Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Upcycled Plastic Bottle Rainbow Flowers

Hello! Do you recycle some of your trash? As a crafter, I have lots of bags filled with recycled items such as plastic soda and water bottles plus other discarded plastic items! I just never know when I might need them for a project!

I love that it's a fun and creative way to give those plastic items a new lease on usefulness while helping the environment, too! So I'm happy to share with you a cool way to make adorable, colorful flowers out of plastic bottles, along with all the pitfalls I came across in trying to make them! And it's all just in time for our Sustainable Craft Challenge Blog Hop hosted by Julie @Sum of their Stories! This month's theme is Rainbow!

Have you ever heard of the term ROYGBIV pronounced Roy G Biv.  I first heard this term many years ago while in college and now when someone talks about a rainbow, I always think of Roy G Biv, the colors of the rainbow!  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet! Cool, right! So imagine how delighted I was to actually make a craft in the colors of the rainbow! Creating flowers in the colors of the rainbow from plastic bottles is a sustainable way to help the environment while adding a creative, pretty touch to your decor! So let me tell you how I made the plastic bottle rainbow flowers and what went wrong!  

Materials used:

  • Plastic soda bottles
  • Utility knife and small sharp scissors
  • Flower petal templates (graduated sizes)
  • Chalk pen
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Candle (open flame)
  • Acrylic multi-surface paints
  • Paint brushes, sponges
  • Awl/foam
  • Stem wire (16 gauge)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Snips
  • Gloss Mod Podge

I first started with a clean, dry 2 liter soda bottle with the label removed. 

Then I cut out the smooth section of the bottle by removing the top area first, and then the bottom. Small, sharp scissors worked best for me! Be sure to save those pieces for future projects especially since I found that most plastic bottle flowers are usually made using the tops and bottoms of the soda bottles! Perfect shapes for flowers!

I wanted to make flowers with individual petals so I made graduated flower images on cardstock to cut out and use as templates.

Then I started cutting the petals out on the smooth surfaces of the soda bottles.

Once I had enough petals to make a flower, I lit a candle and began carefully shaping and curling each petal by holding the edges of the petal over the heat of the flame and not the flame itself. You don't want to burn the plastic. I used a small flat screw driver to hold the plastic petal while moving it around the edge to curl. 

To assemble the flower, I had plan on grouping two of the smaller petals to place in the center of the flower. I should have known things were not going to plan when I had trouble gluing the two smaller petals together along with a few of the other petals. I first tried Fabri-Tac, my go to quick grab glue - which worked when I made this! Then I tried Gorilla Super Glue and a couple of others, like RapidFuse and Quick Hold. I guess you're wondering why I didn't try E6000? The drying time was just too long to use for connecting the petals. It would have taken me days to complete this project. Hot glue did manage to keep the pieces together, but I had to use an awful amount and it made a mess on the plastic. 

Then I had the bright idea to google what glues were made to hold plastics together and found a flexible adhesive - Loctite, for vinyl, fabric and plastic! I rushed over to Michaels which had it in stock. However, I should have read the fine print that says to hold together until set (30 minutes) for each piece, in a well ventilated area - vapor harmful, may affect brain or nervous system! Plus, do not use near heat or flame. So using that was out of the question!   

So I went to plan B! Which was not using any glue at all!

I had a couple of smooth plastic 2 liter soda bottles I had gotten from the Dollar Tree. The smooth portion of the bottles would allow me to cut out whole layers of flower petals grouped together whereas the other brand name soda bottles would not! So I got to cutting out the plastic from the tops and bottoms. Since there were no visible lines on the top of the bottle, I placed masking tape around the top so I could try to cut a straight line around it. First using a utility knife to cut a short line and  .  .  .

then using my trusty small sharp scissors to cut out the rest of the bottle.
Just look at the amount of smooth plastic I cut from this bottle!

Here, I'm cutting the plastic open. 
And laying out the flower patterns to see how many flowers I can make with one soda bottle!
Then drawing the patterns on using a chalk pen.It was easier for me to cut the plastic into strips to draw on the patterns since the plastic was so curly.

And then, cutout!
Once the flowers were cut out, used a microfiber cloth to remove the chalk lines.

Once all the flowers were cut out, began shaping them by holding over the heat of a lit candle. Watching the edges gently curl - one petal at a time .  .  .

until all the petals were curled.

Once the flowers cooled, it was time to color them.  I wanted the flowers to have a translucent look, so I started with a red alcohol ink since red is the first color of the rainbow.  I'll show you how all the plastic flowers were made using the red one first. 
I don't know what type of plastic the soda bottles are made out of, but the alcohol ink did not take or stick to it .  .  .

no matter what I did and I've used alcohol inks before. No wonder a lot of DIY flowers were made with color plastic soda bottles! 

So I got out my multi surface acrylic paints to color the flowers - which made them opaque.

Once all the flower layers were painted in each color, and dry, they were sealed with Gloss Mod Podge to make them shine! When dry, an awl was heated over the candle flame and pierced each of the four plastic flower layers on a piece of foam.

Next, about a 1.5" piece of wire was cut from stem wire to secure the layers together. This was done by using a small round needle nose pliers to make a round loop closure on one end .  .  .
and inserting the wire into the smallest flower layer, and then the next two sizes, and finally the largest size flower layer.

Then turning the layers over to the back while pressing them together. 

And finally using the needle nose pliers to close the wire end with a loop.
Looks pretty, doesn't it!
I used paint to conceal the look of the wire loop in the center. But you can decorate the center to your liking with just about anything like beads or faux stamens.

Here are all the plastic bottle flowers made in the colors of the rainbow:

Welcome to our monthly Sustainable Craft Challenge! As I mentioned before, this months' theme is RainbowThe challenge is all about sustainable crafting with a different theme each month!  ll projects must have some sort of a sustainable element to them. This could be an upcycling or recycling element, or something that reduces waste, uses leftovers, etc. 

I hope you enjoyed how I made Plastic Bottle Rainbow Flowers - a great way to reduce, recycle and reuse!

Be sure to check out all the creative Rainbow Sustainable Crafts projects from my fellow crafters listed below:

  Sum of their Stories:  Paper Rainbow Ring Binder

  Christine's Crafts:       Easy Rainbow Brooches  

  Purple Hues and Me:   Upcycled Plastic Bottle Rainbow Flowers

  Sew Crafty Crochet:    St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Scarf

  Our Good Life:           Easy Rainbow Hearts Tote

  Mimi A Great Name for Grandma: Upcycled Tin Can Planters



  1. WOW! These are amazing. They are beautiful and made from old bottles too. Thank you so much for a full tutorial.

    1. You are quite welcome and thanks so much for your sweet comments, Christine!

  2. I love any use of our water bottles and this one is lovely. My grandmother made wax roses from old candles, I think she would approve of this craft!

    1. Thanks, Terri! So you have crafting in your blood line! I love that you have so many creative touches to share!

  3. Oh my giddy aunt! These turned out beautifully! We don't drink fizzy pop very often in our house now that the kids are all grown up but next time we have people round I'm saving the bottle for a little flower making myself. I especially love the red one, I'm thinking poppies with a black/yellow painted centre maybe?
    I love that you went through all this trouble and experimenting so we don't have to! You are so good to us :-D

    1. Thanks so much, Julie! You made me very giddy reading your comment. Not often do I get so excited! Originally, I actually thought of making poppies first, but didn't think they would be right in rainbow colors, so I made a generic flower This was a fun challenge! Thanks for hosting!

  4. Yes, I agree with the above commenter that you went to so much trouble to find a "work around" for putting together the plastic flowers. We appreciate it!

    1. Oh my word! It's so nice of you to stop by, Gayle! Where has Miss Kitty been? Thanks for visiting and leaving a sweet comment! I've missed you and your blog! Take care!

  5. These are an absoute work of art! So BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing such detailed instructions...I can't wait to try them myself! I truly just keep going back and looking at those picture....so pretty!

  6. Awesome plastic bottle flowers!! That was interesting to learn all the trial and error you went through just so we can make perfect flowers like yours. Side note... I failed at the ROYGBIV rule on my rainbow project LOL.

  7. Your flowers are so pretty! The colors are so vibrant, and they remind me of the collection of glass flowers I used to have, but they were broken during a move. Maybe I need some plastic flowers like these instead! Thanks for sharing this beautiful flowers.

  8. This DIY project involves creating rainbow flowers from upcycled plastic bottles. The materials needed include empty plastic bottles, scissors, a craft knife, acrylic paint in rainbow colors, paintbrushes, hot glue gun and glue sticks, bamboo skewers or floral wire, green tissue paper or fabric (optional for leaves), and a vase or container to display the flowers. To begin, clean and dry the plastic bottles, remove any labels and caps, and cut them into various shapes. Paint each flower with acrylic paint in rainbow colors, allowing the paint to dry completely before proceeding. Attach the flowers to bamboo skewers or floral wire using a hot glue gun, or layer multiple shapes for a fuller look. Optionally, cut out leaf shapes from green tissue paper or fabric and attach them to the stems of the flowers using hot glue. Arrange the rainbow flowers in a vase or container filled with decorative rocks or glass beads to hold them in place. Display the upcycled plastic bottle rainbow flowers in your home or give them as eco-friendly gifts. This DIY project is a great way to repurpose plastic bottles and add a pop of color to your home decor.
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