If you’ve ever had a prescription or taken vitamins, cold medicine, or Tylenol, you probably have an empty pill bottle or two in your bathroom closet. While I don’t want to advocate saving everything and becoming a hoarder, hanging onto items like empty pill bottles can be useful for cosplay. Once you’ve used the contents of the bottle or properly disposed of them, clean out the plastic container and thoroughly dry it. Set it aside with your crafting and cosplay supplies because eventually, you may be able to incorporate it into a costume. We have five suggestions on what you can do with empty pill bottles:
Turn them into a weapon – If you need to make a spiked mace or flail, you can use cylindrical pill bottles for the spikes. It would give the weapon a cartoony look that would be suited for an anime costume, and the blunt spikes means you’re less likely to poke someone’s eye out. You’d simply need to carve indentations for the bottles into a foam ball and secure the bottles to the foam. Paint it to look like metal or go with bright, bold colors.
Make a cosplay repair kit – Whether you’re wearing a costume out and about for the first time or the tenth time, things can wrong. You could lose a button, your armor may come unglued, or a seam might rip. You can put the repair basics into a medium to large sized pill bottle and carry the repair kit with you. I’d recommend including a couple of safety pins, a couple of cotton balls, a tiny tube of super glue, a paperclip, 1-2 bobby pins, a strip of Velcro, glue dots, and a needle and thread.
Poison and potion bottles – Dressing up like a mad scientist or a steampunk doctor? Then you might want to make a bandolier full of bizarre concoctions. Plastic pill bottles are lighter than glass, and you can fill them with liquids or fake pills or paint the outsides of them and add labels. Carry your poison or potion bottles around your chest or on your belt.
Armor embellishment – The flat caps of pill bottles are ideal for adding texture to armor – especially breastplates. They could also serve as large rivets on the strips of a leather armor skirt (like the one Xena wears). All you’d have to do is attach them to your base material and paint over them. I think they’d look best with a metallic finish.
Jewelry – Many video game and anime costumes require giant pieces of jewelry and rather than looking for big beads or using heavier wood pieces, you can go with an empty pill bottle for any cylinder shapes you need to replicate. You’d just have to punch holes in the bottom and through the cap to string them on beading wire, and you can paint them with acrylics.
Top photo by Dan Buczynski.