Introduction: Medicine Bottle Rain Gauge

Picture of Medicine Bottle Rain Gauge

Some of us take medicine every day. A byproduct of this is lots and lots of empty medicine bottles.

I for one, just cant seem to throw them away so I use them all over my house for different things. They really are handy!

Here I will show you a great way to reuse your medicine bottles and turn it into a rain gauge!


This is a great summer project for kids!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  • Medicine Bottle
  • Scrap Wood (2x4 works well)
  • Wood Finish
  • Wood Glue


  • Saw
  • Drill w/ 1" Bit
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Permanent Marker


The glue is optional, I just like to make sure it's going to stay in there!

Step 2: Measure Board

Picture of Measure Board

  • Measure the width of your board. (Mine is 3 3/8 in this case)
  • Mark the same distance lengthwise on both sides of the board
  • Connect the two marks, making a line

Step 3: Cut the Base

Picture of Cut the Base

  • Cut on the line you just made


You should now have your square base!

Step 4: Make "X"

Picture of Make "X"

  • Draw a line corner to corner
  • Draw a line from opposite corner, making and X.

Step 5: Drill Hole

Picture of Drill Hole

  • Drill hole in the wood block


You may want to do this over another scrap piece to make sure you don't damage your bit when you get to the bottom.

Step 6: Apply Finish

Picture of Apply Finish

  • Apply Finish
  • Flip Over (So we don't have to sand the X away)


I used a natural beeswax finish. You can use anything you like, this is just the one kind I keep on hand!

Step 7: Remove Label

Picture of Remove Label

Your medicine bottle will have a label on it.

  • Remove that sucker!


If the label is being stubborn, try soaking in it soapy water for 30 min.

Step 8: Draw Gauge

Picture of Draw Gauge

Now that we have the base ready, we will now make the gauge!

Take your medicine bottle and:

Draw a straight line the entire length of the bottle.

Draw a line at each "Inch"

Draw numbers next to "Inch" marks

Draw "1/2 inch" Marks

Step 9: Glue and Dry

Picture of Glue and Dry

  • Apply a dot of glue onside your drilled hole
  • Insert gauge and spin to spread glue evenly.
  • Let dry for 12 hours

Step 10: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

You now have a homemade rain gauge!

Go you!


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-08-06

Nice life hack. I was recently teaching my son about the weather and something like this would make a good illustration tool.

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