The Owner-Builder Network

10 Creative Ways to Repurpose Plastic Milk Jugs

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by teamobn

Repurposed Plastic Milk Jug Ideas Main Image
Recycled Plastic Milk Jugs

Several recent reports indicate the bleak global situation associated with the world’s use of plastic. Globally, people buy a million plastic bottles per minute.  Experts estimate that 91 percent of the plastic we use is not recycled. 

To make matters worse, studies indicate that commerce and industry will sell over half a trillion plastic bottles in 2020.

Does your milk come in plastic jugs?  Hopefully, you’ve been able to recycle them rather than simply go to landfills. But why not upcycle them instead? Instead of contributing to the growing global garbage problem, you can easily turn trash into treasure!

If you’ve always had plastic milk jugs in your house, you probably already know one or two repurposing ideas for them. But there are so many clever repurpose plastic milk jugs projects!

They’re great as planters, as storage containers, like igloos, bailers and you can even make jewelry with them!

When it comes to upcycling, the only limit is your imagination. You can even involve the whole family! Brainstorm and come up with great upcycling ideas.

Repurposed Plastic Milk Jugs Ideas

Check out some of the clever repurpose plastic milk jugs ideas we’ve shared below and then let your imagination run wild! And of course, any similar container, such as those containing fruit juice, can be used in the same way!

Popular Repurpose Plastic Milk Jugs Ideas

Click on any image to start the lightbox display of our repurpose plastic milk jugs. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer  8-)

Plastic Milk Jugs as Seed Starter

Plastic milk jugs are excellent for starting seeds, especially for perennials that need protection from the elements during their initial growth stages. To create a repurpose plastic milk jugs mini-greenhouse, simply cut a milk jug in half horizontally, keeping the cap on to regulate moisture. Fill the bottom half with potting soil, plant your seeds, and then tape the top half back on.

Place the jugs outside where they can get sunlight. The transparent plastic allows sunlight in while retaining heat and moisture, accelerating the germination process. This method is not only effective but also a great way to reuse containers that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

Pieces of jewelry from Plastic Milk Jugs

Creating jewelry from repurpose plastic milk jugs is an innovative way to recycle while crafting unique accessories. Twice Creations on Etsy showcases how these jugs can be transformed into earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

To make your own, start by thoroughly cleaning a milk jug and cutting it into thin strips or shapes. These pieces can be painted or decorated with markers before being assembled into jewelry with wire or thread. This project allows for great creativity and produces lightweight, water-resistant pieces that are sure to be conversation starters.

Milk Jug Igloo

Building a milk jug igloo is a fantastic repurpose plastic milk jugs project for preschool teachers or parents looking to engage children in a fun and educational activity. To construct an igloo, you’ll need a large number of clean, label-free milk jugs—about 200 to 400 depending on the size of the igloo. Using hot glue or strong tape, connect the jugs by their handles to form circular layers that gradually ascend into a dome shape.

This repurpose plastic milk jugs activity not only teaches kids about recycling and construction but also about teamwork and planning. The completed igloo can be used as a cozy reading nook or a playful hideaway in a classroom or backyard.

Milk Jug Skeleton

Creating a Halloween skeleton decoration from plastic milk jugs is an exciting project that repurposes plastic milk jugs into something eerie and fun. Start by collecting several milk jugs—around six to eight should do. You’ll use the body of each jug to form the chest and pelvis, cutting the handles and bottoms to make the arms and legs.

The skull can be fashioned from the bottom of a jug, with features drawn or cut out. Assembling the parts with clear fishing line or strong tape allows for movement and a more realistic appearance. This project not only repurposes plastic milk jugs but also gives you a custom decoration that can be the centerpiece of your Halloween display.

Plastic Milk Jug as Watering Can

Turning a plastic milk jug into a watering can is a perfect example of how simple it is to repurpose plastic milk jugs.
Simply clean the jug and poke several small holes in the lid to create a gentle shower for your plants. For more precise watering, you can heat a needle and make holes, ensuring they are the right size for the water to flow smoothly. This repurposed plastic milk jug helps you water tight spots in the garden without the need for a store-bought can, saving money and reducing waste simultaneously.

Stormtrooper Helmet

Repurpose plastic milk jugs into a Stormtrooper helmet is a creative and cost-effective way to delight any Star Wars fan. To create the helmet, cut the milk jug in half and use the handle side as the front of the helmet. Additional pieces of the jug can be used to craft the helmet’s distinct features, like the visor and decorative ridges. Paint the entire assembly white and add black details for authenticity. This repurposing of plastic milk jugs not only provides a fun costume piece but also teaches children about recycling and creativity in an engaging way.

If the kids need a cool costume for school you can definitely make a Stormtrooper helmet with plastic milk jugs!


Creating a chandelier from repurpose plastic milk jugs is an inventive way to repurpose plastic milk jugs into a striking piece of home decor. Begin by collecting several clean milk jugs, depending on the desired size of the chandelier. Cut the bottoms off the jugs to serve as light shades, and use a strong cord or chain to hang them from a central hub, which can be made from a larger container or crafted from metal or wood.

You can arrange the jug bottoms in tiers for a traditional chandelier look or in a random pattern for a more modern style. Add LED lights or solar-powered bulbs inside each jug to complete the environmentally friendly and energy-efficient chandelier. This project repurposes plastic milk jugs into a functional and attractive fixture that can add a unique touch to any room.


Repurpose plastic milk jugs into charming Jack-o-Lanterns for a simple and safe Halloween decoration. This project is great for those who might find carving real pumpkins daunting. To create these Jack-o-Lanterns, clean and dry your plastic milk jugs thoroughly.

Once dry, use a permanent marker to draw faces on the jugs. Cut out the faces carefully with a craft knife or scissors. You can insert a string of LED lights into each jug to illuminate the faces, creating a festive glow. This repurposing of plastic milk jugs not only provides a fun, crafty activity but also offers a durable and reusable decoration that can be displayed year after year.

Bird Feeder

To repurpose plastic milk jugs into a bird feeder, start by washing a milk jug thoroughly and cutting openings in the sides large enough for birds to access the interior. You can also poke small holes in the bottom of the jug to allow any trapped water to drain, keeping the birdseed dry.

Attach a couple of small branches or dowels just below the openings to provide perching spots for the birds. Hang the repurposed plastic milk jug from a tree or a hook in your garden using sturdy string or wire. This DIY bird feeder not only helps repurpose plastic milk jugs but also encourages wildlife in your garden, providing you with a delightful view of visiting birds.

Storage Bins/Organizer

The way to repurpose plastic milk jugs as storage bins or organizers is a fantastic storage solution. Here’s how you can expand on this idea to create versatile organizers for different spaces:

  1. Crafts Room Storage: Cut the tops off plastic milk jugs to create open containers perfect for holding yarn, brushes, pencils, or scissors. You can decorate the outside of the jugs with paint or stickers to match the decor of your crafts room. Label each container for easy identification of its contents.
  2. Home Office Organizer: To organize small office supplies like paper clips, rubber bands, or push pins, use the bottom halves of milk jugs. These can be neatly lined up on a shelf or desk, providing easy access while keeping your workspace tidy. For a more cohesive look, cover the jugs with a fabric that complements your office decor.
  3. Bedroom Storage for Accessories: Small items like jewelry, hair accessories, or belts can easily get lost or tangled. Repurpose plastic milk jugs into individual compartments for these items. Cut the jugs into various sizes depending on what you need to store and use them to keep your dresser drawers organized.
  4. Workshop Tool Holder: Plastic milk jugs can be transformed into handy holders for workshop tools. Cut out larger openings in the jugs to accommodate tools like hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers. Mount the jugs on a pegboard or directly onto the workshop wall for easy access and efficient use of space.
  5. Seasonal Decoration Storage: After the holiday season, small decorations like ornaments or Easter eggs need safe storage. Use milk jugs with their caps on to protect these delicate items. The translucent nature of the jugs allows you to see the contents without opening each one, making it easier to find what you need next season.

We hope you liked it and found these suggestions helpful. If you have an idea you would like to add, do share it with us through the comments section! 🙂


Repurpose plastic milk jugs Ideas offer a sustainable and creative solution to reduce waste and extend the utility of everyday items. These versatile containers can be transformed into a wide array of useful and decorative items, ranging from garden planters to unique home decor. By embracing these DIY recycling projects, individuals can actively contribute to environmental conservation while adding a personal touch to their surroundings.


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