A Note from Fatty: Team Fatty member Michael Schechter (who comments as “Kamala”) has an outstanding article about him in in The Stranger. Read it!
If you ride a bike, there’s a good chance you have a lot of water bottles. Where, originally, you had a few that took up a corner of a shelf, you’ve now got that shelf completely filled, and are spilling out onto a second. Little by little — event by event — you’ve collected enough bottles that you now could go on two-bottle rides every day for a month without washing a single bottle.
I am not recommending you do that, by the way. I was being hypothetical and stuff.
The problem with having so many bottles is: most of these bottles are terrible. After a few washes, the valves don’t work right, turning them into dribble glasses. Furthermore, thanks to a bylaw passed more than 20 years ago by the powerful Bicycle Water Bottle Manufacturers’ Conglomerate (BWBMC), any bottle with a screw-top lid made by one manufacturer must be threaded differently than the bottle/lid combination of every other manufacturer, so that while all your lids and bottles look like they’d work together, in reality they will not.
There is a separate BWBMC statute that encourages all bottle manufacturers to slightly change their bottle / threading methodology on a bi-annual basis, so that your 2005 bottles will not work with your 2006 bottles.
Then, of course, there’s the whole “top-of-drawer” (AKA “Last in, first out”) thing: no matter how many bottles you own, the one you most recently used is likely to be the one you use again next time.
The practical upshot is: there’s a good chance you’ve got a few bottles that you really use a lot, and a ridiculous number of bottles you will never use at all. Ever.
Today, I will help you solve this important and urgent (that’s Quad 1, folks, and is not to be taken lightly) problem, by showing you several excellent ways you can modify your water bottles for alternative uses around the home.
Oh, and also there’s a contest with a topically-relevant prize at the end of the post. Don’t you dare scroll down to see what it is, though.
That would be cheating.
Like most people, the first thing I think of when considering ways in which a water bottle might be adapted to other purposes is musical instrument.
The first thing I tried was as easy as it was effective. A handful of coins in a couple of unmodified water bottles makes for an awesome set of ad-hoc maracas. Before long, I was dancing and maraca-ing up a storm.
I actually took video of this. I really did. And then I watched it this morning and realized something: I apparently do have limits as to what I will show on this blog.
I will tell you this, however: It looked a lot like this.
Besides, the maracas idea is a little too easy. That’s not really modifying your bottles; that’s just adding some change.
So I made a horn. Sort of. Kind of a foghorn, really. Or, to be honest, a long cylinder that makes it easy to imitate the old Ricola commercials.
It sounds like this:
You want one now, don’t you? Of course you do. And I’d give you the instructions, but…um…I think the picture pretty much tells you everything you need to know.
Turn a Water Bottle Into an Extremely Versatile Container
“Yes, yes, Fatty,” I hear you impatiently saying, “musical instruments are all well and good. But what if I want to repurpose my water bottles for a more utilitarian purpose?”
I understand completely. And that is why, after considerable thought and effort, I have come up with this innovation:
Yes, it’s a toothbrush holder! But it’s so much more. Behold:
It’s an office supplies holder!
I know your head is already reeling from these two incredible ideas, but I am now going to blow your mind with the versatility of this design. You can — and should — use this water bottle adaptation for a wide variety of things, including:
- Dinner cups. You may want to advise your guests to be a little bit careful when they touch their lips to their cup’s rims. Those rims can be a little ragged.
- Nail holder. If you have a lot of nails that need holding, this may well become your very best friend. Which would be both convenient and kind of sad.
- Liquid soap dispenser: Fill this up with liquid soap and put it by the sink. People can dispense by tipping the dispenser and letting gravity do its thing. Soap dispenser pumps are for sissies.
- Bucket for drawing water from a very small well. I don’t think this one needs any explanation.
Really, I could go on. The possibilities are as endless as our ever-growing need to contain things that have a diameter smaller than a racquetball and a total volume of less than 20 fluid ounces.
It’s become very common and popular to wear latex bands showing your support for a cause. So common and so popular, in fact, that I would go so far as to say that it has become passe. When, for example, was the last time you asked someone what their orange-colored latex band stood for? When was the last time you even noticed someone was even wearing one of those bands.
Well. I have the solution.
Instead of wearing a latex band supporting a cause, just cut a ring out of a water bottle and put it on your wrist. Like so:
Here I am, showing my support — with both wrists — of Trek’s “1 World 2 Wheels” project. From the look on my face, you can tell that I am extremely serious about my support. And also that I don’t have a lot of fashion sense. And also that it’s been about a week since I last shaved my head. And also that I have droopy Deputy Dog eyes.
But your water bottles can be used for more than simple clothing adornment. They can also be adapted into really excellent forearm guards:
Not only do these make you look and feel like some sort of gladiator-superhero hybrid, they’re excellent for defending you against thrown objects, as long as those objects are not thrown very hard and aren’t sharp.
Festively Advanced Techniques
Really, everything that came before was just fluff. I’d apologize for wasting your time, but I think that if you’ll be candid with yourself you kind of knew what you were getting yourself into when you came to the site.
What I really wanted to show you was how you can make a really awesome and beautiful art object from a bottle.
Step 1. Get a bottle (Hi Sportgenic! Thanks for selling ads on my site, making me rich beyond my wildest dreams!).
Step 2. Cut almost all the way around the bottle many times, leaving the same area uncut on each ring.
Step 3. Bend into a beautiful circle. Secure with zip ties.
I know a few infidels among you are asking, “Why?” To which I answer, cryptically, “Art is its own reason.”
Also, you could use it as a Christmas tree ornament, or make a bouquet by making several of them and using spokes for stems. Men, your wives will love it if you do that. And I’m sure your masterpiece will find a place of honor in your home.
Oh, and you can also spiral-cut a bottle to make a Water Bottle Slinky:
The kids think this is the coolest thing I have ever made. Ever. Though my 16-year-old seemed a little bit concerned.
“What,” he asked, “made you think you should cut a water bottle into a slinky?”
I confess I did not have an answer prepared.
But What About the Lids?
As you make your life more and more wonderful each day by implementing the techniques shown here, you will no doubt begin to notice a new problem:
What should you do with all the lids?
And I must confess, I am stumped. The lids are a conundrum. I have tried making them into goggles. Dreidels. Earmuffs.
Disasters, each and every time.
I am at a loss.
Win a Michael Rasmussen-Signed Water Bottle!
And this is where you come in. In the comments area, describe — or better yet, include a photo — of how you would repurpose your water bottle lids. Ideas for water bottle repurposing are also acceptable submissions, because I have a generous nature and a heart of gold.
The winner, chosen by me, will get this:
Yes, that’s right. A Michael Rasmussen-signed Rabobank water bottle. For real. From back in the halcyon days of 2007. Here’s another pic, so you can admire the signature more completely:
I cannot think of a more awesome collector’s item than this, and I am trying really hard.
Good luck. I’m sure you’ll win.