Introduction: Bottle Brick Tray

A bottle brick is simply a plastic bottle that is stuffed completely with trash. Bottle bricks are so versatile, and it’s a simple and fun way to spark the imagination while learning to reduce, recycle and reuse. There are endless possibilities when it comes to bottle bricks, you can literally build whatever your imagination creates. It could be something as small as a plant holder or as large as making a building structure! Teaching these concepts is paramount in educating our youth to battle our issue of environmental pollution. Plastic bottles pose not only an environmental problem but a health problem as well. According to the Recycling Coalition of Utah, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles a year. Instead, let's reuse these bottles!

Step 1: Collect All of Your Materials

  • Bottles and caps

The sturdier the bottle the better

Make sure your bottle is clean and dry

  • Trash

You will use the various trash you have collected to stuff your bottles with

Make sure the trash is relatively clean and dry, it is not saturated in any food substances

Trash can include but is not limited to plastic bags, plastic coverings, paper, cigarette buts, twist ties,

sawdust, wrappers, etc....

  • Wooden or metal stick

This is used to pack the trash down into the bottle

In this tutorial, I used chopsticks (I recommend using a soft covering for your hand)

After making the first couple bottles, your hand will start to become sore if you are not using some sort of padding, that is where the laundry ball came in handy to help with packing down trash into the bottle.

  • Scissors (Children are recommended to be under responsible supervision)

Used to cut larger items into smaller pieces so that it may fit in the bottle easier

  • Sand

May need for filling in empty spaces of bottle after packing with trash

Step 2: Stuff Your Bottle With Trash

  • You can do this alone or you can get a couple people to help you. Kids are great helpers!
  • Take your bottle and begin stuffing! As you are stuffing trash into your bottle, be sure to pack the trash down with your wooden or metal stick to ensure there is not empty space in the bottle.
  • Continue with this process until the bottle is completely full and there is no longer any space available.
  • Place the cap on the bottle and secure tightly.

Step 3: Test Your Bottle Brick

  • You will want to test your bottle brick to ensure that it is in fact as hard as a brick.

You will simply squeeze the bottle as hard as you can to see if there is any compressible space.

If there is no compressible space then your bottle brick is complete, it can be used immediately or set aside and saved for when you have enough bottles for your project.

If you notice some space is still in the bottle, you can simply fill the space with sand until the space is no longer in the bottle.

Replace the cap and use or set aside.

Step 4: You're Finished With the Making of a Bottle Brick!

  • You did it!

If you wish to personalize your bottle brick, you can do so

Some ideas that you could use but are not limited to are

painting, drawings, and pictures.

Also, date you bottles to offer a sense of time for yourself and

others who view your project in a future setting.

Step 5: Start Constructing Your Table

  • Gather materials:

You will need a tray of some sort (in this instructable, we used

the lid from a frozen food package)

Other recommendations include: a fairly thin but robust

wood, plastic or metal sheet

4 bottle bricks (as you made in the previous steps)

A drill (or similar) with compatible screw bits (safety is advised)

The drill bit must fit into your screws as snug as possible.

4 screws (that are compatible with the screwdriver bits)

Non-compatible bits may cause the screws to strip, which is a headache.

Step 6: Place the Tray Onto Your Bottle Bricks

Place the 4 bottle bricks upright

Place tray onto the bottle bricks with one bottle in each corner of the tray

Step 7: Attach Tray to Bottle Bricks

Take 1 screw and place on drill bit.

Place screwdriver with screw attached onto tray where the bottle brick is.

Attach by drilling the screw through the tray into the bottle cap of the bottle brick.

Step 8: Complete!


You can alter this tray by making it larger and using more bottle bricks. This would require more screws as well.

You are welcome to customize the brick bottles by painting them to your own desired color or design. This is a great option if you intend to have the tray in rooms meant for guests (family room, kitchen, etc.). This also extends this activity to holiday preparations.

Step 9: Image References

  • Image 1 bottle brick diagram:

Home. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2017, from

  • Image 2 bottle brick circle:

How To Transform Plastic. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2017, from

  • Image 3 squeeze:

Squeeze Official Store. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from

  • Image 4 thumbs up:

Thumbs up emoji clipart. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from

  • How to make a bottle brick:

Home. (n.d.). from