When you break it down, the best qualities of a S'well bottle are its insulation and its ability to look cute in any and all circumstances. Its worst quality? The price tag. If you were looking to get the real deal, instead building your own DIY S'well bottle, you would likely end up shelling out $45 just for a small size, or $60 for a full size. I don't know about you, but that's my grocery money for at least two weeks. 

S'well bottles are famous for being able to keep liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, thanks to great insulating abilities. However, this insulation is super easy to recreate using aluminium foil and duct tape. The best part is that this DIY S'well bottle only costs $12 bucks.

Step 1: Choose your Base Water Bottle

beer, cake
Ellie Gilchrist

I always want to choose a waterbottle with as few curves as possible so that the aluminum foil doesn't crinkle and then the duct tape is also easier to apply. Nalgenes are awesome for this!

Step 2: Wrap your Aluminum Foil Around the Largest Flat Section

tea, coffee, beer, cake
Ellie Gilchrist

The aluminum foil is what mimics the insulating super powers of a real S'well bottle, so we want to put at least two layers of foil, attaching them with duct tape.

Ellie Gilchrist

Step 3: Time to Tackle The Bottom

cake, coffee
Ellie Gilchrist

The bottom can be really tricky because it's rounded and can really mess up the look of the bottle if the aluminum starts crinkling or folding. I started by cutting strips of the foil into 1/2 inch pieces that had about 1 inch of overhang on each side.

cake, beer, tea, coffee
Ellie Gilchrist

After I positioned the foil, I secured by cutting off a small piece of duct tape and taping both ends of the foil to the sides. 

cake, tea
Ellie Gilchrist

Once I had the first piece positioned I just kept going 'round until all the exposed areas were covered. For more insulation you could always just add more layers to the bottom.

Step 4: Duct Tape From The Bottom To The Top

coffee, beer
Ellie Gilchrist

I started by using the same technique on the bottom that I had used for the foil, then wrapped in three sections from the bottom to the top. The main key to this part is making sure that the duct tape crinkles as little as possible and lays as flat as it can.

Step 5: Time To Make It Pretty

beer, coffee, tea
Ellie Gilchrist

Use whatever decorative tape your heart desires and go to town in this step. I used blue duct tape and washi tape to decorate mine in stripes, but the possibilities are endless. Have fun with it!

Price Comparison:

When I made this DIY S'well bottle, I already had the aluminum foil and the duct tape which helped to cut down my costs. However, I did have to buy the actual water bottle and the tapes. All in all, the water bottle bottle cost me $8 and the tapes put me back a whopping $4. Not too bad at all considering a real S'well of the same size is $60.

Does It Stand the Test?

To test my water bottle I started the day off with some hot coffee and took it to work with me. As I mentioned before, a real S'well is supposed to keep liquids hot for 12 hours. While the DIY S'well didn't quite make it that long, it did last until 4 pm, which is a solid 8 hours. I also got a BUNCH of compliments on it, and people asking me how I made it. 

For the cold water test, the DIY didn't quite keep my water as freezing cold as a S'well would, but after 12 hours out in the blazing sun, my water was still cool and refreshing. 

#SpoonTip: Someone also suggested that I should put reflective tape on my DIY S'well to keep liquids extra cold.

It passed the test! This DIY S'well bottle project was super easy, very inexpensive, and the coolest thing for me was how many conversations it started. It's also a great way to upcycle things you likely have lying around the house anyways. #Sustainable.

So get out there and build your own beautiful DIY S'well bottle, I promise you will have way more interesting conversations than if you just hop right on that S'well bandwagon.