So they’re not the sexiest things… so what! If you have children, especially toddlers, odds are that you go through (at least) a gallon of milk every week. And if you’re anything like me, you are constantly looking for ways to organize and store things so they are less messy and easier to find. However, even the smallest storage boxes are at least a dollar each. Why not use something that you’ve already paid for? So, if you put together milk chugging toddlers and OCD organization, you get a DIY Milk Jug Storage Box! For more info on a product, simply click the links provided.
Skill level: Super duper easy (beginner), possible fun project for kids!
What you’ll need:
- Plastic milk jug (gallon or half gallon)
- Marker (preferably permanent so it won’t rub off on you)
- Adhesive Sticky Back Velcro OR Kam Snaps with awl and pliers
Step 1: WASH THE JUGS. Even the smallest amount of milk left in the jug for only a matter of hours can put off a horrible smell. I squirted some dish soap inside, added some warm water, put the cap back on and shook. Then, do your best to remove the outside labels. I didn’t have the patience to remove them completely. Rinse and let dry completely.
Step 2: Mark off where you’ll make your cuts. The panel without a handle or any indentations should be your longest side that will eventually become your closure. Every milk jug is different. My large one had a giant circular indentation in one side, and the smaller one had contoured sides that don’t lay flat. Don’t worry, it all works out fine.
For the gallon jug: because the handle comes down so low, this container will be more shallow. Draw a straight line across 3 sides just below where the handle stops. The back panel should be as long as possible, but at least long enough to cover the width of the jug, plus an inch or so.
For the half gallon jug: the handle on these comes up a bit higher, so these will be taller and less shallow. Draw a straight line across 3 sides just below where the handle stops. Then mark the longer side, ensuring it is at least long enough to cover the width of the jug, plus an inch or so.
Then mark at least an inch downwards at all 3 corners to allow the flaps to fold down.
Step 3: Cut along the lines you made. You may want to cut inside the black lines to make your containers a bit prettier than mine. I would also suggest rounding your corners along the edges… the plastic is surprisingly sharp!
At this point, I strongly recommend that you give them a wash again. Even though I thought I gave them a thorough washing, there was still a residual milk smell. After the second wash mine smelled like the lavender dish soap that I used, which was quite an improvement.
Step 4: Crease each flap by folding it over. This can be tricky depending on how straight you cut… there is a possibility your box may end up wonky. If you don’t care… move on. If you do care, make sure both sides of each flap come down the same distances. If they do not, grab your scissors, even them out, and fold again.
Step 5: Time to add the closure piece. If you are a crafter and happen to have some KAM snaps and hardware lying around, this is a great use for them. If you’re interested in purchasing them, I got mine here (I’ve made many purchases though them and am happy with their competitive pricing, fast shipping and overall product availability). If you do not have snaps, sticky back velcro will also do the trick.
To apply the snaps: Close the box so the longest flap is hanging over the edge and overlaps with one of the sides. Using your awl, make a hole that goes straight through both pieces of plastic at the same time. Then use your pliers to attach snaps to the top flap and the side.
To apply the velcro: Make sure the surfaces that you are going to stick the velcro to are clean and dry. If you are going to attach it to one of the sides where the label was removed, make sure there is no residual paper where you are going to put the velcro. Then, peel off the back of the velcro and stick one to the inside of the longest flap and one to the outside where they overlap.
If you’ve lined everything up correctly, you’ll end up with a reusable storage box to use for just about anything you want! Use for stray hair things for your kids, a pencil holder, miscellaneous craft items, even on the go food storage (do not microwave or put in dishwasher). Every time your family finishes off another gallon (or half gallon) of milk, you have another opportunity to organize your life.
If you have a question, DIY idea or tutorial you’d like to see, drop me a line in the comments below.