Saturday, December 1, 2012

Handy Storage Bins from Empty Water Jugs


When my larger 2 gal+ spring water jugs (the kind with the spigot) are empty I easily convert them into handy storage bins. They're great for in shelving units. I use them on my pantry shelves and for art supply storage. I even have some on my bookshelves in the den to hold smaller office supplies and they work nicely for storing small toys in the playroom or mittens and scarves in the mud room.
Why buy special storage containers when these improvised bins work so well? They even have a handle that makes it easy to pull them out when adding or retrieving an item for storage. They are easy to clean and pratically indestructible. They work great for any smaller items that tend to scatter or fall from your shelves and are light weight, yet sturdy enough for heavier small items. My boyfriend recently asked for some for his work shop. He says they'll work great for stashing small loose items, as well as for storing small electrical tools away. The cord would be contained and he could keep any accessories for the tool in the same bin where they are easy to find.

I've found that the easiest way to transform them is to first carefully cut the entire spigot end of the jug off with a sharp knife. Be sure to cut above the level planned for the finished height of the bin. Cut slowly as the knife blade tends to curve away in different directions, and it's easy to cut down too far into the side of the bin.

Then use sturdy scissors to trim the top neatly at the height you prefer, but above the point where the rounded corners begin. The bins shown here are cut a little lower than is possible, just because there was a line visible in the plastic that circled the entire jug making it much easier to cut neatly at that level. They often have numbers stamped on them at the front of your new storage bin, and they look much neater with a well-placed helpful label, if you'd like.
I have made the sides of the bin higher and then fashioned a dust cover for it by cutting the entire bottom off of another jug. In order for a snug fit on top, you must cut inch long vertical slits about an inch or so apart all along the top edge of the bin so it will give a little to let the top slide down over it, since both water containers are the same size. If you really need the covers you might find that one brand of water might have a container that is a little bigger in circumference that would work much better for a dust cover. Or possibly some other used container of the right size would work.  

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