How to Make a Bottle Watering Can

Watering cans aren't always the cheapest item at the garden center and using pails (buckets) to water your more delicate plants can be too much water for them, causing them to bend and even break. If you're keen to recycle and you need a watering can, it's simple to make your own using a large plastic bottle. Give that bottle another opportunity to be useful!


  1. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 1
    Wash the bottle well. Wash the inside in soapy water and leave to soak overnight. Rinse out the soapy water the next day and remove the label.
  2. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 2
    Determine the distance of the holes from the top part of the bottle. The placement of the holes should be confined as best as possible within one square, and that square should not extend too far to the bottom of the bottle. Ensure that the holes are not too close or too far from each other.
    • The best number of holes works out at around 25 holes, with 5 holes placed horizontally and 5 holes placed vertically, and the remaining holes evenly placed within these roles to form a square.
    • The top holes should be 1 inch (2.5cm) down from the bottle cap.
    • If necessary, mark the hole pattern using a marker if you're having difficulty in memorizing the pattern or find it hard to get the holes even just by guessing.
  3. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 3
    Use pliers to hold the hole-creating finishing nail (or any other small nail). To improve the ability of the nail to pierce the plastic bottle, place the pointed part of it over a candle fire for 20 seconds.
  4. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 4
    Remove the nail from the heat and immediately push the nail into the desired pattern of the holes.
    • Push in one hole for every time you heat the nail. Push the nail in until you get the desired size of the hole; it should be as small as it could be, but be sure water can pass out.
    • Wiggle the nail to remove it from the bottle.
    • After each hole has been created, heat the tip of the nail again and again for 10 seconds before pushing another hole.
    • Finish the whole pattern following this method.
  5. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 5
    On the exact opposite side of the holes (exactly center hole), draw a "U" shape with a horizontal line on top (like an open mouth). Make the pattern as small as half of the hole pattern. Cut the shape out using a sharp knife.
  6. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 6
    Add designs using stickers or colored permanent markers if you want a decorative "watering can". This step is definitely optional and doesn't improve performance.
    • You could attach a long strip of strong plastic or leather on the opposite side of the holes for easier use, as if you're holding a real watering can. Make sure the strip is bonded in place. Never punch a hole just to attach the handle, or else stored water may leak. Use superglue or the like to attach anything.
  7. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 7
    Fill the bottle through the "U" shape hole. Fill it until the water level reaches 1/2 to 1 inch (1.5-2cm) below the bottom holes.
  8. Image titled WaterBottleWateringCan Step 8
    Start watering the plants. Carefully tilt the bottle horizontally, with the holes facing downward. Make sure that the water doesn't flush out through the "U" shape hole. Water the plants well, as required by their individual needs.
    • Refill the container as necessary.


  • The best times to water plants are in the early morning and late afternoon.
  • You could add soluble fertilizer to your water to water the plants.
  • Put in as many holes you want. If you want faster watering, more holes are necessary. If you want light watering or if you're watering seedlings, put in only a few holes.
  • Other kinds of bottles can be used. If available, the best bottle is a 1 gallon (3.7 litres) container.


  • Too many holes can result in a strong "rain shower" rather than a gentle one.
  • Avoid using water that is too cold or too hot. This may kill the plants.
  • Do not use unwashed bottles. These may contain contaminants that can harm your plants.
  • Use as large of a bottle as possible. If you use small bottles, you will need to come back to the water supply again and again to supply water.
  • Use appropriate care when punching holes and cutting out the "U" shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic bottles with tight caps
  • Pliers
  • Candle and match
  • Finishing nail (or any other small nails)
  • Permanent marker
  • Sharp knife
  • Soluble fertilizer (optional)
  • Stickers, colored permanent markers or any other designing materials, material for a handle (optional)

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