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

  1. My dinghy has a v-bottom. Bailer is just what I was looking for. Planter is great too. Though I have been making something similar out of a 5 gallon bucket.

  2. Wellness MGT. corp // September 9, 2016 at 10:08 am // Reply

    Really usefull things can be done from bottle, I did even know that it it is possible.

  3. pack 4511 bear den leader // October 4, 2014 at 11:38 am // Reply

    how do you keep the bird feed from pouring out of the holes on the bird feeder?

    • Pack 451 bear den leader, I don’t think the author meant to completely fill the jug. Fill it to just below the holes you drilled so the birds can reach it.

  4. awesome

  5. The self watering planter is a good idea. My town burns at 45 deg Celsius during summer time in Eastern part of India. My cub-scouts will be happy to make such planters.

  6. Someone's Mom // October 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm // Reply

    I use the handles from the milk jugs for neckerchief slides. Cut the handle off and then cut rings from the handle. Glue just about anything to it. They’re the perfect size for a neckerchief to go through!

    • Bear Leader // October 4, 2014 at 9:46 am // Reply

      Great idea! I’m going to do this with my Bear Den for pinewood derby Car neckerchiefs. Awesome idea, thanks for sharing!!

  7. anonymous says // September 9, 2014 at 10:10 am // Reply

    Those are really cool ideas, that is a fun project to try. Thank You for sharing this with us.

  8. cool idea ; )

  9. If you use the leather awl on your boy scout knife to punch a hole in the top of the handle of a gallon jug, liquid pours out of the jug smoothly, rather than the blub, blub, blub, that splashes everywhere!

  10. did bird feeder

  11. good idea

  12. Tenderfoot // May 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm // Reply

    I think it gives an amazing thought of reduse, reuse, recycle for young and old people across the world

  13. If you get the gallon milk jugs that have two circular impressions on each side of the front, cut a U shape out like the one shown for the berry picking jug. Cut out pink eyes and put blue dots in them, staple a couple of pink and white bunny ears to the top and you have an Easter basket.

  14. can a seed work in the bottle

  15. cool.

  16. I just wish I had some plastic bottles, because this looks fun!

  17. Cool projects

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. im doing the birdfeeder next meeting

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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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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