Tutorial + How-to photo-24

Published on August 11th, 2009 | by Jamie Ervin

10

Crafty Ways to Reuse Milk Jugs

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Milk jugs will NEVER degrade if they end up in a landfill.  So its important to recycle every jug that enters your house,  sometimes we try to get crafty with them first or find a totally new way to repurpose jugs.

Some areas (*gasp*) don’t provide curbside recycling for plastics.  Please check Earth911 for places to recycle items your area doesn’t pick up curbside.  We are blessed and have mixed curbside recycling for nearly all our everyday items.  Please recycle your plastic jugs after use, industrious areas like New Jersey have used milk jugs to make a bridge.  Who knows what other uses will come of plastic recycling.

Here are some crafty ways we can reuse plastic milk jugs and divert them from the landfill.

  • Halloween candy containers.  Our kiddos did this last year for trick or treating.  We simply cut the top off and created an opening, leaving the handle behind.  Then we took the labels off, washed thoroughly and decorate with stickers, permanent markers, glitter glue, ribbons, googly eyes, etc…  After the candy fest, we simply undecorated the jugs and sent them off with our recycling.
  • Planters.  Cut the bottoms off, poke a few drain holes in the bottom and use the bases for plant starts.  The kids can also decorate them prior to planting for a fun rainy day activity.
  • Gray water collection.  Make a larger opening in the top and use the jugs to scoop (and store) gray water collected from washing dishes and bathing.  Then use the gray water for your plants or in the garden.
  • Watering can.  Make a larger opening at the top, leaving the handle intact.  Then poke several holes opposite the handle in the top 1/3 of the jug (a warmed nail works great to poke holes).  Then allow the kiddos to decorate as desired and voila’, they have a watering can all their own.
  • Bird feeder.  Make openings about half way down the jug, we do one on each side (4 total).  Decorate if desired.  Poke a single hole on each side of the top to run a wire through for hanging.  Fill the bottom with seed and hang.   Use this as an opportunity to do bird watching, check out a book at your library and teach your children about native birds in your area.
  • Scoop.  Cut your jug opening into a scoop shape (with the handle on the top).  Use for soil, let the kids use for water play and to wash hair in the bathtub.
  • Make slug bait.  Cut the base off, leaving it about 3 inches tall. Bury the base in the dirt so the rim is level with the ground, fill with beer.
  • Storage/Organization.   Make openings in the jug large enough to allow art supplies in and out easily… leave the handle intact for easy carrying.  Use the bases to protect dry goods in the cooler.  Use in the refrigerator (with or without handle) for storing medication, condiments, fresh veggies and other small items.  Make a hair accessory carry bin, cut a large opening, leave handle and decorate.   Store laundry supplies (clothes pins, bottles of vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide).
  • Kids collection container.  My kids love to collect things… and they like to have a special place to store these collections.  Cut a large opening, leave the handle and let them decorate it.  Now they have an easy container to carry with them on nature walks and other outings to collect fascinating rocks (or whatever else tickles their fancy) in.

What other ways do you resuse plastic milk jugs? For more ideas, check out Becky’s great post on 10 ways to reuse plastic bottles.

The photo?  That’s the milk jug we emptied at breakfast this morning along with my kiddos artwork, which makes beautiful wall art and a couple flowers my son picked in our yard last night.

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About the Author

Being green comes naturally for Jamie, a Native Oregonian. Educated at Oregon State University she is now a UofO Ducks fan, but remains true to her Alma Mater, the Beavers. Jamie lives vicariously through her husband, a developer of shoes for little feet, who travels the world over and prays she doesn't blog about him. She is the mother to five children, aged 4-16 and a Registered Daycare Provider. Her long term goals include traveling Asia, completing her first novel, obtaining her Master's Degree in English Lit and Education, in addition, Jamie would love to start a natural household and body product line, or maybe just pour some (organic soy) candles. Visit Jamie's personal blog, Looks Good In Polka Dots where it's not just about mothering, gluten free cooking and socially conscious living.



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