Idea for Empty Prescription Bottles?

thrift_shop_romanticFebruary 8, 2008

So I keep looking at my empty prescription bottles, and think: "Hmm, what can I do with these other than recycle them?"

Obviously I could decoupage them and make them into pretty little vintage style pill bottles to put in the purse. But I was hoping for something a little different than that...

And I know YOU are the folks to ask!

Any ideas? I'd hate to just chuck them all.


Here is a link that might be useful: My crafting/thrifting/vintage decorating blog

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Decorate them with a nice lable and fill them with matches, glue a striker surface inside the cap and gift them to friends and family for camping, fishing, hiking, gold prospecting, survival kits etc.

That's my two cents.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 6:00PM
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I watched HGTV today and on the quilting show they drilled a hole in the top of a prescription bottle for broken needles, pins, etc. so you don't have to throw them in the trash loose. They also used the bottles to sort bobbins of thread by color.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 8:56PM
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Pill bottles are usually airtight so they make great seed savers. I have also used them in drawers and added all of those little items that end up in the junk drawer- buttons etc. In the garage they can hold screws and nails.
You might also do a search for what to do with film canisters to get other idea. The bottles are often similar in size.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 3:15AM
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Thank you all! There are some really good ideas here. The seed savers concept is particularly appealing, given last year I was putting seeds in a very stylish (ahem!) plastic baggie. :)

The sewing items idea is a good one, too, though. They'd fit so nicely in a sewing box.

Hmmm... so much good food for thought! Thank you for your time and brainpower, everyone.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:11AM
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I hadn't thought about this in ages! My Grandmother, who deeded me her "crafty genes", used to do crafts with my brother and me. One that we loved was to melt (in the oven) prescription bottles along with bits of glass, chunks of crayon and other little "doo dads" like broken jewelry, etc. This worked especially well with the hard plastic amber bottles - I haven't tried with the newer more opaque ones...Anyway, you arrange little piles of junk, bake in a 500 degree oven on an old cookie sheet until it flattens the piles out and once cooled, they make really pretty medallions for necklaces and sun catchers/windchimes. You just have to drill a hole in them.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Hi susie bird,

When you put these little piles in the oven, were all these doodads + the bottles just all grouped together, or were the doodads inside the bottles?

This idea appeals to me....I think I have a ton of these amber prescription bottles and loads of costume jewellery that I inherited from my mom.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 11:53AM
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I have faced this, also.

I do a lot of crafting.
I have a label maker and I label each pill bottle for speed of time in finding something.

I use them for beads, jewelry making pieces, seed saving, small amounts of spices for the camper...

Also, there is a local church that collects them and they recycle the containers in third world countries when they do a medical clinic.
They will even take the remaining medications if, for whatever reason, you were not able to use it.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 2:57PM
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Hm... I do have the amber bottles myself. In addition to Justlinda's question about whether you put the goodies inside the bottles before you bake them, do you line the cookie sheet with something like wax paper?

I too have a lot of little beads and doo-dads that would be useful here, and can actually see getting into this sort of craft.

I do also like Wandaredhead's reuse idea, though, too.

That's the marvelous thing about these boards-- you get so many different ideas and options you'd never come up with on your own.

Many thank yous to everyone.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:58AM
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Don't know why I forgot this one.

I put several bottles standing upright in a plastic bowl.
Put them close so they won't tip over.
I fill the bottles with water and freeze.

The size is wonderful for ice cubes for those drink bottles with small tops.

I also either drill a small hole in the tops or use aluminum foil over the tops and make a small hole in the foil.

These work great for rooting leaves like African violet, herbs, etc.

There was a study that said clear containers work better than colored containers but I have had good luck with the medicine bottles.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Please everyone be very careful about 'melting' plastic in or on the stove - they can put out hideous fumes that can make you sick and possibly kill pet birds (as will Teflon fumes). Your grandmother may have gotten lucky with a particular type way back when, but considering all the chemical junk that's out there now, I wouldn't take a chance.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:56PM
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THANK YOU !! You guys are the greatest! I'm the least crafty person in the world - but love the trash to treasure & am an avid recycler...
You would not believe how many plastic grocery bags of pill bottles I have!!! [I never told my DH that I moved them to the new house.. shhhhhh it's a secret!!]
I've given lots to a couple of friends who do crafts for storage...
But we have a 'farm museum' which also sells heirloom seeds. and I called them to see if they'd like some pill bottles...
As long as I promised to never tell -- the museum will take them -- the last thing they need is a hundred people showing up with their 'pill bottles' . They don't want to be tossing or storing them either!
Tell me why the industry hasn't come up with a bottle that decomposes after a while..

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 4:07PM
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Once my mother filled one with quarters and wrote on the outside "take one a day or as needed". She gave it to my son for his birthday.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:05PM
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I saw some that had been put over the small white bulbs of Christmas lights, the kind you string on your porch. The bottles gave the lights an amber glow.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:12PM
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I just use them to better organize my drawers. At my bathroom dressing table, they hold eyeliners and eyebrow pencils upright so they're easier to locate quickly. A larger one holds my mascaras. In the laundry room drawer, they hold stray buttons, paperclips, etc. Nothing exotic or imaginative, but they do help me to stay more organized.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:46PM
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they make a nice sewing kit, cheap bobbins filled with thread will stack inside then put needles and pins in the middle, decorate the out side and make a small pin cushion for the top.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 3:53PM
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I fill each with $10 in quarters and keep 2 in the trunk of each car. If you break down, unlike paper money, they can be used for pay phones. They can be used for vending machines or food while youre waiting for help to come get you at a resteraunt or conveniance store. They can be used for oil, gasoline, a tire repair, a tip for someone who stopped to help fix a flat. Simple things like a new headlight bulb, wiper blade etc etc etc the list goes on. They can also be used for toll booths and parking meters. I find that $20 in quarters just seems like a handy thing. The trick is to remember theyre in your tool box or trunk when you need them and to keep them refilled when you use some.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Here is what I did with my lids and they are so easy and pretty.

Here is a link that might be useful: plant markers

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 4:37AM
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I'm glad this thread got revived as i've got a bunch of them as well. I never thought about the air tightness for matches and spices for camping. I was thinking of using some of the larger ones for concrete molds for mushroom stems. They would be a nice size for turret molds on the top of sand castle walls at the beach too.
Saving seeds container is a great idea.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:31AM
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You could also donate or sell them to a Speech Language Pathologist (check your local nursing/rehab center) to use in therapy, teaching people medication management~

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 8:13PM
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My husband collected a bunch from family for years. They always wondered what he was going to do with them. He made a very cool table out of them using these as the legs. I need to take a photo of it sometime

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 4:27PM
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Hubby uses the bigger ones in the garage to hold various screws, nails, washers, etc.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:58PM
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I made little first aid containers: bandaids (roll them to fit), single use or little antibiotic tube, folded q-tips, etc. Very handy in car or purse

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:49AM
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I like the first aid idea... great post!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 11:36PM
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I love the idea of melting stuff in the oven to make wind chimes or garden art. Yes, any fumes would be dangerous, but that is what open windows and fans are for. I will just arrange everything in the oven, open the windows and put a large fan in a window taking all the fumes out. Then while it is baking, I'll work in the garden outside. When the time is up, just turn off the oven, leave the oven door open but take my "art" outside to cool. Keeping the fans on all the while. After an hour I am sure the fumes will be pulled out.

What a fun, inexpensive idea. I'll probably add some of those glass stones. To make sure nothing explodes, I'll put some lid or cover over the glass, tho.

Let us know if anyone does this. I cannot do photos but I would love to see your photos.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 6:33PM
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I get my prescriptions from Target. Their bottles are bright red and odd shaped. I am going to turn them into a large solar light for the yard once I get enough of them collected. :o)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 4:29PM
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Love this ideal about the empty prescriptions bottles! Thank you! Im new here and i love this website already!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:17PM
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I melt mine in the oven and made a spiral sun catcher wind chime from them with beads it is beautiful and has held up well mine is 2 yrs old and still pretty

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 6:35AM
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I put root tone in one and keep it with my gardening tools. It make is easy to dip a plant stem into when rooting new plants and I use the edge to tap off the excess. Works great and is not messy.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Please DON'T melt plastics in your oven. The fumes are toxic, accumulate in your body over the years, and an open window isn't enough to protect you. Residue coats the interior of your oven and will contaminate future foods you cook. You can't get all of the residue out by washing the oven because it is inside the air flow vents.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2015 at 12:53AM
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