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

  1. FrugalGardener // October 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm // Reply

    For the sub-irrigated planter (it’s not really self-watering as you do have to water it once in a while), it’s best to use medium to heavy weight cotton fabric strips for the wick because string or yarn will rot quickly and fail. Better stuff to use would be fiberglass tiki torch wicks or nylon rope. Paint the “reservoir” to discourage algae.

    • or tee shirts into long strips and also for the algae just place a penny that is aged of 82 and back. like 82 to 72. Or add some cinnamon to water. Helps as a root hormone and for fungus type things. Good for around the soil after seeds go in to keep dampening away.

  2. thanks for the tips on the self-watering planter it really helps

  3. I cut a circle in the side of a gallon milk jug and use it to stuff plastic grocery bags in. Makes for a great dispenser with no messy bags everywhere.

  4. We cut part of the side off of a milk jug to store a plunger in behind the toilet. Catches and drips & keeps the floor clean.

  5. im doing the birdfeeder next meeting

  6. You can cut a bottle to hang on the faucet of a five gallon drink cooler to catch the drips.

  7. If you get a broomstick and two 1 gallon milk jugs and tape the jugs to either side of the broomstick and then fill them with water you get a bench press

  8. Justin C. (Micky7c) // June 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm // Reply

    Using 2 big plastic storage containers, And adding 16 players and 16 “ball toss” toys, yuo can have a competitive game with 2 teams and the containers as goals.

  9. I made the bird feeder using a one galon jug. The birds love it.

  10. why so serious // November 5, 2010 at 12:12 am // Reply

    the self watering plant idea is really awesome…thanks

    • love, love the self watering planter idea… Won’t have to worry about my plants when I’m gone for a week or two…

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