Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tool Time Tuesday...Recycled Milk Cartons For Storage

Happy Tuesday everyone!! Today's Tool Time is a mixture of recycling, hardware store finds and jewelry findings. We all need storage for various things...whether it's for our sewing, crafting or in other parts of our home, we need storage. My first thought is...I don't want to pay for anything to store my things in! Here's where milk cartons come into play.

My kids go through milk so fast, we should own a cow. However, with the girls away at school, the rate we go through it has slowed down. It's taking me longer to save the containers, but I only need a few more.

Do you remember this idea from one of my sewing room posts? It's the back of my cutting table. I use a conduit pipe with brackets attached to the table. It holds my rolls of freezer paper and Heat & Bond.

Old curtain brackets attached under the table.

Conduit pipe is found in the electrical section of your hardware store. An electrician would run wires through this pipe. Me? I use it for rods to hang things on...it's super cheap, strong and comes in so many pre-cut lengths.

The star of the show...plastic milk cartons.

You'll need to cut out the top, front portion of the carton. You need to keep the handle section intact with the bottom.

Cuts easily with scissors.

Here are the few I've collected so far.

Lots of storage in there.

They slide easily onto the pipe through the carton's handle.

Perfect for storing all your scrap fabric that you cut up into certain sizes.

***Here's a tip for you...when you are cutting up fabric for a quilt and have left over pieces, cut them up into usable squares right then. You are more apt to use the squares in the future if you cut them now verses throwing the fabric in a box to cut up later.***

If you want to label your fabric squares, just print your measurements and cut them out.

I used a die cutter.

Next, punch a smaller hole at the top of the tag and use a large jewelry jump ring to attach to the milk carton.

I used an awl to make the small hole in the top part of the carton's handle.

Add the jump ring to hold the tag on the carton.

2 1/2 inch fabric squares all in one place!

Great for a quick project when you know what size the squares are.

The gallon jugs fit 5 inch charm squares perfectly!!

Now for your children or grandchildren...

Holds pens, pencils, crayons, markers, colored pencils etc...(I didn't change the label names in this picture. Still says the square measurements)

Add a roll of paper so the kids can unroll the paper across the table to color or just rip off a piece to draw some where else.

This roll of  paper is in the painting section of the hardware store. $2.49!!

They use it to mask off areas for painting, but it's perfect crafting paper for kids. It comes in different widths too!!

Supplies are organized and easily accessible for kids.

Whether you use this idea in your sewing room, kid's craft room, husband workbench or in the garage...it's a great way to organize and recycle!!

I'm thinking there is going to be a lot of milk used up this week. You'll be making pudding, eating cereal, drinking milk shakes etc just to get that milk carton.

Have fun!!

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  1. I use the plastic containers of cat litter, cut down to hold my magazines. Better than those plastic mag holders that cost $10 or more.

    glen: thanks for your ideas

  2. OMG what a brilliant idea - my husband is away working for a few weeks and I have a feeling I'll be doing a bit of DIY before he comes back ; )
    thank you, Miche'le

  3. I have been using the plastic kitty litter containers, cut down, for my magazine storage. They are way cheaper than those ones you buy in the office supply places!

    glen: love your ideas and hints, thanks!

    1. I got an error message and thought the first one didn't go through! Sorry for the double!

  4. You NEVER cease to amaze me! This is pure genius! I'm doing a posting series on organizing...I will link your site on the next one...they have to see this great idea!!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  5. I love this idea, got a nearly finished carton in the fridge.

  6. I love this idea, got a nearly finished carton in the fridge.

  7. great idea! I love the idea of hanging them on a rail thanks for this.
    I also use milk bottles to cut scoops for pet food/cat litter etc
    blessings x

  8. You're great!!! So much ideas! Besos

  9. Oh you are just FULL of wonderful ideas....thankyou for sharing as always xx

  10. PERFECT! I have a rod hanging in my room already that I put my ironing board in front of. BUT, I have been wanting to move the room around. Now I will open that rod and hang cartons on it, so I can easily sort my precuts that I make, and have some place to put them without taking up shelf space too. I already have the scraps on the shelf right above it, so this is PERFECT! I am all about recycling. Almost my entire room is recycled.

  11. Girl! You are always so creative. Love it!
    Susan @

  12. Karen, you are too fun! I expect to see an upgrade of this with colored detergent bottles with color coded items in it...fabric, markers, etc. ;-)
    I added a bar to my table as well for freezer paper and brown craft paper. We had to replace some bar holders in the bathroom and repurposed the older ones to my work space. Thanks for the idea.
    Funny, that brown paper has been in my work area for a long time but my crafty 17 yr old son just noticed it! "Hey mom, can I use some of that brown paper or is it sacred"!
    I also found some clear plastic soap dishes at the dollar store. They had suction cups on the back to attach to the shower. I took those off and attached them to the short end of my table. One for my bean bag weights and one for my extra large washer weights. Kind of a cool "find" for the 2 year old grandson.

  13. Woman, listen to me, does that brain of yours ever rest???? What a great idea, now I need to find a way to incorporate this into my studio. Love it, thank you!

  14. Love this scrap saver idea. I already have the rod attached on my cutting table from your inspiration in a previous post now I want another rod for the other side of the table for the milk cartons.

  15. AWESOME idea(s)!!! I lUV the tag idea...could be used in many applications. And, the milk cartons are great...but, then the HUGE next step...hanging them! Thanks for the inspiration!


  16. When I was a kid, my parents used to grow lots and lots of plants. We would sell the plants at the swap meet. We would cut the milk cartons just like this and put plants in them, with holes in the bottom of the milk jug to let the water drain out the bottom. Free pots :)Easy to carry too! That was way back in the 70's. Great minds think alike.

  17. fabulous post!! Thx so much for sharing ... again :)

  18. Do you think you could spray paint the jugs so they could be different colors? Or would the paint just come right off? I'm a bright colors kind of girl! http://www.modernhomemakers.com

  19. I just HAVE to show this idea to my husband so he can help me do something like this. Very clever, Karen! Thanks for the awesome ideas!

  20. Great Idea, I just bought the Leaders and Enders book from quiltville and was reading about cutting up your scraps. I go thru almost 2 gallons a week, my friend does too, would be a good way to start cutting up my scraps.

    Using your paper idea with crayons, gonna make a coloring table for grand daughter.

  21. Great idea, now I need to think hard where I can use it. Thanks for the tip!

  22. KAREN, that is just what the doctor ordered!

    I called for my partner to come look at your post so that he can use your idea in the farm shed. He was equally impressed. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Also, thank you for your advice about the 'no reply' on my blog. I hope I've fixed that. I read your every post but because I get it via email, I don't often comment. I am there loving your work. xo

  23. Awesome, awesome, awesome! What a brilliant use for milk jugs from a Brilliant mind! Thanks so much for sharing the great things you do. Love that you are "always" thinking and are so ready to share the brilliance. Keep up the good work! I am now a new follower of your blog!

  24. That is so very clever! Thank your for sharing it. I'm terrible at cutting scraps into manageable pieces. I always think that I might need an odd shape or slightly more than a square or triangle...

  25. Hi Karen - I did a blog post about how I REuse milk jugs. Thanks for your inspiring post, I referenced it in my list of ways to reuse milk jugs. See here. http://flythecoopcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/04/milk-jugs-endless-possibilities.html

  26. Great ideas Karen! And thanks for the tip on the painter's paper - that's exactly what I need for my kids. Thank you!

  27. This would be a really cute idea for a little writing or art center in a classroom! Love it.

  28. You have got to be one of THE MOST creative, inventive people EVER! My mom and I love your blog and both of our jaws hit the floor on a regular basis in awe of soooo many of your ideas and projects!! Keep it up...we love you!

  29. just finding your blog and am loving it! so many great ideas! i'm glad their are people like you who are so creative, work on a budget and makes things look good... and are willing to share your ideas with those of us who want to be more like that but it just doesn't come natural to! :) do you think you could plant plants in those milk cartons?

  30. Thanks for sharing this strategy of making use of used plastic containers to make them more useful as storage.

    I made one of these and used it to store my compose pits that I would be using for my plants. It is very nice to use.

  31. Found this post through Google! Brilliant idea!


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