HOW CAN I UPCYCLE THESE?

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I recycle them usually, but I love to upcycle! Actually, my husband always thinks there are something he can use them for...but has only turned one into his fishing bucket. The others I have to sneak into the recycling! o) But I just googled to see if there is anything I can make with them...and I saw stacking them for small storage units or for chicken houses...those two are not appropriate for me. I thought of maybe a hanging lamp shade??? You guys have all kind of awesome ideas...dig deep for me on this one please! o)
how can i upcycle these, repurposing upcycling, My almost 19 year old cat is leaving me with a recycle upcycle dilemma Help
My almost 19 year old cat is leaving me with a recycle/upcycle dilemma! Help!
how can i upcycle these, repurposing upcycling, Planting in them is not an option too late in the season in VT to plant much o
Planting in them is not an option...too late in the season in VT to plant much! ;o)
  87 answers
  • Barbara Pace Barbara Pace on Jul 25, 2013
    Basement/garage storage units or put Xmas decorations and mark them as such???
  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Jul 25, 2013
    Thanks! Using them as storage units is a good idea as in the last 5 years we have had to move every 12-18 months. We do not have a lot to store as most of our belongings, like Christmas stuff, is in our house many states away. I was hoping for more of an upcycle decor idea!
  • Dena H Dena H on Jul 25, 2013
    I clean house for a lady and I use her empty cat litter container for a mop bucket.
  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Jul 25, 2013
    Storage was my first thought since it has the wonderful hinged lid. However, I know how sturdy these litter carriers are and I think for that reason you could make a stool out of them with foam, fabric and embellishments. The other idea was to use them for gifts. They are large so they would hold a whole lot of things and once decorated, they would make a nice gift.
  • Lora Collins Lora Collins on Jul 25, 2013
    what about cutting them to a height so that you could cover them in fabric (more up-cycling with worn out clothes -jeans etc) and use them on a shelf for dvd's, mags, misc stuff? You could also create your own bucket bag. When you design this, you can create the sleeves (holding slots) to hold items for a specific use - ie kitchen, grill, garden, garage, quick tools
  • Carolyn Prenot Carolyn Prenot on Jul 25, 2013
    Many uses, dog, cat, and bird food. for washing the car, floor etc. crafts, Instead of pots for plants you can also use these for topsy turvy pots/plants or just plain pots. endless uses Can also send to Volunteer store for needy for others to use or for them to store items. Forgot in the winter time for the north SAND for the ice on sidewalks. Thats a start.
  • Carolyn Prenot Carolyn Prenot on Jul 25, 2013
    Do not have a cat so send them this way can always use more to share,
  • Carolyn Prenot Carolyn Prenot on Jul 25, 2013
    Any more ideas on popsicle sticks any size, collecting them but need different ideas besides bird houses my mind running blank.
  • Gloria Duy Gloria Duy on Jul 25, 2013
    Most spray paints now work on plastic. I would paint them a cute color like aqua and paint an oval on the front with chalkboard paint and write on them. You could put a big shelf in your garage or basement and line them up for storage. Or for holiday decor you could paint them red for Christmas, orange for fall, etc. Also, turned upside down and partially buried they could make a little wall in your garden
  • Chris Ward Chris Ward on Jul 25, 2013
    We have 23 outdoor classrooms in our county in Oklahoma. We collect these to give to the schools. They keep their supplies; microscopes, nets, notebooks, whatever in the buckets. When they go out to the classroom each child carries one and they also use them as stools.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jul 25, 2013
    @My Gnome Little World lots of great ideas here. You could use the spray paint idea, turn them upside down and put a piece of wood or glass on top to make a table for use outside. You could also turn it into a stool with a cushion on top. We use ours for storing birdseed, but can't leave it outside as the squirrels chew through the plastic. I think @Chris Ward has a great idea in perhaps donating them. There may even be food banks who would take them to to pack some goods in for easier carrying for their clients.
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Jul 25, 2013
    I covered one with contact paper that matched my kitchen and I put my recycles in it. When its full I just take it to the garage and fill the big recycle trash can. I carry my gardening tools in one and keep my outdoor extension cords in one in the shed. If under your sink it high enough put one there and throw your dirty dish rags and kitchen towels in so they are all in one place for laundry day. We also keep rock salt in a couple in the garage, Pittsburgh winters...we need salt.
  • Nancy a Butcher Nancy a Butcher on Jul 26, 2013
    These are some Great Ideal ...love them .have fun !!!
  • Marci Marci on Jul 26, 2013
    Great for tomato plants or other vegetables with a "cage" over them for climbing ones.
  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Jul 26, 2013
    THANKS SOOOOO MUCH FOR ALL THE GREAT IDEAS! I have to say, I like the stool idea a lot and donating them to a school or food bank! They will end up storage bins of some sort, if I do not do anything else with them...!
  • Tammy Brenner Tammy Brenner on Jul 26, 2013
    What about painting them and having them catch the rain water from your gutters? I'm always trying to cut the cost of our water bill down.
  • Michelle Wigman Nason Michelle Wigman Nason on Jul 26, 2013
    That is what I was going to suggest, turn it into an outdoor stool. If you are handy with a sewing machine you could encase the outside with a fabric wrap over batting and put some kind of cushion on top. I think it would be great for an extra place to sit when your outside. Or for a kids room.
  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Jul 26, 2013
    Ha...TAMMY...it rains tons where I live! That bucket is NOT big enough! o) Michelle, oddly enough I do not need anymore outdoor seating...3 benches, 3 rocking chairs & 4 chairs....and most of the time it is just my husband and I! Hee hee! I think this project will be put off for awhile! I need to finish my CHAINdelier, my leather belt rug, and make / fix a bunch of jewelry first! I feel, when the right idea comes to me...then I will do the project! Just finished up a bucket of liter and was bothered that they are just going in the closet! o)
  • Larose LoganOakes Larose LoganOakes on Jul 26, 2013
    I use mine for storing magazines in ( they are the perfect size) and then they are all ready to be donated to my local charity.I also use one of them for storing cleaning supplies in.They are so handy that way! My husband uses 1 of them for storing charcol in for his tiny outdoor Weber grill.They have a million and 1 uses.Anyone else?
  • Theladypainted Theladypainted on Jul 26, 2013
    I have them use sideways as chicken laying boxes. Any chickens in your future?
  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Jul 26, 2013
    I would love to have chickens one day...but I have decided no early morning farms animals will be allowed! You will be fed at 8am like it or not! o)
  • Meg S Meg S on Jul 26, 2013
    bird houses, garage storage, turn on side and stack as cubie holes for gardening, bozo grand prize game for tot with bigger ball to throw, clean well and use as water tight storage for basement...like Christmas ornaments or big Santa...ya know what I mean...turn over and they are seat for young kids...or storage for blocks and Leggos or Barbies too...I cant stop!!!!!
  • Meg S Meg S on Jul 26, 2013
    drill holes in the bottom and you have planters....you can take the ink off with rubbing alcohol usually
  • Meg S Meg S on Jul 26, 2013
    make an apron for it to carry cleaning supplies and put garbage in the middle as you clean....going from room to room
  • Sfg178760 Sfg178760 on Jul 26, 2013
    I think I got it! Oddly for something I was NOT going to do...but for storage / carrying things! I sell things and with the top, handle and strength of the containers I will use them to carry the stuff I sell to the place I am going to sell them...and yes...even to store them in between sales! I have the stuff in boxes which are harder to carry and not as secure! BUT I WILL MAKE THEM PRETTY...BECAUSE I JUST LIKE PURDY THINGS! May put chalk paint on the side too...so I can write what is in them to make my life more easy too! Now, I may do this sooner than later...and will post them when I do it!
  • Meg S Meg S on Jul 26, 2013
    great! you can cover them with fabric or paper too...boxes are not water proof but these are!
  • MichaelLibertini MichaelLibertini on Jul 27, 2013
    Catch rain water ?
  • Barb T Barb T on Jul 27, 2013
    Spray paint in pretty colors and use for storing bird food or tools, etc
  • Louise Biernesser Louise Biernesser on Jul 27, 2013
    I painted my buckets (similiar type) that I have like that to store my bird seed close to my feeders.Since my feeders are in the very back of our long yard (1 acre), it saves quite a bit of hauling. As an added benefit, because it seals tight, it keeps the critters out. I've also thought about using one as a planter by drilling holes in the bottom after planting. All the ideas above are great!!
  • Starla Swanson Starla Swanson on Jul 27, 2013
    If you have a garden, it's great to drag around for weeding. Mixing bird seed-they have tight lids. I use mine for storage in the shed, like broken bricks that go into the bottom of my planters, hand tools, and a little motor oil and sand makes a great way to store shovels and keep them from rusting. Helps clean them off, too. Litter buckets are perfect for this!
  • Nancy Thatcher Nancy Thatcher on Jul 27, 2013
    I wish you were close to me and I would take them off your hands to use for storing my emergency supplies in. Also some of my food storage.
  • Deb Deb on Jul 27, 2013
    Holy "buckets"! Wish I had more of those!!!!! We use them to put out our glass for recycling. I use them for gardening all the time. Like deadheading my beds, collecting weeds. How about getting some spray paint for plastic and planting in them?! You could also cut holes in the sides and do a succulent planting. Just a few thoughts.....
  • I have always used them to "collect" used kitty litter so that the smell is sealed.
  • Donna Donna on Jul 27, 2013
    i had one and spray painted it and now use as a trash can on back porch. my boyfriend always hangs a grocery bag on the fence so I thought this would be so much better!
  • Michelle Tagaban Michelle Tagaban on Jul 27, 2013
    Add rocks/gravel, paint bucket, cut foam and material to size, hot glue material under edge = cushioned seat for gardening, camping, etc.
  • Jennie Gaskin Jennie Gaskin on Jul 27, 2013
    How about making bucket aprons for them? This one is for a round bucket, but you can see the idea. I think there might be a commercial pattern for this, but it seems fairly easy to figure it out yourself. Lots of way to be creative! http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-9424-Garden-Bucket-Caddy/dp/B00005YX30/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374943455&sr=8-1&keywords=bucket+apron
  • Linda B Linda B on Jul 27, 2013
    I wish I could get some from you. I like all the ideas I read here.
  • Allison Shaw Allison Shaw on Jul 27, 2013
    First, spraypaint them all silver. Cut various ways they could be a Jetsons or space age motif for a child's room. I tried to write out the entire vision but it's very hard to explain. Basically you would use them to make a bookshelf, then cut in half (lengthwise) to glue to a bed frame all the way around. Drill holes in rows of two whole ones and put lights inside for a low light lamp element in the corner of the room. Then they could still be use like everyone else says for storing all sorts of stuff and they would just be part of the decor element. Can you visualize what I'm talking about or do I just sound crazy? Haha. Afterthought...You could even do the same left in orange, just hang some caution signs on the wall. Kids do crazy stuff like that already.
  • Chloe Chloe on Jul 27, 2013
    We reuse them as the pets food bin in so they don't tear the bag up
  • Teri Randall Teri Randall on Jul 27, 2013
    Do you have birdfeeders? If so, use them to store bird feed..That way it is sealed and can be stacked in your garage or on the patio like I have done. You can beautify them how you want.
  • Linda Stone Linda Stone on Jul 27, 2013
    I would use them to store bird seed or rock salt. We use the rock salt on icy porch in the winter. If you do any crafts with pine cones, you could store your pine cones in one.
  • Charli Charli on Jul 27, 2013
    My neighbor gave several about a year ago. I was finishing up a stone walkway along the side of my house. I took them and filled each w/pea gravel to fill between the pavers I had poured. Wh
  • Charli Charli on Jul 27, 2013
    When emptied I used them to store bird seed. Used one the other day for hot water to wash my truck. Have one full of mulch that had been in the yard covered w/an ugly tarp. Can always find
  • Charli Charli on Jul 27, 2013
    A use for them.
  • Rita Rita on Jul 27, 2013
    we cleaned one out took off name and wrote food on it and keep our cats food in it so I can throw away the bags we bought the food in.
  • Isabelle Amara-Plichon Isabelle Amara-Plichon on Jul 27, 2013
    seats, or trash bins. If you don't want to have them paint, you can wrap them with paper or stickers....
  • Beth Beth on Jul 27, 2013
    I use mine for my potting soil:)
  • Kathy Writtenberry Kathy Writtenberry on Jul 27, 2013
    Have seen it used for newspaper box and someone is using it for a mailbox!!!
  • Connie K Connie K on Jul 27, 2013
    Oh, how I wish I was in your area. How about using them for their intended purpose?.....to old litter after its used. My friend has one next to Murphy's littler box, lines it with a plastic bag, and uses it to hold the used litter when she cleans it daily. Once it is almost full, remove the bag and dispose of it, then add a new bag. She keeps a few of the clean bags in the bottom of it so that when you dispose of a full one, the next bag is right at hand. I also agree that, depending where you litter box is located, spray painting, decoupage, etc. would be a good touch.
  • Melody ten Berge Melody ten Berge on Jul 27, 2013
    not only have i used them for the old kitty litter with a bag in it but I would wash them out really good , And I used them for my differnt craft. Such as yarn for croceting, and acrylic paints, etc. and they stack really nicely in a closet. Write with a permenant marker what was inside
  • Michelle Michelle on Jul 27, 2013
    We use them for storing bird seeds. Each contain different seeds and one to mix it and pour into feeders.
  • Steph B Steph B on Jul 27, 2013
    if they are thoroughly cleaned, you could paint them and use them as planter pots. drill holes in the bottom for drainage, line with some larger stones so you don't need as much dirt and then plant a flower that will cascade over the side
  • Judy Judy on Jul 27, 2013
    They are good for storage like others have mentioned, if you find the recipe for home made laundry soap they would be great to store that in. I know people that use them to store different kinds of food in after cleaning them..just to put some food back in case there is a tornado or flood, they store beans and other foods in them..some items the vacuum seal before putting in the tubs such as dehydrated foods... just stack and label...hope you can find a way to use them..As long as you vacuum seal foods before putting them in they will be ok..
  • Sparkles Sparkles on Jul 28, 2013
    @Nancy ThatcherEverett, WA I wish you were close to me and I would take them off your hands to use for storing my emergency supplies in. Also some of my food storage. Using them for food storage may not be a good idea as the litter is so fine the dust particles can seep into your food and make you sick. Be sure to wash them thourghly and bleach before storing food in them. Make sure it is packaged in mylar bags and sealed tightly.I was just reading an article a few days ago that you should use a mask and gloves when cleaning kitty boxes.It would be ok for other emergency supplies, medical supplies. Use one for all you flashlights and batteries. One for small camping gear. kindleing for the stove or fire place. charchol for the grill. Store winter clothes in them, extra towels and such. Use to store christmas items in.Hide christmas gifts in. Make it easier to carry cleaning supplies from room to room. Store craft projects in them. Magazine storage. Could be used for toy boxes for the kids.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jul 28, 2013
    Marvelous Bokashi buckets for your compost.
  • Brenda Cantrell Brenda Cantrell on Jul 28, 2013
    store all kinds of things in these , they are stackable....guess i will have to adopt cat....not I'll just buy litter for step in wintertime or to soak up oil spills in garage .
  • Theresa Powell Theresa Powell on Jul 28, 2013
    Children's seats in a play room. You could spray paint them and put different designs or decoupage them after painting. Spray paint, take off lids and use as planters...inside or out. Foot stools with cushions on the top with skirts (I would spray paint first, then cover. Cut bottom, top, or side off, paint and decorate (add a roof and different parts) to look like a castle or something mystical. Plant it open end into the garden so it won't blow away. Put out a small sign that says "Fairy Castle". you could also not cut off bottom and do these for a little girl's party. Buy little fairy dolls at the dollar store. You could also do toad huts but do toad decorations.
  • Kathy C Kathy C on Jul 29, 2013
    You might check with your local animal shelter. Ours uses them to send bulk litter home with their cat fosterers. We just dropped a bunch off at ours this past weekend and they were thrilled to have them!
  • Suzy Myers Suzy Myers on Jul 29, 2013
    Cleaned up really good we could fill about 4 of them with Lego's. LOL
  • I HAVE LABELED SEVERAL AND USE THEM FOR GARDEN SUPPLIES LIKE BIRD SEED, FERTILIZER, WEED PREVENTATIVE, GARDEN TOOLS, OUTDOOR CORD STORAGE, BROKEN POT SHARDS, VERMICULITE, BIRD SEED, ETC. WISH I HAD SEVERAL MORE.
  • Heather Bucklin Heather Bucklin on Jul 30, 2013
    I spray painted a bunch of them and use them for storing legos and lincoln logs in my classroom. I also use them to put the bags of used kitty litter in that has been scooped out.
  • Susan Susan on Jul 30, 2013
    Fishermen puts ice in the bucket to put your fresh caught fish in, then put the lid back on and use the bucket to sit on while they fish.
  • Sally weed Sally weed on Jul 30, 2013
    I use them in my chicken coop for laying boxes. They work great!
  • Gayla Gayla on Jul 30, 2013
    I would love to have some,but not going to get a cat just to have a reason to buy them. Many uses for them craft area,pad it up with material use for seating, wonderful storage for almost everything. I would use it for working in the garden to sit on and have storage for gloves, hand shovels, ect. You could donate to daycare or preschool class rooms they surely would take some off your hands.
  • Connie Connie on Jul 30, 2013
    They would make great compost buckets.
  • Dawn Howard Dawn Howard on Jul 30, 2013
    cut the bottom out and use to put around tomato plants for protection when they are young, and support as they grow.
  • Shari Shari on Jul 30, 2013
    These work great for organizing utility extension cords, just coil them up. I use them for yarn, books, dry cat food, bird seed, Christmas decorations, almost anything I would ordinarily buy a plastic container for. They are paintable with Krylon Fusion paint for plastic.
  • Susan Susan on Jul 31, 2013
    I wonder if you could make a foot stool with one.
    • Linda B Linda B on Aug 11, 2013
      @Susan Sure.just make a little coushion to fit the top. Or just place a throw pillow there.
  • Connie K Connie K on Aug 10, 2013
    I too wish I were close to you and I'd take two of them off your hands. As was mentioned in an earlier reply, they are great for storing "used" litter when you scoop the box. A friend of mine uses one. She puts a small plastic bag, about the size you would use for a small trash can, in the container. It will fit over the edge but the top still seals when closed. As she cleans the litter box she puts it directly into this lined container. When it becomes full, she just lifts our the plastic bag, closes it well, and puts in their outdoor garbage can. I can attest, since I am their cat sitter, that it causes no excess smell. The contain closes tightly enough that no odor escapes. I also think that painting them and using for storage of supplies is a great idea. That would also look great if decoupaged and trim. I'd love to use some for my craft supplies. A blackboard label would make easy should you decide to change the contents. Around Christmas, decorate and use as gift "boxes". They would be especially good for this if the gift itself has parts and pieces to keep up with. Decorate and use as part of a centerpiece for holiday like Easter, Mother's Day, 4th of July, well the list is endless. I can't wait to read all the suggestions you receive.
  • Angel Arnold Madden Angel Arnold Madden on Aug 29, 2013
    I have a camper in the country,im going to use some for seats that turns into storage. you never want to leave food there cause of bugs. i can use them to store dry food,while away from the camper,so i dont have to keep packing it every week. Thank you for posting this. I have alot of uses for these.
  • Teresa Hendren Teresa Hendren on Sep 08, 2013
    paint and place on front porch in the winter time to store ice melt, on the deck to store bird seed,
  • Sue Smaw Sue Smaw on Feb 26, 2014
    well ,,you can paint the bottom or cover it in fabric ..the lid you can put a cushion on it and cover with fabric and use for storage in a kids room your room anywhere
    • Teresa Mireles Teresa Mireles on Feb 27, 2014
      @Sue Smaw I have seen these and 5 gallon paint buckets with tops that have added cushion and material as seats with storage or footstools. Agree
  • Inez Dickson Inez Dickson on Feb 27, 2014
    I paint them and put designs on them and use in the garden for collecting weeds and debris for the compost pile. I can leave them out where i'm working and they look good.
  • Opal Opal on Feb 27, 2014
    Mosaic garden stools, table, planter, seat or stand depending on how much weight they can carry. The Graphics Fairy.com has a lot of designs you can download, all for FREE plus ideas on what materials you can use and they instructions on how to them. Please post whatever you decide. I would avoid reusing them to store any food product. Kitty litter has chemicals that leach into plastic. Non food containers are forbidden in the food industry if not food grade.
  • Connie Connie on Feb 27, 2014
    They make great tomatoe planters. I also like using them with a padded top to sit on in the garden as they do double duty to pick up weeds or veggies when ready for harvest. Another idea is to paint them nice or funky colors and use around your deck or yard for added seating. Easy to put up as they can stack together. Wish I lived closer I could sure use a few of them. No cats as I am allergic and dog food does not come in nifty containers like that
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Feb 27, 2014
    Buckets are a great resource for us at The Small House Under a Big Sky. I have 20+ plus of them that are used nearly every single day. I move water, soil, bark chips and transplanted plants or soil and grass in them. When we get a huge rainfall, I set them under our overhang to catch the water (like a portable rain barrel) and then carry them by the handle to the garden, or our compost bin, and pour out the water where is it needed. If I didn't garden, I use them to hold my grand daughters toys and to carry anything from one place to another. Also storage for dog food, driveway salt, chicken food...bird seeds, vegetable seeds, the list goes on and on. I even turn them upside down and use as a stool when I am working on woodworking or yard building projects.
  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, please don't recycle,,,these are WAY to valuable. Even if you list them on Craig's List for FREE or on FREEcycle, many people can make use of these.
  • 289980 289980 on Feb 27, 2014
    Depending on the size of your kitty, you can turn it over and cut off the big flap, add a blanket or a pillow inside the tub and you have a kitty bed. You can always spruce it up too!
  • Paula Palmer Paula Palmer on Feb 27, 2014
    paint or decoupage pic on them cover w/ clear coaet so they can be wipe down =put kids toys in them and stalk in closet or in toy room on shelf!
  • Paula Palmer Paula Palmer on Feb 27, 2014
    I also use in garage and garden shed painted flat black or coordinate for each area in my art studio=I paint the wall the same color simple medal storage shelf "then painted a square 6x6 on front w/chalk paint= toke the corner tabs for picture album and glued them on ea corner w/ hot glue and add a clear plastic cover(recycled from package to be recycled) to protect chalk! you can lable whats in side and change when needed! any clear plastic containter that come into my home is used to relable or repair broken window shades or used for other crafts!
  • Joyce Joyce on Feb 27, 2014
    What did you end up making out of them? If it were me, I'd be using them for flour and sugar, as I bake a lot. I then stack them on each other in closet. Easy access and can buy in bulk then. Like to see what you came up with.
  • Jeanne888 Jeanne888 on Feb 28, 2014
    With two cats, I have a bunch as well. I have used several to hold potting soil, mulch, etc., in my shed, and I use one to hold birdseed. Another idea is to remove the tops and handles, arrange and stack on sides with fronts open, and fasten them together (silicone, E-6000, or other plastic adhesive). After dry, paint with plastic-friendly spray paint. Sort of like a plastic IKEA storage unit.
  • Frann Long Frann Long on Feb 28, 2014
    I have two cats also and collect a lot of these. Some I use to "scoop" doggie-dooty into and take to the woods. I have a couple others I've decorated and turned them into doggy toy boxes for my two 40 lb rescue doggie babies. I like looking around the web to see what others do with them, and get more ideas for using them. I don't want all this plastic to end up in our landfills.
  • Amy Ogden-Paparone Amy Ogden-Paparone on Feb 28, 2014
    I'd love these to paint and use as recycle buckets! they'd be perfect, and the lids would hold the bags in place! Makes me want to get a cat just so I can have the buckets! :D
  • Patricia Dash Patricia Dash on Feb 28, 2014
    I just put a pin on pinterest & it was this exact container wrapped in jute & decorated for a baby's room. It looks really good.
  • Tammy Hall Tammy Hall on Jul 26, 2016
    Spray paint or decoupage them and use as small trash cans or storage bins.