Introduction: Plastic Soda Bottle Lid Capsule

Picture of Plastic Soda Bottle Lid Capsule

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a discussion board that talked about and showed a small, lightweight reusable container made out of the necks and lids of two plastic soda bottles.  I haven't been able to find that same post ever since, but remember enough about it to want to give it a shot for myself.

I started with two identical plastic soda bottles to make sure that they would match in size. I cut the necks of the bottles off using a small hacksaw making sure that I kept the large flange that would be used to glue the two necks together later.

Step 1: Cut Off the Necks

Picture of Cut Off the Necks

I used a vice to hold the bottles still while I cut through them. If you don't have a vice you can still do the same thing by hand,but be very careful and take your time.

Once I had cut off the neck of each bottle I used a flat file to smooth down the rough saw marks and left over plastic.  The idea is to remove all the rough edges until you have a flat surface level with the large flange as this will be where you will glue the two pieces together.

Step 2: Smooth the Edges to Be Glued

Picture of Smooth the Edges to Be Glued

Once I had filed the rough edges down and made sure that the edges were level. I used a little 600 grit sandpaper to smooth the edges a little more than what I was able to do with the file.

Here are the two sections of bottle necks ready to be glued together. I made sure that they were both clean and free from any rough edges that would stop good contact.

Step 3: Glue Pieces Together

Picture of Glue Pieces Together

I applied a small amount of super/crazy glue to the flat edges and then, using a small clamp, squeezed them tightly together to set. This type of glue only takes a minute or two to set, so after five minutes and a fresh cup of coffee I released the clamp to inspect my handiwork.

The final result is a small water-tight container with two ends that can be open via the lids. The total weight of the container is 0.5oz and it took about 10 minutes to make including the time to let the glue set.

Step 4: The Finished Result

Picture of The Finished Result

This was a quick little project and a lot of fun to make.  My seven-year-old son, Jack, helped me with some of the steps and watched throughout the entire process.  He thought it was pretty cool to make a little piece of gear out of something else that we would normally just recycle.  I probably won't be making a lot of these or using them for everything, but it is a useful little container and is very strong.  I could see this being used as a container and float for a small fishing kit.

If you have some time and a few spare plastic soda bottles laying around, give it a try.  After making this one I made another one with an additional flat piece of plastic sandwiched between the two necks that created a dual compartment container. I think I'll use it for salt and pepper!

This instructable was originally posted on Brian's Backpacking Blog.


Bomberman1127 (author)2017-04-20

If you have any old Credit Cards you can glue that in between the pieces and then you get two seperate (but smaller) compartments

whisperingsage (author)2017-03-14

In the old days, this WAS recycling.

Josephflorida (author)2015-10-18

I saw this when geocaching and I had to make one!

BustaCAPI made it! (author)2015-08-24

I'm a Paramedic and I see what others don't and smell what most wont. I made my capsule with a para cord band with Caribbeanor and filled capsule with VICKs. Awesome DIY and life hack

bfgreen (author)BustaCAPI2015-08-24

I love the paracord band option. Genius. Thanks for sharing the photos :)

gregg5 (author)2015-04-13

Cool, it works great. I made a few to store matches and put them in everything I use. I also glued a small piece of sandpaper on the inside of the caps for strike anywhere matches.

The survival dude (author)2012-01-10

Is there a way to make it longer say ... for matches??

Creak (author)The survival dude2015-02-11

The title is "Small storage-units from bottle caps"

Creak (author)The survival dude2015-02-11

There is a similar instructable made by Dop 13. I suggest checking it out.

dim20 (author)The survival dude2013-09-17

cut the neck longer,or cut the match so it fits

jedikid6777 (author)2012-04-15

is there an easier way to file please reply asap P.S im new on this site

Creak (author)jedikid67772015-02-11

If you have any kind of sander handy try that. Just be care full of your fingertips if you use a belt sander.

Grimmy Grim (author)jedikid67772012-05-20

Get a dremel tool or even a cheapie one.

avonborowsky made it! (author)2014-06-24

This is a great idea!

I will cut all bottles I see in my front!

It is cool because you can make it with various kinds of bottles to make different models. And afters you can make a cute customization.

airsoft master 25 (author)2012-10-15

I just melted the two ends together with a lighter

Goog idea! I will try this.

kalvin359 (author)2014-04-06

i made one and used it to store my weed

dputra6 (author)2014-03-09

This is great, already made my own, I use juice bottle cap instead of soda for larger capacity. Wrap it with fishing line (snare) and fill it with hooks, sinker, matches, xacto blade, baby pin, and bandaid . then throw it in to my emergency bag . Thanks.

nic nak (author)2013-07-29

I agree that this would make a great geocaching log container. 35mm film pots used to be perfect, but who buys those anymore?

Reiff (author)nic nak2013-08-22

Yeah, I have found a geocache in that before, had a magnet inside so it attached to a guardrail. Also you can buy film canisters on ebay specifically meant for geocaching.

handprints (author)2013-03-10

This is so cool! I am running to rescue stuff from our recycle bin!

Schmidty16 (author)2012-08-08

here is mine that ive had for a while befor and after it is made out of a gaterraid bottle i am going to make an instructable on

Tofu (author)2011-12-19

Not going to read all 107 comments; to see if someone already mentioned this or not; but this would be a great small geocaching log container.

Great 'ible!

Galonii (author)Tofu2012-03-03

They work great for geocaches! But instead of cutting the bottles at the neck and glueing them together we cut them down almost the the extra neck piece put some gorilla glue around the lip and snap another bottle cap to the other end, then I glue some of those super magnets inside, and there you go a perfect micro geocache thats water tight!

lime3D (author)Galonii2012-07-24

Why go through all that work? Just use an 8 oz water bottle they way it is, no modification necessary. (Except for the magnets.)

bfgreen (author)Tofu2011-12-20

Over 13,000 views and more than 100 comments - this was supposed to be kept between the few of us!

brownie4321 (author)2012-06-14

I have made this very item with one change. I cut a small section from the side of the bottle and glued it into the middle of the two sections thereby making a two sectioned container. I have several of them and use differing colored caps or plastic to differentiate at-a-glance. They can contain medications, spices, small parts. I have some to carry travel fishing tackle like weights and hooks. Very handy. Thanks for posting.

mygunsbigger (author)2012-04-03

After makng mine, i wrapped the center portions with fishing line and added a few hooks, swivels and sinkers to make it useful if i ever wanna do some quick fishing! the container is already a bobber! Thanks for this

17hmr243 (author)2012-02-28

thanks ill have to use this now

DivaB (author)2012-02-04

We've always made a ton of these in our group, but we glue plastic in the middle section so that each side is divided. Each side holds a different spice for camp cooking.

bigfatton (author)2012-01-23

Awesome instructable, I've made 2 now and I think they're soo cool. My only concern is that I noticed on the krazy glue bottle, it says not to use it on Polyethylene, which isn't that what Soda Bottles are made of? PET? anyways, it worked regardless. Also, has anyone thought to use heat shrink tubing where the necks meet to ensure water-tightness? I've never really worked with the stuff, but it seemed like a neat idea.

freeza36 (author)2012-01-22

i am making one right now

sppeart (author)2012-01-15

Great idea!
I might put some useful return info inside and fasten one of these to my dog's collar. He's got an ID tag - but there would be room for so much more in a rolled-up note tucked into one of these little capsules. Phone numbers, email address(es), any medication he needs, 'Reward if found', a picture of the kids crying their little hearts out... whatever. :)

Ketzer (author)2012-01-10

I'll just leave this here.

bfgreen (author)Ketzer2012-01-10

That looks great, if I wanted to buy them by the 100,000. What an annoying website - no pricing?

Yes the site is very,very annoying to get the price you have to email the company. stupid.

TheMaker888 (author)2012-01-03

WaterProof i presume ?

bfgreen (author)TheMaker8882012-01-10

You presume correctly sir, else what is the point?

Rainh2o (author)2011-12-27

Could use a dremel tool to cut the bottles as well...

bfgreen (author)Rainh2o2012-01-01

Who doesn't have a Dremel? Of course, it goes without saying :)

robot+more (author)2011-12-31

this is a cool instructable i did this but instead with two Gatorade bottles and it is about twice the size.

bfgreen (author)robot+more2012-01-01

I love making these with Gatorade bottles.

rtnatividad (author)2011-12-28

If there's a hose attachment that's the right size and design to screw onto the threaded neck of a soda bottle this would be PERFECT for making my own water reservoir for my Super Soaker Bottle Blitz :O

bfgreen (author)rtnatividad2012-01-01

Oh man you've opened up a whole other use for this! Super Soakers, yes!

GuyWitheGlasses (author)2011-12-15

This would make a good water tight pill container or something. So many things this can do we haven't discovered yet! Maybe you can roll up your bills and make this a wallet. A water proof wallet...

it probabley would work as a wallet, but it would need to be bigger, because you would have to fold the bills pretty small. so i might just brain storm to think of a slightley bigger version, but still make it pocket sized.

Now you are talking. When I was young in Military Leadership school they had us practice brainstorming. It was along these lines of taking something strange and giving ideas on what to use it for. No laughing at each others ideas, just idea and write it down. It was just amazing how much we came up with with all of us giving ideas fast and furiously. A waterproof wallet is an excellent idea, easy to store as well.

bfgreen (author)GuyWitheGlasses2011-12-16

There's a whole sub-thread below about using this as a pill storage container. That's what I originally made mine for.

cmarsch (author)2011-12-23

Made my own and I use it for EVERYTHING.... that can fit in it. Thank you.

chevhunter (author)2011-12-21

that is a great idea. i'm thinkin i'm gonna be building one with the two compartments for muzzle loading. one side for extra primers and on the other side will be some bore butter. ( instead of taking the whole squeeze tube with.)

About This Instructable



Bio: Brian Green is an avid lightweight backpacker and author of the popular Brian's Backpacking Blog. Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the ... More »
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