10 ways to reuse plastic milk bottles (before recycling them)
These incredibly crafty bloggers have found some mightily cunning reuses for the humble plastic milk bottle. From money-saving DIY and garden tools to props for your kids' fantasy worlds, take a look at how you can make the most of these containers before they head for the recycling box...
1. Seed planters
As Garden Gate Notes explains, plastic milk bottle bases make ideal containers for starting your seeds off, whether that's outdoors, in the greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill. Carefully cut your plastic milk bottles to the depth you require and drill a few holes in the base for drainage. You can recycle the off cuts!
2. Brush and paint holder
It's all too easy to make a mess when you're doing a fiddly paint job. The blog My Home Look Book recommends using a modified large milk bottle as a 'painting station' to help cut down on the drips and avoid accidentally knocking your paintbrush onto the floor.
3. A more efficient freezer
Did you know that the fuller the freezer the less energy it needs to use to keep itself at temperature? This tutorial from Instructables explains how filling any freezer space with old milk bottles two-thirds filled with water is a simple way to minimise your electricity bills.
4. Handy watering can
This is a simple but excellent idea from A Journey to a Dream's blog. Using one of your smallest drill bits, carefully put about 15 to 20 holes in the lid of a clean, empty milk bottle. Easy to fill, easy to handle and the fine spray is perfect for gently watering seed trays.
5. Junk-modelled Stormtrooper helmet
Our family's gone bonkers for Star Wars, so this cool recycled Stormtrooper helmet project from the Wizardry blog is definitely on our list of things to try out at half term. Yes, it really is made from old milk bottles!
6. DIY flash diffuser
If you want to take your photography to the next level, check out this article on DIY camera hacks from OMG Facts. Here, the handle of a milk bottle is used to make a flash diffuser to reduce harsh shadowing on your subject.
7. Protective cloches for young plants
Seedlings often need protection from early frosts and hungry wildlife, so here's a simple and free solution used by bloggers Black Hills Local Foods. Get hold of a few large empty milk bottles, wash out thoroughly, remove the lids and cut the base off. Place this milk bottle 'cloche' over your seedling and leave until the plant is well established.
8. Under-counter storage
Brilliant storage idea for artistic supplies from the Sew Many Ways blog! Check their tutorial to see how easy it is to install this hanging under-counter organiser using a few old milk bottles, a length of pipe and some second-hand curtain brackets.
9. Reusable box
This food-safe pouch is surprisingly easy to make and surprisingly useful around the house for keeping bits and bobs under control. Kids love them! CrÃ¨me De La Craft has the full tutorial.
10. Homework desk or home office book organiser
If your child's exercise books get lost in a messy pile or your work documentation is a muddle, put yourselves in order with this DIY mini bookshelf made from recycled milk bottles, found on Amazing Interior Design's blog