DIY Sprinkler (Using Recycled Materials)!

I recently was given several boxes of ball-point pens, so here's the first of several projects towards their re-use.

    1 20oz plastic bottle with cap
    1 universal male hose attachment (about $1.25 at the hardware store)
    15 used ball point pens
    Plumbing contact adhesive and sealant (such as Plumbing Amazing Goop)
    Electric drill
    3/8” drill bit
5/8” (or other) spade bit
Calipers or measuring tape
Utility Knife

Total Cost: $4.49 (for the Amazing Goop and the hose attachment).

1. Measure the thickest width of the hose attachment – most likely 11/16”. Drill a hole slightly smaller hole – 5/8”- in the center of the bottle cap.
2. Using the 3/8” drill bit, drill three rows of five holes into the bottle. Be sure to hold the bottle still so the bit won’t stray.
3. Remove the ball-point and ink insert from the pin, and use the utility knife to cut the pen to a 2” length, including the cone-shaped tips.
4. Insert the pins into the holes, about 1/2” in, and use the plumbing adhesive to secure them to the bottle. Work slowly, in a well-ventilated area, to ensure a watertight seal.
5. Glue the hose attachment to the hole in the cap, using glue on both sides to keep in water. Spread glue to the inside of the cap, and on the lip of the bottle. Twist the cap onto the bottle, and secure the seal with glue.
6. Twist on the hose, and sprinkle away.

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Booped Betty on Nov 01, 2015:

i'd like to see it in operation - I think the pressure in my hoses would blow the pens out - great idea though:]

Eoghan McDonald on Nov 12, 2012:

This is ingenuis and an great and effective way to recycle something which is giving something back to the environment :)

Chris on Oct 04, 2012:

Do you have any other ideas for a small above raised garden 2x10 and a 4x6

Anonymous on Sep 28, 2012:

Im surprized that the water bottle doesnt just end up flying around when turned on! Cool idea.


angel on Jul 30, 2012:

The best way to make the holes is using an solder iron with cylindrical end .

angel on Jul 30, 2012:

The best way to make the holes is usind an solder iron with cylindrical end .

Angel on Jul 30, 2012:

You can use a solder iron with cilyndrical sharpened working end and you will see that's the best way ti make holes in PET bottles.

Columbin D on Jul 28, 2012:

I have recently used a pop bottle and drilled holes in it to make a debre filter for the pool pump in my dogs little kiddy pool. I tried it first by freezing water in the bottle and once without. Both worked but for some reason i had an easier time drilling holes on the empty bottle.  When i have time I will pick up my parts to do this project.

Simon Sparks on Oct 10, 2011:

This is a great idea! Another reason to keep those used pens that I'm pretty sure everyone would have a lot if they have been through school. However this project might not be safe for kids if it involves an electric drill.

tigerlil on May 03, 2010:

I freeze my pop bottles when making spinners for my yard.  Easier to cut with the craft knife.  Have done it with all sizes of bottles. 

Thanks for the measurements.

Chrisjob on May 03, 2010:

@Tigerlill - I think freezing water is a GREAT idea. As long as the plastic could stand up to being frozen and thawed without cracking (though that might not be a bad idea...)

The center row is at 90-degrees, and the other two are (more or less) evenly spaced on either side. I simply drilled where the plastic was the thickest.


If you try it, make sure to let us know how it turned out!

tigerlil on May 02, 2010:

Would filling the bottles with water and freezing them help when drilling the holes?  It would give you something solid to put the pressure of the drill against.

How far apart are the three rows of holes/pens?  Divided equally????


GREAT idea.

naturaldesignchick on Oct 23, 2007:

Excellent! Thanks for letting me know.

Chrisjob on Oct 23, 2007:

I have no way of officially measuring PSI, but it works when the water shoots up to about 6 feet with no problems, which is enough for my little garden.

naturaldesignchick on Oct 22, 2007:

Cool! Shooting pens!


Actually, will the plumbing adhesive really hold them in there? Have you tested it to a known psi? 

practicalarchivist on Oct 12, 2007:

This is so fantastic! I can't wait for next summer...

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