Here is how to make a container from pop bottles and a bit of wire. We use the baskets as collection baskets for recyclables in our small community of La Peñita, Nayarit, Mexico.
We tried small bottles and larger ones. The smaller bottles are great for smaller baskets but the 2 litre size worked best for the size we wanted. The two liter version took about 3 man hours to built and the smaller bottle version about twice as long.
A slide show of the process can be found here: Pop Bottle Basket (Jaltemba Bay Recycling)
Los Amigos de La Peñita is a community service organizations dedicated to improving our community. Recycling is just one of our initiatives. More about us here: Los Amigos de La Peñita
Step 1: First Row
We are going to make a flat sheet of bottles and then roll it into a cylinder. This first row will become the bottom row in the basket.
Using a soldering iron punch four holes in the bottle opposite each other at the widest part of the bottle. Two at the top and two at the bottom. Punch two holes in caps used for spacers. The cap holes must be as close to the top of the cap as possible because we will be using them later to screw in bottles to form the bottom of the basket.
The first row is a bit different from the others.
String the bottles onto the wire placing a spacer cap between each. Use the holes at the top of the bottle not the bottom; those will be used in the next row.
Step 2: Second Row
Punch two holes opposite each other at the widest part of the bottom of the bottle. Punch two holes in the threaded part of the bottle opposite each other.
String the wire through the bottom of the bottle in the first row inserting a threaded bottle top between each.
Step 3: Subsequent Rows
Continue as in step 2 until you have the height of the basket you want.
Step 4: Last Row and Forming the Cylinder
For the last row place spacer caps instead of threaded bottle heads.
Roll the sheet of bottles into a cylinder and connect the wire ends to each other.
Step 5: Making the Bottom
In use we place the cylinder with the bottles upside down (threaded tops on the ground). We do this so the bottles will not fill with rain water or debris and it makes a less convenient home for critters to live in. For this step put it on the ground with the threaded ends up so we can make the bottom.
Using an appropriate sized bottle (less than half the diameter of the basket) screw them into every third of fourth spacer cap. The gaps left can be filled with smaller bottles.
Punch holes in these bottles and string them together using strips cut from a pop bottle in a spiral. You can get several meters of strip from a single bottle.