How to Make a Trophy by Upcycling a Plastic Bottle

7 easy steps to turn a plastic bottle into an innovative upcycled trophy!

Recycled Bottle Trophy Project

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.

Steps to create a water bottle trophy

Step 3

Twist two pipe cleaners together.


Two twisted pipe cleaners

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.

Pipe cleaners attached to the water bottle

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.)

Using super glue to attach the pieces together

Step 6

If desired, paint bottle with spray paint.

Spray painting the water bottle trophy

Step 7

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

Adding glitter to the spray painted water bottle trophy

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