Do you save your empty insulin vials, waiting for the perfect project to use them for? If so, I have just the idea for you: these adorable bud vases! It seems fitting that the bottles that hold our kids’ lifesaving medicine should be repurposed for something so beautiful and cheery.

You could just line the vials up on a window sill and fill them with your choice of flowers, greenery, or succulents. Or you can put your own spin on it by gathering them into a little table centerpiece or stringing them together to make a garland for the mantel.

I personally found a great old frame, hung some thicker string across the length of it, wrapped thin string around each individual vial, and attached that to the thicker string with miniature clothespins.

No matter which way you choose to display your arrangement, there are just a few basic steps to get you started.

What You’ll Need

  • 6 to 12 empty insulin vials
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective gloves
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Snippets of flowers, greenery, or succulents
  • Scissors
  • Empty wood picture frame
  • 3.5-inch pieces of thin string (1 piece per vial)
  • 1 to 2 feet of craft wire or thick string
  • Stapler
  • Clothespins

How to Make It

  1. Remove vial labels.Peel off the outer wrapping from the insulin vials.
  2. Peel off vial caps.Wearing safety glasses and protective gloves, use pliers to remove the caps from the vials. Grip the cap with the pliers and gently squeeze, crimping the sides of the cap. If necessary, rotate the vial a quarter turn and crimp the cap again. Then grab an edge of the cap with the pliers and peel it off of the vial. Lift out the rubber stopper that’s underneath the cap with your fingers.
  3. Wash out vials.Clean out the vials with soap and water and dry thoroughly.
  4. Thread one end of a 3.5-inch string over the other and then pull them tight around the neck of an insulin vial. Do this once more, forming a knot. Then knot the two ends of the string to form a loop. Trim the ends if necessary. Repeat with each of the insulin vials.
  5. Fill each vial up halfway with water, and place a flower in each vial.
  6. String the wire or thick string across the frame by stapling each end onto the back of the frame.
  7. Clothespin vial loops to thick string.Use a clothespin to clip the loop around each vial to the thick string.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.