Have You Ever Used Recycled Plastic Bottles for Summer Window Display?


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Over 200 recycled plastic bottles which were cut into shape of flowers and spray painted then stuck onto old bicycle wheels and hung on the ribbons was used in visual merchandising. Nothing was wasted because even the bases of the bottles were used to create the flowers for the hanging garlands.

We were asked to design and install a summer window scheme for a high-end women’s wear boutique in St. Andrews, Scotland. The window had to be eye-catching and impactful and be able to work with many different colours and styles of summer clothing.

The trend for recycling and reinventing of items and products was and is still going strong and we at International Visual love nothing better than giving life to old disused items, and we wanted to create a floral scheme for the boutique but it wouldn’t be practical to use real flowers and we didn’t want go down the rout of artificial flowers as many companies do this. Here’s how we did our props and hope you could learn something from it.

One day while we were out for shopping, we saw a chandelier that was made out of old plastic bottles and some parts of it looked like flowers. So this got our creative juices flowing and we started to think about how we could create a floral explosion in the windows.

We contacted a local recycling plant and they let us come and take as many bottles as we needed. We used pop and water bottles of many different shapes and sizes.  After we had washed the bottles thoroughly we cut the bottom end off them leaving the spout which would later form the inside of the flower. We then simply cut the bottle into strips and rolled them back. We used lots of bright spray paints to create the floral color effect. Once dried, we then used some lengths of plastic and cut hundreds of tiny slits on one side then rolled them up into a tight coil. These were then pushed into the center of each flower to create the stamens.

We then found some old buckled bicycle wheels and attached the flowers to them to create floral arrangements. Finally the cut off ends of the bottles were sprayed, holes were punched in the middles and they were strung onto ribbons to create garlands.

This was our window display project for Melagrano.

The author, Phill Hill is the Creative Director of International Visual. Having started on the shop floor and working his way through the ranks into senior visual management at House of Fraser. Phill has a comprehensive understanding of retail and the importance Visual Merchandising plays in it. He is constantly searching for new creative ideas to stimulate visual thinkers.

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