Posts tagged "milk bottle"

Bike mudguards from plastic milk bottles

Quentin has been in touch with this great idea:

It always surprises me that these days many bicycles are supplied without mudguards. Anyhow, I’ve discovered for my children’s bicycles, that a very satisfactory set of mudguards can be made from a couple of 4 pint milk cartons, 5 x 15cm tie wraps and 8 staples.

A photograph of this arrangement can be seen here:

and I’m sure that you they could be decorated in some way.

I’d be delighted if you were to share this inventive reuse of the milk carton with your viewers and it might save many a grateful mother from having to wash the muddy stripes of the backs of shirts and trousers.

Great reuse idea! I bet if they were painted a solid colour, it would be hard to tell what they’re made from.

Anyone else done anything similar?

Five fantastic reuses for plastic milk bottles

With their semi-rigid sides & strong handle, plastic milk bottles are very easily reusable – which is useful since there are bajillions generated every day.

We’ve had loads of great suggestions about them over the years but here are some of my favourites:

1. Pencil sorter
Mentioned as a featured link a few weeks ago, I love how neat and practical these containers are for coloured pencils/pens. Stored on a shelf, the lids could be painted the colour of the pencils to make for easy identification.

2. Paint caddy
One close to my heart at the moment because we’re decorating – plastic milk jugs make great paint caddies. 4 pint/half-gallon/2ltr bottles are best for this – cut out the panel of plastic opposite the handle, leave the neck intact for strength and cut down to about half way. The handle is easy to hold (or you could loop some wire/string around it to hang it from a ladder rung) and the caddy holds about 2 pints/1ltr of paint at a time – enough to do a fair amount of painting.

3. Foraging container
SandyM’s family use gallon milk bottles as foraging containers – widen the neck and add a loop of rope or a strong belt through the handle holds it up, leaving both hands free for collecting fruit. In the UK, our bottles tend to be long & thin, so possibly the wrong shape for this – but a great idea if you can get hold of those bigger square bottles.

4. Bird feeder
One of the original ideas for reusing them – make them into bird feeders. The how-to uses gallon jugs but the same theory can be applied to smaller ones too – I’ve made mini ones for our mini-tree from 1ltr/2pint bottles.

(I’ve also used a plastic milk bottle as a grit hopper for our chickens – same principle as the bird feeder but with stones/shells instead of food. It would be a cruel joke if they didn’t need the grit for digestion.)

5. Scoops
Cut away a wedge from the bottom to make it into a scoop – for scooping flour/grain/animal feed or other dry goods, or at the other end, as a pet poop scoop. Leave the lid on to avoid spills from the other end.

What are your favourite reuses for plastic milk bottles?

This week’s reducing, reusing & recycling roundup

  • I’m a big fan of reusing milk bottles for all sorts of things and this idea for using them as stationery organisers is fantastic. If they were for use by little delicate hands, I’d be tempted to sticky-tape the cut edges to make them less sharp.
  • Kristin from Craft Leftovers used the offcuts from fitting a bamboo blind to make coordinating twined coasters.
  • Jan McNeil, a Sculpture & Photography student from the University of Ulster, emailed to ask if anyone has any old baby dummies/pacifiers lying around – she wants them for an art project. Get in touch if you’ve got some – or have any ideas for where she might be able to get them from – and I’ll pass your details/suggestions along.
  • I love the idea of this toothbrush holder made out of old toothpaste tubes. (Although I’d want to make sure it was easy to clean – which, with the lips, I’m not sure it would be in this design).
  • This reusable lunch bag how-to uses new shower curtains but it could equally be made from a clean old one. A great way to reuse to reduce.
  • Someone – a name didn’t make it through so I don’t know who – sent over some photos of a birthday table cloth made from old balloons: “I recycle my birthday ballons by gluing them to a clear plastic sheet, gotten in the fabric dept. They make a cute table cover for the party!”


How can I reuse or recycle milk bottle tops?

Milk bottle foil topWe’ve had another email from Lyndall, asking:

i was wondering if you knew what i could do with the foil top of milk bottles?

I remember a Blue Peter fundraising appeal from circa 1985 that involved us collecting them for charity but now charities – like Southampton’s Gift of Sight appeal – seem to collect plastic ones instead.

Since they’re just foil, they can be recycled along with other foil products – we can include it in our doorstep recycling.

But what about reuses?

(Photo by LHMike)

How can I reuse or recycle plastic milk bottles?

Plastic milk bottleA few weeks ago, on the coconut shells post, I found a very cool way to reuse plastic milk bottles to make covered bird feeders for small birds (UPDATE – the link I had has stopped working, the next best one uses big milk jugs but the same principle applies to smaller bottles too, from a 2pint/1ltr upward).

But as we’ve only got one tree in the garden (and that’s not really a tree, it’s an overgrown bush which is very cat-accessible), I’d love to find out other ways to reuse them rather than just slinging them in the recycling bin.

Any ideas?
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