Milk Jug Crafts & Reuse Ideas!
How to Reuse Milk Jugs in the Garden
There are lots of fun, easy ways to reuse an empty milk jug in your garden. If you have a jug with a screw-on lid, poke holes into the lid to create a watering can. Poke holes into the bottom and bury it in your garden to turn it into a root irrigator. Try cutting a jug into a convenient trowel or scoop. You can also turn a milk jug into a variety of planters, such as a cloche, a seed starter, a mini-greenhouse, and a self-watering planter. You can even attract birds to your garden by creating a simple milk jug bird feeder.
Creating Gardening Tools
Use a milk jug as a watering can.The easiest way to reuse a milk jug in your garden is to turn it into a watering can. All you need to do is poke around 20 small holes into the lid. Use an awl, metal skewer, or big needle to poke the holes.
- Use a milk jug with a lid that screws on instead of a pop-on cap.
Use a milk jug as an irrigator.An irrigator waters a planter or soil bed gradually, so it’s great to use if you’re out of town for a few days and can’t water your garden. Simply poke at least five small holes in the bottom of a milk jug. Then bury the bottom of the jug so soil covers all the holes.
- Fill the jug up with water through the jug's stem using your garden hose. Keep the cap on to prevent the water from evaporating. The water will slowly flow out of the holes and irrigate your plants’ roots.
- Be careful not to harm your plants’ root systems when you bury the jug. For larger plant beds, use one jug at least every three feet (one meter).
Make a milk jug trowel or scoop.Use a marker to draw a line under the handle. The line should make a semicircle and trace half of the jug’s circumference, with the handle at its center. Make two more lines from each end of the semicircle to the jug’s bottom, then connect them by drawing a scoop-shaped line through the bottom.
- You can make the shovel shape sharper if you need a trowel or make it round if you just need a scoop.
- After tracing your desired shape, use box cutters or scissors to cut out the opening and create your shovel.
- Make sure to keep the cap on the jug to hold in whatever you’ll be scooping. Using a jug with a screw-on lid will hold soil and other materials better.
Use a milk jug as an electric cord reel.Cut out the section of the jug opposite its handle. Cover the raw edges of the cut section with electrical tape to prevent any nicks to your cords. Hold the jug by the handle and wrap the cord around, using the cut section to hold the cord in place.
- If you have an electric leaf blower, edger, lawn mower, or any other corded garden tools, you can use the jug to keep your wires from getting tangled.
Using Milk Jugs as Planters
Make a simple cloche.A cloche fits over seedlings or grown plants to keep them warm as they mature or during colder weather. Cut around the jug one inch (two centimeters) up from the bottom. Cut jagged edges all the way around the jug so you can anchor it into the soil when you place it over your plant.
- Keep the cap on during colder nights, take it off when it’s sunny to avoid overheating the plants.
- Instead of throwing away the cut bottom, you can use as a base for potted plants.
Make milk jug seed starters.Cut around the jug about a third up from the bottom. Poke at least five drainage holes in the jug’s bottom. Fill it halfway with soil, plant your seeds, then cover it with another half inch (one centimeter) of soil (or however much your seed package suggests).
- You can leave the top of the jug connected to the bottom on one side to create a mini-greenhouse for your seedlings.
Create a labeled planter with a milk jug.Cut your jug in half, but leave a section opposite the handle two or three inches wide (five to seven centimeters) uncut. Cut vertically on either side of this section and at the top where the jug starts to curve and form the stem. This will create a labeling strip that extends up from the bottom of the container.
- Poke drainage holes in the bottom and plant your seeds or seedling. Use a marker to write on the vertical strip. You can label the plant’s species, the date you planted your seeds, or care information.
Make a self-watering planter.Cut your jug in half, keeping the handle intact, and cut the stem (where the cap attaches) off of the top section. Hold the top section upside down, so the end where the cap used to be faces down, and line it with a coffee filter to hold soil. Fill it with soil and plant your seeds or seedling, then place it into the bottom section.
- Water your seeds or plant, and keep a half inch (one centimeter) of water in the bottom section at all times.
- The self-watering planter is great for seedlings and for moisture-loving herbs like mint.
Making a Milk Jug Bird Feeder
Cut small holes on opposite sides of a milk jug.Use an awl or skewer to cut small holes on opposite sides of each other near the bottom of the jug. If necessary, use a pen or a Phillips head screwdriver to slightly widen the holes so they can accommodate a wooden dowel.
- Make sure to line up the holes neatly so the dowel will fit in straight.
- You can create a pair of holes for one dowel if you plan on making openings for birds to access seeds on two sides of the milk jug.
- If you want to make openings on four sides of the jug, poke two pairs of small holes for two dowels. Make sure one pair is slightly above the other in order to fit both dowels.
Run a wooden dowel through the small holes.Find a thin wooden dowel at your local home improvement or craft store. It should be long enough to stick through the jug with two or three inches (five to seven centimeters) extra on both sides.
- The extra lengths of dowel on each side will provide perches for birds.
- Run a second wooden dowel through the other pair of holes if you’re making four openings instead of two.
Cut larger holes just above the dowels.Use a box cutter or a pair of scissors to create larger holes from just above the dowels to the part of the jug that starts to curve to form the stem. These openings will allow birds to access the birdseed you’ll place inside the feeder. You can make two openings or cut one on each of the jug’s four sides.
Use electrical tape to cover the holes’ raw edges.Choose electric tape in your favorite color to cover the raw edges of each opening. The cut plastic edges can be sharp, and you wouldn’t want any birds to get hurt.
- The tape also provides decoration and adds a personal touch to your bird feeder. Try making stripes or other patterns with the tape.
Use nylon string to hang the bird feeder.Use the awl or skewer to poke two small holes at the top of the bird feeder where the cap would attach. Thread nylon string through the holes, fill the bottom up with birdseed up to the dowels, then hang the bird feeder in your garden.
- Use an artificial fiber like nylon or string made of metal instead of twine. Weather will wear and weaken down a natural fiber like twine, and your bird feeder could fall.
- You can coat the string with petroleum jelly to help deter squirrels.
Video: You Will Never Throw Away Used Milk Jugs After Watching This
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