Making a Self-Watering Milk Carton

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
May 25, 2018

Self-Watering Milk Carton - carton waterer in placeI love upcycling these milk cartons into self-watering systems for my plants. The slow drip is assisted by the tiny hole you punch in the carton, and works long enough for me to go away for a weekend or quick holiday. You only need a few items to make this, and it definitely pays off. The nice, level squareness also helps it stay in place nicely in the soil, resistant to wind or pesky animals.


You will need a milk carton with a plastic twist-off lid.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 waterer


  • 1 clean and empty milk carton with twist-off plastic lid
  • 1 ice pick
  • 1 serrated knife
Self-Watering Milk Carton - supplies


  1. Twist off the plastic lid and poke a tiny hole in it with your ice pick. Twist the lid back on.
  2. Self-Watering Milk Carton - punch hole in lid
  3. Use your serrated knife to slice off 3 of the 4 corners of bottom of the milk carton.
  4. Self-Watering Milk Carton - cut on three sides
  5. Unfold the bottom and fill with water.
  6. Self-Watering Milk Carton - fill with water

  7. Press into soil next to plant that needs watering.
  8. Self-Watering Milk Carton - press into soil next to plant
  9. These work great for new plants that need extra love and moisture until they settle.
  10. Self-Watering Milk Carton - next to plant in the garden
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 13


May 28, 20181 found this helpful

Great idea for new plantings. :)

Reply Was this helpful? 1

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
May 28, 20180 found this helpful

Yes! My new "babies" are quite pleased, especially because I'm not able to tend them myself too much lately.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 254 Posts
May 17, 20200 found this helpful

I love this tip. The solid waste division in my city stopped accepting these cartons for recycling, and now they must go in the trash. I have been trying to brainstorm what to do with them. Thanks for the tip.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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