How to Use the Indented Bottom of a Soda Bottle

If you like reusing plastic bottles, you can make a funnel from the top, make wire from the middle, but what do you do with that funny-shaped bottom? The base of a plastic soda bottle that has indentations can be viewed as a "petaloid", because it is shaped like a flower with petals. Here are some ideas for what you can do with it.


  1. 1
    Cut the petaloid portion off the base of a washed plastic soda bottle. Use craft, gardening, or kitchen scissors, or you can use a craft knife. Be careful when cutting, and use a non-slip surface to prevent any accidental movements of the bottle while cutting it.
    • Decide what length to cut the plastic petaloid. While it should be cut to a length that suits your needs, a standard length of about 7–10 centimeter (2.8–3.9 in) should work for many of the uses outlined here.
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      When arranging an edge, cut the edge following the direction of the arrow marked in this image (shown for a right-handed person). Keep the cut as clean and straight as possible. Snip off, or sand off, any rough edges.
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    Use as a measuring cup. Cut it so it holds a certain capacity of a particular ingredient that you use often.
  3. 3
    Use as a food mold. Since the soda bottle is food grade plastic, the plastic petaloid can make an excellent food mold that creates an appealing appearance for food when placed on the dish. The photos here demonstrate the process for making a rice mold. The mold is also ideal for shaping butter, mashed potato, grains, dips, etc., and it's a perfect jelly mold.
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      Clean the container thoroughly.
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      Cook the food. In this case, it is rice. Add it to the mold and even off the top.
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      Carefully tip the mold over onto the plate. Remove slowly so as not to damage the molded shape. If you do damage it, simply try again.
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      The mold in position.
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      Add the rest of the meal to the plate.
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    Use as an artist's palette. The shape of the plastic petaloid lends itself perfectly to being turned into a paint palette. Just add your colors for painting and paint as usual. Wash after use and reuse as many times as wished.
  5. 5
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    Use the plastic petaloid as a container for maintaining order in your jewelry or sewing projects.
    The different compartments of the petaloid make it ideal for keeping beads, sequins, findings, pins, etc., in separate zones while you work on your jewelry or sewing project, as shown here.
  6. 6
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    Make a candy dish.
    Since it's made out of plastic, it's unbreakable, which is great if you're giving kids something like candy, raisins, or nuts to snack on.
  7. 7
    Make a wind chime. Use some old keys, tie them to strings, and then string some beads above the keys. Last, tie the strings to the soda bottle bottom.


  • Recycle the discarded portion of the soda bottle, or find other uses for it.
  • Use fine sandpaper if you need to sand the edges of the cut petaloid.
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  • Take care when cutting the soda bottle; the edges can be sharp. When finished, check the edges and sand them if necessary.
  • Also, be careful when using recycled bottles for cooking purposes, as some plastic leeches chemicals when you heat it. Not all plastic does this, but be sure to check before you use it with hot food.

Things You'll Need

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    Plastic bottle (pressure-resistant, soda beverage bottle) - wash it out prior to attempting this project
  • Measuring cup, ruler, or measuring tape to determine the height of your plastic petaloid
  • Craft, gardening, or kitchen scissors; or, a craft knife
  • Sanding paper (fine) (optional)
  • String
  • Old keys
  • Beads (optional)

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