How To: DIY Beautiful Shampoo and Bathroom Bottles

There’s nothing like stepping into your beautiful, blissful bathroom renovation, carefully designed in a minimalist colour palette of tasteful neutrals… only for your eye to be immediately drawn to the stash of colourful, garishly labelled shampoo and conditioner bottles in your shower.

Am I being a little OCD? Yeah, I know it’s a first world problem, but I’m sure I’m also not alone here! Wouldn’t it be nicer if your plastic bottles didn’t bring down your bathroom, but made it look prettier? I searched online for refillable, pretty shampoo and body wash bottles, but came up with nothing. So today I’m sharing my easiest, laziest DIY to date, making your own pretty, refillable shampoo and bathroom bottles.

Of course, you can buy gorgeous, Pinterest-worthy shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles from the get-go (I’ve listed a few of those brands – like Buckley & Phillips Aromatics – at the end of this post) but what if you’re like me and you usually buy the cheap stuff?

I know I’ve horrified many a beauty therapist and hairdresser with my love of cheap, affordable supermarket beauty products (have used Nivea on my skin since I was nine, Garnier Fructis on my hair forever… whoops!) They smell so good though, and I go through shampoo and conditioner at a rate of knots (haaaa).

First step is to find nice bottles. I’d get plastic for a bathroom… so much safer during a slippery shower and I like the dark brown look of amber glass (amber plastic?) as opposed to clear bottles as they look more neat and uniform – but use what you like. You can recycle bottles you already have – even some of the home cleaning brands you get at Woolies use amber bottles (just clean them out thoroughly first). I’d also get plastic pumps. I bought an (expensive) metal pump for a Mason jar for my kitchen sink once, it rusted out in about two months. So annoying. I bought my bottles and pumps from eBay. Make sure you get a large enough size – 500mL is good. The stockist I bought from seems to have sold out but I also found some similar bottles here.

Then you need stickers. Normal paper stickers obviously won’t cut it in a wet room, but at first I couldn’t figure out what to Google search for. Eventually after stumbling upon a gorgeous DIY tutorial at Almost Makes Perfect I found out that for a wet room you need vinyl stickers, which are waterproof and last for ages. With so many people going crazy for essential oils these days, there are a lot of businesses that sell vinyl stickers specifically for plastic and glass bottles, so you’re in luck. I found mine via Etsy  I got them from a local Perth business called Mella + Moi. They had really pretty fonts.

Then all you have to do is apply your stickers – the ones I got came with instructions and it was super-easy. We all know I like to live life on the edge, so I eyeballed my sticker placement but you can measure them out and tape if you want them all really precise. Then you just need to decant your products into the new bottles… which I found oddly satisfying, being a dork. And then you’re all done! Putting stickers on a bottle; you don’t get an easier DIY project than that!

Aesop goodness from this SF Girl by Bay home tour.

And if you can’t be bothered doing a DIY or don’t have the time, I’ve scouted a few gorgeous brands that have beautiful, counter worthy packaging for beauty and cleaning products (definitely no need for decanting here!) These delicious bottles are so beautiful you’ll just keep them and refill them for good.

Buckley & Phillips Aromatics
Murchison Hume
Whistle and Squeak
Second Nature Botanicals
Bondi Wash
Koala Eco

Would you do a DIY like this or do you think I am being a bit obsessive? I think I already know what the husband will say… actually on second thoughts, he probably won’t say anything. He has been remarkably careful to keep his mouth politely closed lately, given I am pregnant and likely to scream, cry or wail in pain at the drop of a hat, like that other day when I discovered he ate the last chocolate biscuit (he eventually went and bought more). Pregnancy super powers. Maya x


Author: Maya Anderson

When Maya Anderson was thinking of a name for her homes and design blog, nothing seemed more fitting than House Nerd. Obsessed with everything to do with houses, renovating and interior design, Maya is a features journalist by training with a background in print and a focus on homes and real estate. She has been renovating her 1970s house since forever, loves dogs and can eat her body weight in dumplings.

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  • Woman after my own heart, I also have issues with the mismatched bottles! I may also have a big issue when my kids don’t finish a bottle before opening a replacement… Then there’s two partially used bottles… Uurgh. I am so doing this, brilliant! X

    • Oh no Kirsty! I think I take after your kids… I also have a bad habit of not finishing a bottle before opening the replacement! Hopefully now I am more motivated to be more scrupulous. Thank you – hope it turns out well, will look lovely in your house! x

  • Maya, this is so lovely! Although my bottles love in the shower (behind a shower curtain) because my bathroom is 10 million design years behind yours, I prefer the uniform look as well. I will definitely do this (haha, my scrooge soul is thinking I will even save money since my super short hair does not need any conditioner). I also love the font that you chose for the stickers. Now, wouldn’t it be perfect if you could take your pretty dark bottles someplace where they would refill them with your choice of shampoo/conditioner? The stories about all the plastic floating in the oceans and killing aquatic animals make me cry.

    • Yes!! Actually a couple of people on my Instagram told me they go to shops where you can have your bottles bulk refilled which is a fabulous idea. I did not even know this was something we had in Perth. I cried recently when Mr Nerd showed me the video of the baby whale that died because it had ingested so much plastic 🙁

  • I am just like you, but I wanted to replace my face wash, soap, lotion, body spray, etc. on my countertop, too. I decided to create an Etsy shop to create a full collection for others. I custom print waterproof labels and everything! I noticed you referred us to several shops, so I hope you don’t mind me sharing for those who don’t have the time or energy to pull all of the pieces together and DIY.