How to Turn a Plastic Bottle Into a Desktop Paper Shredder

How to Turn a Plastic Bottle Into a Desktop Paper Shredder

How to Turn a Plastic Bottle Into a Desktop Paper Shredder


Turning a plastic bottle into a paper shredder is a fun and easy DIY project that recycles materials you likely already have at home. With just a few simple materials like an empty plastic bottle, thumbtacks, cardboard, and scissors, you can make an eco-friendly paper shredder in under 30 minutes.

Not only is this a budget-friendly and environmentally conscious craft, but it also makes an entertaining novelty item for your desk or office. Read on to learn the step-by-step method for transforming a plastic bottle into a functional paper shredder with items you probably have on hand.

Gather Your Materials

To start this easy craft project, you’ll need to gather a few materials:

  • An empty plastic bottle – A 16-20 oz bottle works best. Remove any labels.
  • Thumbtacks – You’ll need around 50-100 thumbtacks. The more you use, the better the shredding capability.
  • Cardboard – A small cardboard box or piece of cardboard roughly 6 inches wide. This will make the shredder base.
  • Scissors – For cutting the cardboard and slitting the bottle.
  • Ruler – Optional but helpful for measuring.

That’s it! With just those few simple items, you’re ready to get crafting.

Make the Base

The first step is to create a sturdy base for your plastic bottle shredder using cardboard.

  1. Take your piece of cardboard and cut it into a rectangle roughly 6 inches wide by 4 inches tall. The exact size isn’t too important.
  2. On the rectangle, mark a line about 1 inch from the top.
  3. Cut out this top section so you have a three-sided open cardboard box. This will form the base.

Prepare the Plastic Bottle

Next, we need to prepare the plastic bottle for shredding.

  1. Take your empty plastic bottle and remove any labels.
  2. Using the ruler and scissors, carefully cut slits all around the bottle, from top to bottom. Space the slits about 1/2 inch apart.
  3. The slits should start about 2 inches below the bottle spout and go all the way down. Avoid cutting the bottom of the bottle.
  4. These slits allow the bottle to shred paper fed through the mouth of the bottle.

Add Thumbtacks

Here is where the magic happens! Take your thumbtacks and insert them pointy side in into the slits all around the bottle.

  • Push the thumbtacks in tight so the points slightly poke into the inside of the bottle.
  • Aim to fill all of the slits with thumbtacks, using 50-100 total.
  • The thumbtacks should stick out just a bit on the inside to effectively shred the paper.

Assemble the Shredder

Almost done! Now it’s time to put it all together.

  1. Take your cardboard base and place it on a flat surface.
  2. Insert the plastic bottle upside down into the cardboard base so it stands upright. You may need to squeeze it a bit to fit.
  3. Make sure the bottle is secure and won’t tip over easily.
  4. Your paper shredder is now ready for shredding action!

Shred Paper

To operate your new plastic bottle paper shredder:

  • Take a piece of paper, receipt, note, etc. that you want shredded.
  • Carefully insert it into the mouth of the upright bottle.
  • Let it slide down inside, where the thumbtack points will shred, tear, and rip the paper!
  • Give the bottle a shake or spin it around if needed to get more shredding power.
  • Empty out the shredded paper scraps when done.

And that’s it – you now have an easy-to-make eco-friendly paper shredder using basic household items! Get creative by decorating your shredder bottle with stickers, markers, or paint. Happy shredding!