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Maker Mayhem #14

​Pill Bottle Gifts: Rainy day projects for a crafting addict.

Among the many disreputable first place titles the United States holds over the rest of the developed world (e.g. adult obesity, pregnant teens, our crime rate, and no less than ten television shows hosted by Guy Fieri), we’re also the most overmedicated country on earth—we’ve even got antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and anticonvulsants contaminating our drinking water—and take another prize for prescription drug abuse. Our mania for meds also provides us with more post-consumer pill bottles than any other landmass on earth, and these simple DIY projects promise that “a touch of glue, a sprinkling of glitter, and a dab of paint” will bring a “new look” to all those empty pill containers you can’t seem to part with.

This How-To dates from 1968, the end of America’s last great decade of guiltless pill-popping, when doctors freely prescribed amphetamines for patients who lacked pep, or barbs for those who needed some shut-eye—no questions asked. Addiction? Phooey! Notions like a vegetarian diet, regular exercise, yoga, or drinking more water were dismissed as the methods of fruitcakes, health nuts, hippies, and free-loving nudists distrustful of an establishment working hard to make the world a better place.

A touch of glue, a sprinkling of glitter, and a dab of paint may bring new life to a pill bottle, but it also raises a few questions well worth asking, like just how many doctors does an overmedicated family have to tap in order to allow for enough pieces to craft an entire checkerboard set? And what about the Family Photo Tree made of pipe cleaners and pill bottle caps? Is this a thoughtful gift for grandma, or a silent cry for help? One Maker’s rainy day hobby might be another person’s moral dilemma: would a fourth-grade girl wearing a charm bracelet sourced entirely from pill bottles be reason enough to call child protective services?

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