Reduce, reuse, and recycle – three buzz words in today’s environmentally consciousness world. We need to use our resources in a more sustainable way, so using our creativity to reuse items we would normally throw away is one way of reducing the waste we create. An item that is easily transformed is the humble milk carton. Instead of throwing your empty plastic milk carton away, you can turn it into a nifty storage container.
Milk is a grocery item used by most households around the world, so why not put the cartons to good use in your home instead of throwing them out?
Just as you can use your imagination to create a storage container from a milk carton, you can use your creativity and resourcefulness to choose what to put in them. Almost everyone has an “everything” drawer somewhere around the house, the place where you store all the little things you don’t have a set place for.
How about organising them into handy recycled storage containers? Milk carton containers also work well as snack lunch-boxes for kids, or to use in the pantry to store packaged treats.
How to create a storage container from a milk carton
Cut the milk carton into two sections by removing the handle section and the lid of the bottle as a cut-out section.
When it comes to folding the milk the milk bottle into a storage container, there are so many ways of going about it – one option is to fold the bottle longways and create a flap on the short edge of the bottle. To keep the lid closed, you simply need to cut a little slot in the front flap and make a slit for it to fit into in the front. Another pretty option is to tie the flap to the rest of the bottle with a ribbon, or to stick on small Velcro dots onto each flap to stick them together.
When your milk storage container has been sealed together, you can mount it on to a PVC or chrome pipe. If you have an area where you do arts and crafts, these mounted containers are great for organising and storing your various craft supplies.
To mount the milk cartons on a PVC pipe, simply hook the handle part onto a length of pipe, stacking the containers in a row. You can mount the pipe under or at the side of your craft table, which conceals the pipe and provides easy access to your art and craft supplies.
For an aesthetically pleasing option, conduit pipe can add a good visual element to your craft table and milk carton storage. Conduit pipe can be found in hardware stores in the electrical section. They are usually used by electricians to run wires through the pipe, but work equally as well as rods to hang things on.
The benefit in conduit pipe is that not only does it look better than PVC, but is also strong, cheap, and comes in a variety of lengths that are pre-cut so you don’t have to cut the pipe yourself.
Hints and Tips
- You don’t need to use the largest milk cartons, you can make storage containers form any size plastic milk container. In fact, having a variety of storage sizes can be very useful for storing small or large items.
- Consider making pretty labels for each container so that you can see what is in them at a glance. This will also help you to keep your stored items and collections organised.
- If you have children, get them involved in creating their own milk carton storage containers. Be sure to help younger children with the tricky bits such as cutting the carton.
- You can use the project as a creativity activity as well as a learning opportunity – while you are creating your milk carton storage containers, talk to your children about the importance of recycling and get them thinking of creative ways to reuse other household items that you usually throw out after use.
- Don’t limit your creativity – milk carton can be used for many other repurposed uses. Next time, how about making a birdfeeder to attract bird to your garden? Let your ideas flow, and let your environmental conscience grow!