Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Scoop

Learn how to recycle a plastic bottle into a handy garden scoop.Spring has sprung in Tucson and I hope you are starting to enjoy some warmer weather wherever you are, too! Because of our climate, I do much of my gardening in the winter, but this is a nice time of year to get out in the yard, too.

One thing I always like to have handy when I am planting is a plastic bottle scoop. They are a little larger than a typical hand shovel. I use mine for digging planting holes as well as scooping buckets full of compost to supplement my potting soil.

This project is a quick and easy way to recycle large plastic bottles.


  • Empty plastic bottle with a handle
  • X-Acto knife or scissors
  • ruler (optional)
  • Sharpie (optional)


I made my scoop with an empty 2 qt vinegar bottle. You may also be able to use a laundry soap or bleach bottle or maybe even a small milk jug. See what's in your recycle bin.
Wash out your bottle and remove the label. Don't throw away the cap. You should keep that on your bottle.
Use an X-Acto knife or scissors to carefully cut off the bottom of the bottle.
If you want to make sure your scoop is perfectly symmetrical, mark vertical lines equidistant on either side of the handle.

Then mark an angled line that's about an inch and a half wider at the bottom of the bottle.
Do the same on the other side of the bottle.
Carefully cut up one angled line, around the bottle (under the handle), then down the other angled line.
Your scoop should look something like this.

That's it! You are ready to head out to the garden.
You get the joy of being green by repurposing a plastic bottle and saving it from the landfill and the satisfaction of planting some fresh new life.

Learn how to recycle a plastic bottle into a handy garden scoop.

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