medicinebottles.jpg Millions of Americans take over-the counter and/or prescription medications every day. That leads to an awful lot of leftover pill containers – especially for those who refill their prescriptions and get a brand new bottle every time. While it is true these plastic containers can be recycled, they can also be repurposed into several handy things. While most medicine bottle upcycling projects involve them turning into containers for other things, there are some rather clever ideas too. Check out our list of five cool ways to turn those old pill bottles into something useful and unique.

1. Travel jewelry (or anything) holders

Those long skinny bottles are perfect for containing your tiny items while en route to a fantastic vacation. Store earrings, rings and other small trinkets in individual bottles – this will keep them separate yet organized for your entire trip. The bottles are translucent so you will be able to snatch that perfect cocktail ring just in time to make dinner – instead of digging around at the bottom of your suitcase. This blogger lists lots of items that would go great inside medication containers, including hair pins, mints and coins (especially useful for those who carry quarters!).

2. Cute caddies for the home

Once again, old prescription pill bottles are obviously meant to contain things. But they don’t have to look boring – jazz those bottles up and turn them into something uniquely yours. Use origami paper to decorate a pill bottle as seen on this page. Washi and duct tape are also great resources when repurposing those pill containers, as there are tons of different colors, widths and styles with which to work. Instead of having your makeup brushes in a bag, display them proudly in different upcycled prescription bottles! You can do the same for other small items in the bathroom, such as Q-Tips and hair binders.

3. Donate bottles to those who need them most

Americans often take the simple things for granted – this includes medicine containers. These plastic bottles keep medications safe, dry and out of reach of children. However, many people in developing countries do not have access to this basic item – instead relying on scraps of paper or leaves to wrap prescriptions. This is especially true in extremely rural areas where extreme poverty runs rampant. The Malawi Project will accept clean medication containers in order to distribute them to medical professions in Malawi and other impoverished nations. Make sure to properly dispose of any expired medications and remove the labels before donating, though.

4. DIY Hide-a-Key

Most people store their spare house keys in obvious places, such as under the door mat or in a lockbox outside of the home. Hide-a-key rocks – which look like real rocks but are actually plastic containers – are gaining in popularity. This product is incredibly easy to DIY – it only takes an actual rock, an old medicine bottle and some super glue. Attach the rock to the cap of the bottle using the glue; once it’s dry, place a spare key inside the bottle, twist on the cap and bury somewhere in your garden or yard. Now your house key is secret and safe, and you didn’t spend a dime.

5. Create a snowman craft

This cute project is great for when winter rolls around, so it may be a good idea to start saving up those old medication containers now. There are several ways to do this craft, but this tutorial is a fun one. Simply paint the lid of the bottle black and the bottle itself white, to represent a hat and the snowman body. Glue buttons on the bottom half to resemble a sweater and small twigs on the sides for the arms – plus a little felt makes a cute scarf. Draw a happy face under the hat and voila! A new snowman (or woman) pal for the whole family to enjoy!