My family goes through many plastic tubs and containers, over the years I have tried to come up with inventive ways to re-use them. After we finish a tub of butter, container of sherbet or ice cream I wash them and save them to recycle. You can save some money with these plastic containers, make some imaginative things and be more co-friendly. Below are my directions for an easy and fun craft, a bank, for you and our children out of a recycled plastic butter container. I also listed some other easy ways to use these plastic containers every day.
Plastic Container Piggy Bank:
One clean and dry plastic container with lid (We used a Country Crock butter tub)
Scissors (or) Exacto Knife
Spray Paint (Your choice of color)
Paint Pen (In any color)
Stickers, Rhinestones or Glitter Paint
1) Cut Hole For Money – The first thing to do when making your children’s bank out of your recycled plastic tub is cut the money hole. With the lid still on the tub cut out a rectangle to the size of your liking. You can do this with scissors or an exacto knife, both work fine. Be sure your piggy bank hole is large enough to put in folded dollar bills, but not so enormous where the money falls out when carried.
2) Paint Your Plastic Container – Take your plastic container outside, remove the lid and place them on an old piece of cardboard. Using your spray paint completely coat the lid and tub. As you can see in my photo that my tween daughter picked green, her favorite color at the moment. Mine only took one coat, but if you need to do two be sure to allow extra time between coats. This will ensure you do not get drips and clumps with your paint.
3) Decorate – Once your recycled plastic tub is completely dry you are ready to decorate for your child any way they want. Some ideas are with stickers, rhinestones or glitter paint. You can get a lot of design inspiration in your local craft store. My daughter wanted me to decorate it with a paint pen, I put her name on it, some decorative scroll work. As you can see in the second photo we made a happy face on the lid. Now your craft is done your child is ready to start saving money in her bank.
Other Everyday Uses For Plastic Containers:
The bank craft is just one way to recycle your plastic containers. Of course you can use recycle your plastic containers for storing leftovers, and catch alls for everything from buttons to crafts to toys. But here are a few more unique ideas for everyday use around your home.
1) Planter – Instead of going out to your garden center and paying for planting pots you can adapt these tubs. Take a drill, or a hammer and large nail and make some water holes in the bottom of the plastic containers. If you choose you can also make two holes near the top and with some rope it makes a hanging planter.
2) Bag Dispenser – If you have some plastic grocery store bags saved up to use for small trash cans you can make a holder for them. All you need to do is cut a circle hole in the lid, I recommend one about the size of the bottom of a soda can. Then just stuff the bags inside the plastic tub, now you have your recyclable plastic bags conveniently tucked away in your plastic container.
3) Tub Toy – My five year old likes to drag all kinds of household items into the bath tub. You can recycle one of these plastic tubs easily into a free tub toy. With your drill or hammer and nail make a bunch of holes in the bottom of the container. You do not need to keep the lid for this one. When they fill it up with water in the tub it will be like a colander, they will love it.
4) Bird Or Squirrel Feeder – Instead of paying for a bird or squirrel feeder with a few alterations you can re-use a plastic container. You do not need the lid for this project. Make four holes with a drill, at the top of the plastic container evenly spaced out around the tub. Now use some sturdy twine or rope to tie through each hole and connect them all together at the top. The four evenly spaced holes will keep it from tipping over. You can make the feeder hand as high or low as you want. Now you are ready to hang it from your tree or porch with a “S” hook, or similar hook. Then you are ready to put in some bird seed and watch the birds or squirrels enjoy a winter treat.