I told my husband that we needed to purchase a reel to keep the cord on. A reel makes it easier to store the cord and keeps it from getting tangled up. The idea popped into my head to use a milk jug so I gave it a try and it works.
I cut out a section opposite the handle to make some sides to hold the cord. Holding the jug by the handle, I wrapped the cord around the jug. This works, however, I think a heavier jug will work even better. I may not have to spend money on a reel after all.
By Betty from NC
By Mary C. from Newark, CA
We go through lots of gallon milk jugs all the time. I have started saving them and cutting off the part below the handle to make little stackable storage for the table. They nest in each other and you can write on them to tell what they are.
I am sure that children could color pictures on them with Sharpies and then give a set of them as gifts to grandma or grandpa. I am also going to make little Easter baskets this year for the kids.
My husband is an avid gardener, and has come up with a great use for those empty plastic gallon milk jugs. Cut the milk jug in half underneath the handle, and when you plant your new tomato plants, (or any other vegetable plants). Place the stem end through the spout opening in the milk jug and plant the opening in the ground.
The milk spout not only functions as a feeder by directing the flow of water to the roots of the plant, but it will also keep the cutworms off your plants, as they will not want to travel up the plastic.
Now you can use the bottom half of the milk jug by making some cuts in the bottom of the jug, filling the container with new potting soil, and start your seedlings out the right way, allowing proper drainage.
By Sandra from Floral City, FL
These are great for large pots, or to put on rows where seeds are started, and later can be attached to poles at the end of the same rows if poles are needed, as in pole beans, or if you have something that vines.
I find these very handy, because they are first of all, free, and with the permanent markers, they last a growing season. Smaller ones are perfect for small pots of "give to friends", or "trade with others" plants, and show that you were careful to identify, and even give growing instructions if needed.
Hope you enjoy this thrifty tip.
By LJF from Theodore, AL
By Carolyn from Mansfield, UK
Cleaned out milk jugs are so handy around the house. Of course I take them to the store to fill for drinking water.
I mix up plant fertilizer in them to feed the plants. So easy to grab and pour.
I mix up hummingbird food and store in the frig. I mix up powdered milk for the kitty that comes to eat. I put pebbles in and use as a door stop.
We freeze water in ahead of time to use in the cooler instead of buying ice. It's so handy to have it stored in the frig. Be sure not to fill completely full. Leave room for expansion.
I cut a heavier jug up at the handle area and use as a scoop for my bird feeders in the winter time.
Put nuts and bolts in for a baby to kick around to make noise. They love that.
You can also cut the bottom out and remove the lid and put around young plants in the early spring to protect from the cold.
You can cut the top larger but keep the handle and use to carry smaller items in to the garage.
Another good use is to cut the top open more and use to collect seeds from flowers. Be sure to always mark the outside with a permanent marker so you know what's inside. And do not use it for anything else. You don't want to mix plant food with hummingbird food.
I recently read on this site about using an iron to flatten milk jugs. Could someone tell me more details on how to do that? What temperature iron, what covering on the plastic, etc.?
Polly from Turtle Creek, PA
Sorry, Polly. I Just assumed it was to flatten the jugs for trash or recycle bin, cause the question didn't mention crafts.
My suggestion would be to first cut top and bottom off of jugs and then cut the body in to two, three or four pieces. To be safe, just experiment with the temperature on small portions until you're sure what is too hot. Any 100 % cotton fabric would be fine to use (old t-shirts, thin towels, etc) but I personally would use fabric under and on top of the plastic.
Hope this helps and be sure to share the iron temp with us and maybe even share a photo of the patterns and shapes :-)
Plant labels can be expensive to buy and often don't last more than once season. So, this year I am making my own. I am cutting squares out of my clear plastic milk jugs, and writing the plant or seed name on the squares, along with the date planted. Then, using an ice pick, I am poking 3 holes (in a vertical line) about 1 and 1/2 inches apart in the square. Then, I am inserting my stick, weaving it through the holes to hold it. (with only 2 holes, the plastic square label part slides down, the 3rd hole seems to prevent this) The "sticks" are a piece of stiff galvanized fence wire that I cut to a 12 inch length, bought for about $2.00 at the hardware store in the scrap pile. It should probably make about 25 label holders. Good way to recycle empty milk jugs. I can reuse my "sticks" again next year.
By April from Plattsburg, MO
The opaque lens cover on our motion light cracked and fell apart from time due to weather. To save time and money, instead of replacing the light or trying to find a replacement cover we just cut a new one from a empty milk jug. It looks great and works fine.