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Six Projects to Make With Recycled Plastic Bottles and Jugs

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Recycle empty plastic bottles and jugs into these fun and useful projects.


Cut four holes 2″ from the bottom on each side of a half-gallon milk jug. Below each hole, make a small hole and poke dowels or sticks through the feeder. Ask an adult to drill a small hole in the cap.

Attach a string or metal coat hanger, fill with birdseed and hang it up.


Cut the top third off a 2-liter plastic bottle. Ask an adult to drill a small hole in the cap. Pass a string through the hole. Fill the bottom of the bottle about half way with water. Place the top upside-down in the bottom and put in your plant. The string will wick up the water into the soil.


Cut the bottoms off two 1-gallon milk jugs. Make a ball from rolled-up plastic grocery bags and tape. Enjoy a game of catch.


Cut a hand-size hole opposite the handle on a 1-gallon milk jug. Slide the handle onto your belt. You’re ready to pick and hold more berries.


Cut the bottom from a milk jug about 3″ high. Cut three or four 3″ circles from the upper part of the jug. Try to sail the disks into the milk-jug bottom.


Cut a 1-gallon milk jug at an angle as shown. This is great for spreading compost or removing water from a boat.


Check out these photos of the completed project sent to us by Boys’ Life readers. If you have a photos of a BL Workshop project, please use the form below to send them to us.

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12 Comments on Six Projects to Make With Recycled Plastic Bottles and Jugs

  1. cool ideas for the bird feeders

  2. awesome ideas. this was a BIG HELP!

  3. natitonic // May 9, 2009 at 9:52 am // Reply

    i like the self watering plant!

  4. stop smoking plan // May 3, 2009 at 8:08 am // Reply

    Simple tips but great ideas!!!

  5. spyscout123 // March 30, 2009 at 8:16 am // Reply

    cool i’ll try most of them.

  6. awsome dude

  7. Battleaxe dude // March 9, 2009 at 8:39 am // Reply

    I think almost everyone was to simple except the self-watering plant

  8. Tractorman // March 8, 2009 at 7:36 am // Reply

    I would love to see how to make a robot. How about electricity projects?!

  9. For the self-watering planter, it may be useful to know some of these tips.
    1) use COTTON string. plastic stuff won’t work.
    2) use about 5 strings. one string will not bring anough water to the plant.
    3) use soil made for seed starting or potting. regualr soil from the garden will compress and become some what like concrete (not good)
    4) once in a while, take apart the planter and wash the water resvoir and strings.

    the best of luck

  10. these are all eally cool and i think i might try some. these projects are becoming really fun for me and my family!!!

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