Creative reuse of prescription and medicine packaging

Prescription Packaging and Medical Supplies

Prescription packaging and medical supplies can be tough to recycle because they use unusual types of plastic, sometimes mixed with aluminum foil. Some items might contain trace amounts of medications. Some items come in contact with people such as syringes or needles. This episode shares ideas for ways to creatively reuse prescription bottles, blister packs and other supplies.

You can listen to my podcast episode on creative reuse of prescription packaging and medical supplies in this YouTube video. It originally aired in April 2018.

April 28 is National Prescription Takeback Day in the United States. Find a drop-off location near you.

Places to Bring Empty Prescription Packaging and Medical Supplies

Plastic Prescription Bottles

Diabetes Supplies

Blister Packs

Artists Who Creatively Reuse Prescription Packaging and Medical Supplies

Tilda Shalof

Check out this story about an ICU nurse in Toronto who makes colorful mural from plastic medical items:

Johanna Törnqvist

Jean Shin

Her sculpture “Chemical Balance” was made from prescription bottles.

Gilbert Legrand

He makes cartoons from everyday objects, including blister packs.

Ways to Creatively Reuse Prescription Packaging and Medical Supplies

Check out my Pinterest board of project ideas for creative reuse of prescription packaging and medical supplies

Organizational Ideas

  • Hide a spare key in your yard –Put a key in a prescription bottle and glue a rock to the lid. Bury the bottle in your yard. Another version featured a hose nozzle or a draining grate on the lid.
  • Protect your earphones – Carefully roll them up and put them inside a prescription bottle.
  • Make a tiny first-aid kit or sewing kit – For a first-aid kit, put band-aids, gauze, antiseptic wipes and tweezers. For a sewing kit, put folding scissors, sewing needles and thread. For a fun upgrade idea, make a pin cushion under the lid!
  • Organize buttons, beads, hairbands, etc. – Organize your sewing basket or your junk drawer.
  • Keep track of parts – When you get an appliance or Ikea furniture, there are always little parts leftover. So you can label the outside of the prescription bottle and put all the parts inside there.
  • Store your doggy poop bags – This is a small container you can hang from your dog’s leash.
  • Store your toothbrushes – I saw five or six prescription bottles attached to the inside of a cupboard, one for each family member, with their names on the containers.

Crafty Ideas

  • Drawing prompts – To work on your drawing skills, take inspiration from Gilbert Legrand and use pill capsule cases as a drawing prompt. He just sticks a piece of the packaging on paper and draws whatever comes to mind.
  • Halloween potion bottles – With a glue gun, you write words on the bottles like “Eye of Newt” or “Toad Stool.” Then you paint the bottle with black chalkboard paint, followed by a layer of gold paint. The gold paint is put on with a sponge so it creates a texture like old dusty bottles.
  • Pumpkin ornaments – Since prescription bottles are already orange, you can make them into pumpkin ornaments by painting the caps green and filling them with candies. Add facial features with a black sharpie. One crafter made all sorts of Halloween characters from prescription bottles, including a mummy, ghost, pumpkin, bat and vampire.
  • Snowman ornament – You paint the bottle white & the lid black for the cap. You can even add a tiny scarf.
  • Dollhouse miniature items – In episode 34, I talked about people who make elaborate items for dollhouses from recycled materials. Some of these items were made from blister packs, such tiny muffin tins from a six-pack blister packet. Sometimes they made handles or knobs on their doll furniture from blister pack bumps. Another crafter made tiny pretend glass bowls for her dollhouse from larger blister packs.
  • Cat toy – In episode 38, I talked about making pet accessories from recycled materials. You can make a cat toy by putting noisy items in a prescription bottle and then put that inside a covering like a sock.
  • Googly Eyes – I love this idea! A crafter made googly eyes from the clear bumps on blister packs []! She carefully pulled away the aluminum behind the bump but did not tear it off. I think the little googly part was black bead.
  • Dalek crafts – For Doctor Who fans, could you make a Dalek ornament incorporating blister pack bumps? I clearly need to spend some time testing that idea.

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