We love projects that encourage upcycling, especially when the inspiration comes from the recycling bin! An empty plastic bottle is the base for this fun craft. And the result? A sparkling trophy to use as a special incentive in your classroom. Your students will love the chance to win this!


  • Plastic bottle
  • Nail
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Glitter (if you dare)

Once you’ve gathered the supplies, here are the steps to follow to create your trophy.

Step 1

Use scissors to remove the bottom of your plastic bottle.

trophy recycled bottle

Step 2

Punch two holes in each side of the plastic bottle (we used a nail), which will be used to connect the trophy’s handles.

Step 3

Twist two pipe cleaners together.

trophy recycled bottle

Step 4

Insert pipe cleaners into the holes on each side of the bottle and secure by twisting the ends. Shape the handles as you see fit.

Step 5

Place the mouth of the plastic bottle on the bottom of the bottle to create a trophy base. Secure with low-temp glue gun. (You want to use low-temp so you don’t melt the bottle.)

Step 6

If desired, paint bottle with spray paint.

trophy recycled bottle

Step 7

Once the paint has dried, add a light coat of spray glue. Immediately sprinkle bottle with some glitter.

Watch the magic come together on this trophy recycled bottle project in our how-to video:

Learn more about how your school can join Recycle Rally, and earn big prizes just for recycling. Get involved NOW!

How to Make a Trophy by Recycling a Plastic Bottle