DIY Milk Jug Storage Box Tutorial

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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If you have a question, DIY idea or tutorial you’d like to see, drop me a line in the comments below.

Fabric Bookmark Tutorial


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For this Mother’s Day, my mom specifically requested bookmarks for her gift. She home schools my baby sister, so they are in constant need of something to mark where they left off in their many textbooks and novels. I was going to get her some jewelry or maybe a purse, but hey, if it’s bookmarks that she wants, I’m happy to make it happen.

Sewing and Crafting Level: Beginner

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric- leftover fat quarters and scrap fabric will work just fine.
  • Elastic- the width is up to you
  • Sewing machine and thread

Step 1: Lay your fabric flat and iron out any folds or wrinkles. This will ensure accurate measurements and that your straight lines will actually be straight.

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Step 2: At this point, you need to decide what size book you are making this book mark for. Because of the size difference between larger textbooks and smaller paperbacks, one size does not fit all. The length of your fabric will vary depending on what you decide.

Using a ruler and pen, draw a straight line across the length of your fabric. Use that line as a starting point to measure two 1.5 inch strips. Now, cut out your strips. Or if you have a rotary cutter and mat, your process will be MUCH simpler than mine.

You should end up with two 1.5 inch thick strips- for paperbacks, they should be around 14 inches long and for textbooks they should be around 20 inches long. If they are a bit over or under, no problem. They will just ruffle more or less.

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Step 3: Pin your two strips together, with the pretty sides facing each other. Everyone’s pinning technique varies, so pin them which ever way works best for you. In my case, if I’m sewing something skinny in width, I just put a few pins down the center and remove them as I go.

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Step 4: Leaving at least a 2 inch opening near the center of the strip, sew around the edges of the strip. I used a 1/4 inch seam, but feel free to use whatever you’re comfortable with.

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Step 5: Turn your strip right side out by feeding it through itself and back down through the hole that you left open. I tend to get creative by using pens, dull point scissors, etc. to push the fabric down when my finger is too short or fat to reach. Once it is right side out, use something pointy to push out your corners. But be careful that you don’t push all the way through!

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Step 6: Iron your strip flat, paying careful attention to the part that you left open. You’ll need to give it some guidance in order for it to lay straight and flat.

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Step 7: Top stitch around your strip to close up the hole and give it a finished look.

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Step 8: Now it’s time to deal with the elastic. Cut it to the appropriate length: 22 inches for textbooks and 13 inches for paperbacks. Pin the two ends together so it looks like one continuous loop.

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Step 9: Sew the two ends of the elastic together. Go back and forth several times in different spots so that it won’t come loose later. This DOES NOT need to be pretty. In fact, you may find that it is very difficult to get the elastic to sit still while you’re trying to get it positioned. That is okay. We’ll cover it up later.

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Step 10: Ruffle your fabric strip by pinning it onto the elastic. To do this, pin down a fold every inch or so for the entire length of the fabric. Depending on the length of your fabric strip, you can to big folds or little folds, and this will correspond to how “ruffled” the fabric looks. Make sure that you are placing your fabric so that it covers up the elastic seam that we created in the previous step.

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Step 11: Sew straight down the length of the fabric. MAKE SURE YOU USE A ZIG ZAG STITCH. If you do not use a zig zag stitch, the elastic underneath the fabric will not be able to stretch and it either will not fit around your book, or you will tear your stitches when you try to stretch it. Also, be sure to back stitch on each end so they do not come loose.

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Step 12: Trim your stray threads and TA DA!! You should end up with something like this:

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