High Quality Cups From Recycled Water Bottles




About: I work in a D.i.Y style superstore. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not, but it certainly perpetuates my interest in such areas. I enjoy high powered devices of any kind. I do not give in, ev...

This Instructable will show you how to craft high quality drinking cups, from used Water Bottles.
As inhabitants of the Earth not owners, we have the obligation to maintain and uphold the integrity of it. Start thinking sideways people. Start re-using,
re-cycling and up-cycling any way you possibly can. Before it's too late.

A great place to start would be the plastic bottle. Simplistic in design, but plentiful in opportunities to intergrate it into different applications.

This is a entry to the "Keep the bottle" contest. Please take the time to vote if you think the idea, is worth me getting a prize for it. I would really enjoy the prize, so please vote.

Step 1: What We Will Need

We will only need a few basic items.

~ Water bottle

~ Cardboard

~ Sticky tape

~ Stove

~ Frying pan

That's it, lets go!

Step 2: Trim the Bottle

Take your scissors and cut the top of the bottle.

We will make one rough cut to start, then another to trim the lip square.

Make sure you get this as straight as possible.
It will need to be straight as to ensure, when we turn the lip it ends up correct.

Step 3: Constructing the Jig

To allow us to turn the lip on the pan we need a jig.

Take you cardboard and wrap it around the open end of your bottle.

Make sure it is not to tight as to inhibit the bottle turning.

Use the tape to secure it in place.
Ensure the tape will not come in contact with the pan.

Step 4: Turning the Lip

Turn your stove on and place the pan on the element/flame.
Heat to medium warm to hot.
Start gradually.

We want it at a temperature that will not burn the plastic, yet simply heat it.

Place you bottle lip down with the jig inplace and spin the bottle whilst grasping the base and jig.

Do not let the bottle sit for too long or it will melt too much.

Check the bottle every 5 seconds or so to see the progress.

Once the plastic has fully curled, your lip is finished.

(This method may be used to make support ridges for many applications with bottles. Try this on your own project. Once the lips is on the bottle, it then may be heated in boiling water to reduce its size... really cool stuff actually. I hope others use this method with your "keep the bottle" projects)

Step 5: Your Done!!

Wasn't that easy?

No cost, minimal labour and a new set of fancy up-cycled bottle drinking cups.
What more could you ask for?

I don't know about you, but i am going to go have an ice cold beverage in my new cups.

Participated in the
Keep the Bottle Contest



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    81 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    In 'Firefly', they drink out of cups just like this, not sure which episode, but its at the bar fight

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I believe there was a film in '95 called "Tank Girl". I recall seeing them in that movie and also a couple of other places. Maybe "Water world" also.


    10 years ago on Step 5

    would you plan to wash these by hand or in the dishwasher? are you concerned about the plastic leaching chemicals into your drink as it degrades? Could you coat the inside or the lip with something sturdier?

    5 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I would hand wash them because it may release harmful chemicals such as bpa that might increase your chance of cancer. When you put it in the dishwasher, it will heat up the water alot which will make it more likely to release said chemicals into any drink you put in the cup. Hope this helps.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    BPA is not a concern with this type of bottle. Only polycarbonate bottles have that problem. The dishwasher may partially melt them, as dodo91 pointed out.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 5

    if you put it in the dishwasher, it will shrink/melt. HANDWASH ONLY!


    10 years ago on Step 5

    This is great. I will use them for camping.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    These plastic bottles are really solid - used one nearly everyday for 5 years. I could have gone on using it but it was a pain cleaning the mold that started growing inside. If it's cup shaped, I could have gone on for maybe 30 years!


    Wow, and customizing these would be endless too. It's ibles like these that I love so much...easy to do and won't break you financially : )

    4 replies

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Just a note to say that I am voting for this Instructable. Sure, many of the others in this contest are way cool, but this was one of the first ones to enter AND it is one that I plan to use at Burning Man this year. When people come to visit my camp for drinks, I will be serving them in these cups. I'll have plenty of empty water bottles on hand, and I can cross of cups on my shopping list! YAY!!!! Thank you for this idea. : )

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    WoW!! Thanks heaps! I hope they enjoy them at Burning Man. ;) It's a pity Australia is so far away, I would like to roll up to your camp and get a cool beverage in one of these. This I'ble was the first in the competition. Hence being in Aus I was on lunch when the contest opened where as everyone else was a sleep. One benefit to living in a different timezone.