trim the excess with scissors.

Trim the excess with scissors.

Step 5: Fold the Flaps

Fold-down the flaps to form a lid for the gift box.

Step 6: Spray Paint

Turn the boxes over on jars and spray paint evenly. Allow them to dry.

Spray paint the bottles to transform them into something new and decorative.

Spray paint the bottles to transform them into something new and decorative.

Step 7: Decorate

Personalize by adding embellishments like stickers, bows, and other baubles. Place gift tissue inside them.

The finished product is nearly unrecognizable. Your loved ones (and the environment) will thank you!

The finished product is nearly unrecognizable. Your loved ones (and the environment) will thank you!

Fast Facts About Plastic Waste

  • Some plastic is sent overseas to be recycled.
  • Lots of plastic ends up in landfills where it takes from 500 to 1,000 years to decompose.
  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
  • More than one million plastic bags are used every minute.
  • Billions of pounds of plastic swirl in the oceans.
  • One billion seabirds and 100,000 marine animals die each year from plastic pollution.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on December 10, 2020:

Thanks!

Jess H from Oregon on December 09, 2020:

This is such a cute idea for Christmas! Being environmentally friendly makes it even better.

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 30, 2020:

Thanks, Peggy! Merry Christmas!

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 30, 2020:

Easy too! Thanks!

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 30, 2020:

Thanks, Chitrangada!

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 30, 2020:

Thanks, you're welcome

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 30, 2020:

Thanks!!!!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 29, 2020:

I like the idea of recycling, and what you made from plastic soda bottles is really pretty.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 29, 2020:

This is a very unique craft idea. I really like this.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 29, 2020:

Nice and creative gift idea. And the best part is reusing things, for the sake of environment. Plastic waste is a serious issue all over the world.

Thanks for sharing this great creative project.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 29, 2020:

Great craft idea, environment friendly too. Thank you for sharing.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 29, 2020:

Brilliant craft idea! I love this!