Asked on Aug 03, 2015

Creative uses for empty cat litter buckets, anyone?

Sandi F.B.
by Sandi F.B.
Does anyone have any ideas of things to do with empty cat litter plastic buckets? I did take a foam square and covered the bucket and foam with fabric to make a quick porch ottoman. Hate to just throw them out on recycling days, they are quite sturdy. Tyvm
  47 answers
  • Mary Kust Mary Kust on Aug 03, 2015
    We use them for everything at our house. . Spray paint them in colors (or chalkboard paint) place kids Lego's, toy blocks, and other small items that collect on the floor of their room. Label each with the name (or photo) of what's inside so the child will know what is in what bucket. Helps teach them to pick up toys when done. My husband uses them to store charcoal in as well as one to soak the smoking wood in. I have even taken the lid off, painted (with spray paint for plastics) and used as flower pots on deck. Make sure you drill small drain holes so plant doesn't get root rot from too much water. We also use them to store cat food and wild bird seed, when bought in bulk, this helps keeps the mice out of the garage & food. Pack camping items in, even used to pack wet swim suits when returning from pool party or beach. If you live up North, place your salt in one and keep on front and back porch so it's handy when needed . There are so-o-o many things that I can think of using them for I could go on for a while, but need to go pack grandson's school supplies in a couple so we can take him and supplies home (a thousand mile trip) tomorrow. Hope I have given you a few ideas you can do with your buckets.
  • DF DF on Aug 03, 2015
    We use them to store items in the garage like tools, fishing nets, snorkel gear, also have on in our large cooler on the boat for food! Keeps the food cold but dry. Use another one for our dry box... towels, dry shirts, papers that maybe needed.
  • Debbie Miller Debbie Miller on Aug 03, 2015
    They're great for Hydroponic tomatoes, peppers, etc.
  • Tina Husted Tina Husted on Aug 04, 2015
    My husband cut a hole about the size of a penny in the top so that I can feed my skeins of yarn through the hole, hooks and project go into it for storage. While I crochet, my yarn will be protected and kept clean and the project will be safe when I am not working on it.
  • Jeanine Jeanine on Aug 04, 2015
    Container garden...drill holes in bottom for drainage, fill with soil and put your starter plant in each one..tomatoes, beans, onions....or spray paint container and use as hanging planter for ivy etc
  • Lisa Doyle Lisa Doyle on Aug 04, 2015
    Bird seed storage - keeps dry and no critters!
  • I have used them to keep salt for the driveway at each end (mine goes all the way around the house), I have used them as planters - inside and out, kept cat food,in them, they are great for storing bags of sugar and flour to keep out critters.
  • Theresa Last Theresa Last on Aug 04, 2015
    We store pet food and extra 50ft electric extension cords. My hub stores extra tools rarely used.
  • Terrimb Terrimb on Aug 04, 2015
    I use them for storage in the garage, cleaned up, can hold small toys. I use them to hold craft supplies. You can get inexpensive contact paper and cover to make them look pretty if you wish. If you make your own laundry soap this works great.Can work as all purpose garage or mop bucket. I also use for the driveway salt for winter. Haven's bought them in a while so I miss having them to use.
  • Lyndamae wilson Lyndamae wilson on Aug 04, 2015
    you can paint them or cover with fabric or decopodge...with a foam covered seat for an extra seat and storage for toys or unsightly items that are useful in your garden
  • Susan G Susan G on Aug 04, 2015
    I use them to store holiday decorations! They protect fragile items well & are easily stacked.
  • Lise Lise on Aug 04, 2015
    Organic recycling bin in the kitchen. I cut the bottom part of the lid, it keeps the bag in place and I used another lit and added a loop on top so I can use my little finger to open it and dispose of the food when I am cooking. I always keep a second bucket the same size under the first one with a bag ready, so when it is full I just tie the bag and put the bucket besides the door and I still have a bin ready to use. Works really well.
  • Jennie Herrick Jennie Herrick on Aug 04, 2015
    This isn't real "crafty" but my husband and I use ours for planting vegetables in a container garden. Tomatoes, bell peppers (really any peppers), and herbs all do really well in these containers. We put about 4 to 6 empty water bottles in the bottom of the empty container before filling with dirt (you use less soul and it helps with drainage). You can always get some Krylon spray paint and stencils or whatever and decorate the containers if you don't want them to look like litter buckets. Oh, and if you leave the handles on them, you can move them around easily.
  • Ann Ann on Aug 04, 2015
    I use mine to keep stuff for my chainsaw in, very handy with handle and lid when in the bush, also have one for fencing items
  • B B on Aug 04, 2015
    What about
  • B B on Aug 04, 2015
    What about storing bags of fertilizer or grass seed once the bag begins to rip. You can also use it in the back yard when your doing your gardening and all you clippings can be put in it while you are trimming rose bushes. Just remove the Stickers or just paint it with flowers.
  • Tena Abbey Tena Abbey on Aug 04, 2015
    My neighbor uses all of these, and 5 gal buckets, and old bins for gardening! YOu just need to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
  • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Aug 04, 2015
    Thanks to everyone for your replies . I had already been using as general storage but was looking for something unusual and maybe crafty. I had already taken one and made a ottoman for the porch with foam cushion on top and glued inexpensive remnant material to the bucket. All answers very much appreciated :-)
  • David Ogden David Ogden on Aug 04, 2015
    I use it for a bait bucket
  • Alice Mikel Alice Mikel on Aug 04, 2015
    This is a little out there but when moved I used for small items or glassware. They were easier for me to handle instead of heavy boxes. And I store all sorts of things
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 05, 2015
    I don't have any of these as I will not use clay litter. I use Blue buffalo made from walnut hulls, no odor unless you don't clean the boxes every day, no dust and not as heavy. That said, I raided the recycling dumpsters for a few. They are handy for potting soil, orchid potting materials and cactus soil that I mix myself. The mice cannot/do not get into them and scatter the contents all over the garage like they do with plastic bags and I can stack them if I like. You can also grow vegetables in them if your soil is not good .Nothing fancy, but good use of items to keep them out of the landfill.
  • Judy Holtgrewe Bailey Judy Holtgrewe Bailey on Aug 05, 2015
    I cut a hole in the lid to hold a seasonal yard stake. Fill the bottom with gravel or other weighty material. Attached seasonal material to cover entire bucket. Make appropriate seasonal covers for each yard stake.
  • Susan Weaver Susan Weaver on Aug 05, 2015
    I created a litter changing "station" with mine. I stacked up 2 columns, 2 or 3 buckets high to serve as a shelf for bags, cleaner, etc. Then I stacked up 2 columns 2 buckets high as a table to set the box on to change out the litter. Then I have one bucket to set the current bucket on. It gets everything at a level that is easier on my back. I've also used them to get things off the ground in my garage so they won't get wet.
  • Tammy Lyn Hanssen Tammy Lyn Hanssen on Aug 05, 2015
    I scoop my litter into plastic grocery bags everyday and tie them up and use the bucket like a diaper pail. The lid seals great so there's no odor then take it out once a week. When I have a new empty litter bucket I throw the old one to the curb. I also use them for dry cat food. My cats can smell through any bag including the heavy plastic and they chew them to get to their food every time. I think they can read the labels LOL
    • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 05, 2015
      @Tammy Lyn Hanssen Use Blue Buffalo or World's Best, they can be put in a compost pile and you don't help fill up the landfills.
  • Heidi Geores Heidi Geores on Aug 05, 2015
    You could turn sideways, glue together and make storage cubbies....all depends on how square they are. Just keep adding a layer each time you get more. Then you can spray paint to match whatever room you are putting them in. I think it would work really well in a garage to store small tools yet keep them totally accessible. You could hinge the lids if they are important to you and make labels for the tops. But I think leaving them off would be fine too.
    • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Aug 06, 2015
      Heidi that sounds like something I would try. Also thought about stacking on their sides like you mentioned and put them in the mud room for placing shoes/boots in
  • Carri Reed Carri Reed on Aug 05, 2015
    It may sound a little nutty but they make great shower seats.
  • Tess Borgra Tess Borgra on Aug 05, 2015
    If you know anyone who bikes, I've seen people make panniers out of these. They should be water proof and people use colored duct tape to decorate them.
    • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Aug 10, 2015
      I had no idea what a pannier was. But after looking up the image on Google now I know. I will be on the lookout for someone who could use them. Thank You
  • Pam Pam on Aug 05, 2015
    Great for storing bird food, dog food and cat food. Also, makes a great mop bucket.
  • DJ DJ on Aug 06, 2015
    I decorated mine with wrapping paper for the occasion(Christmas, Birthday etc.) and store my wrapping paper in them. My Sister in Law decorated hers and uses it for her umbrella stand.
  • Heidi Geores Heidi Geores on Aug 06, 2015
    Love the mud room idea! I don't have cats, but I have a friend that does, so I may have to go get some of her containers and try that myself!
    • See 1 previous
    • Ann Ann on Jul 30, 2017

      Every time I take our stuff to the recycling center, I come home with something....makes for convenient dumpster diving. 😂😂😂

  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Aug 10, 2015
    I spray painted one, put sand about 2/3 full, some mineral oil and stick garden tools in. Keeps the rust off.
    • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Aug 10, 2015
      That's a great idea! My tools do rust and this may be the answer. I am going to try this one for sure. Thank You;-)
  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Aug 10, 2015
    I also use one for my art supplies I take to class.
  • Kar385293 Kar385293 on Aug 15, 2015
    They make great hydroponic grow buckets for tomatoe and vegetables.
  • Brenda Wells Brenda Wells on Dec 21, 2015
    My trunk can not easily store all the safety items I want in the car. I am putting hand warmers, drinkable water, granola bars , bungee cords, fix-a-flat, tire inflator . I hope by storing these items in a cat litter bucket no one will bother my car wanting to steal auto rescue equipment.
  • Lela Lela on Dec 22, 2015
    I spray painted & color-coded ours and use for all kinds of storage. Painted green for the garden, red for firewood, blue for pool toys, black for tools, etc. My favorite reuse is for keeping our kindling & small pieces of fire wood dry for our fire pit or when we go camping.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Dec 22, 2015
    I got a few at the recycling place and use one to store my alternative litter (anything not clay), clean them out good and store cat food, it is air tight and the cats cannot help themselves. Store ice melt for the coming winter, store anything.
  • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Dec 22, 2015
    Ty Dorlis. I had 8 of them and have taken the lids off or cut off the lid at the bend and laid them on their sides and hot glued them together. Put them in the laundry room for storage of dirty shoes after gardening, gardening tools, etc. My neighbor saw what I did and I gave her 6 of my empty ones. She also removed the tops and laid them on their sides glued them together like mine and her 4 children each have a place to place their shoes and the two extras are for their baseballs and gloves etc other sports equipment. I do use one of them for the large bags of cat food once opened. Thanks for the tip!
  • Pauline Pauline on Mar 25, 2016
    I made a 'garden tools apron' for on the outside of one of mine then while I'm working in my gardens I just carry it around with me. Put weeds or trash into the bucket for disposal elsewhere. Made the pockets large enough to put the business end of the tools into the pocket so there would be no accidents. There are many directions on the internet. It looks awkward but it's a dream to have. All my tools, short of a spade, are in those pockets so there's no running back to get something else.
  • Pauline Pauline on Mar 25, 2016
    Another purpose I have for a couple of the buckets is for melting salt . I keep two filled with salt, one at each door during the winter. When winter's over they go into the garage for storage 'til needed next winter. A couple are used for storing scrap wood, a bucket per length of wood. A lot easier to move around to where I'm working. And always a great trash collector for the garage and shed. Lots easier to handle with a handle!!!
  • Sandi F.B. Sandi F.B. on Mar 25, 2016
    I laid 6 containers on their sides gluing them together and put in the mud room. One compartment for gloves and winter scarves, 3 for shoes , etc keeps them organized and off the floor.
  • Diane Hobson Diane Hobson on Jul 30, 2017

    Every year when we dig up our flower bulbs, we store them in these containers with the lids on and they keep in the basement great.

  • Reina Harbison Reina Harbison on Aug 12, 2017

    If you have chickens………put them in the hen house on a shelf, for a place for the chickens to lay eggs. Put the on their sides, in a row……..make a private egg laying place for each hen……..put in straw for the chickens to lay eggs on. Can attack a piece of light weight wood across the front for keeping the straw and eggs in and the buckets from sliding. Easy cleaning, and waterproof, too. ! Happy egg gathering !

  • Attach them on the sides -stack and use for craft storage.

  • Megan Megan on Jan 23, 2024

    I've done the cubby idea, but modified it with legs underneath to keep off of the ground, painted the same color as my house and shed, placed a roof/shield on top and secured one of the top level buckets to the side of the building as a place for my cats to relax away from the wind, rain, etc. Also worked great for the Pinterest idea I found of using a paddle but to poke appropriately sized and placed holes and extra strap to be carried on its side as a make-shift cat carrier when in a pinch. Worked Great!

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 26, 2024

    Hi Sandi: This seems to be a popular question :) You can get some Rustoleum paint for plastic and paint them and then use them for planters. Or, you can wrap them with sisal rope for a more natural look. They would be great for planting veggies in, like potatoes, tomatoes, etc. If you are planting tomatoes in them, be sure to get the 'Determinate' type. They don't get tall and leggy like the 'indeterminate' ones. Just poke holes in the sides about 2 inches from the bottom. You can use them as stools for kids or, and I hate to say it, storage :( Here's a site that has a few ideas: 20 Ways to Re-Purpose Cat Litter Buckets - Oak Hill Homestead

  • The103455775 The103455775 on Apr 19, 2024

    use the to store non parishable food for the UPCOMING POSSIBLE WAR!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Apr 21, 2024

    I would use them for container gardening. If too many, a place like Restore might take them, people are always wanting them for projects.