row of milk bottles that have been reused for pen pots

10 ways to reuse plastic milk bottles (before recycling them)

These incredibly crafty bloggers have found some mightily cunning reuses for our humble plastic milk bottles. 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 or bin…

milk bottles as planters

1. Seed planters milk bottles

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!

milk bottles reused as brush holder

2. Brush and paint milk bottle holders

It’s all too easy to make a mess when you’re doing a fiddly paint job. The blog Savvy Housekeeping talks about how they wish they had this idea! We recommend 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.

milk bottles filled with water stored in freezer

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 is a simple way to minimise your electricity bills.

milk bottle watering can

4. Handy watering milk bottles

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. 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 TechRadar. 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. 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! Rustic Crafts 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

Do you enjoy a good reuse trick around the house and garden? Share your ideas and projects with us here or on Twitter and Facebook!

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