milk cartons

10 clever ways to reuse empty milk cartons

Every household creates trash, whether you aren’t that preoccupied with your garbage or are trying to live a zero waste lifestyle. One thing we can all agree on is that less trash is better, for ourselves and the environment. But some trash is just hard to avoid. To put this trash to good use, I will share tips to reuse this trash in a lot of different ways in and around the house. Glass jars, plastic bottles, veggie scraps, old jeans; everything can be used again if you look at it in a different way. Today I will share 10 clever ways to reuse those empty milk (or juice) cartons. 

 #1 Birdfeeder


A simple milk or juice carton can be transformed in all sorts of wonderful things, for instance a birdfeeder. This project is ideal to do with little children because you can make it as fancy as you please. You can find tons of great tutorials on Pinterest.

#2 Wallet


I don’t know how practical a wallet made of carton is, but it sure is a great and fun way to put those empty cartons to good use. You can find a DIY tutorial on YouTube.

#3 Toy Village

milk cartons

With a little imagination, some paint and some markers you can turn those boring milk cartons into cute houses and build a whole toy village. It’s a fun activity with little kids and guarantees a lot of fun afterwards as well.

#4 Lanterns


Whether you need some inspiration for a Halloween lantern or are just looking for a lantern to light those dark days, this is a fun and easy project to do. You can mix up the materials and designs and the possibilities are endless. Just Google or search Pinterest for tons of ideas on DIY lanterns with milk cartons.

#5 Snackbox


I found this great tutorial for transforming a simple milk or juice carton into a super handy snackbox on Trash Backwards! Just make sure you clean out the carton really well and you can use the snackbox for pretty much anything.

#6 Seed Starter 


Most people use smaller pots, or old newspapers or toilet rolls, as seed starter, but did you know that you can use a milk carton just as well? Just cut out one side, fill it up with soil and throw in the seeds. Don’t forget to water regularly. If you cut out the top you even have a very tall pot, which is ideal for plants with longer roots.

#7 Boat


Old milk or juice cartons can make tons of cool projects for the kids, like a DIY boat. Kids have so much imagination and that is why they can entertain themselves for hours with something as simple and inexpensive as a boat made out of a milk carton. You can find some great ideas on Red Ted Art.

#8 Planters


A few milk cartons can easily be tranformed in a beautiful hanging planter to brighten up your wall or keep herbs in the kitchen. All you need is a few cartons, some rope and paint and some herbs or other plants. You can find an example of a beautiful hanging planter here.

#9 Pencil Holder


You can transform pretty much any cup or box into a pencil holder, but making one yourself with the kids just is so much more fun. They can design their own carton and it’s a fun activity on a rainy day.

#10 Gift Box


Do you ever get annoyed by the fact that we spend a lot of materials and time on wrapping presents, just to see it get shredded to pieces in mere seconds? That is why I decided to not use wrapping paper again and pack my gifts in other ways. While experimenting with this, I came across this idea to use an empty milk box as a gift box. You can make the box as big as you like and paint, tape or wrap it to your liking. You can find some great ideas and inspiration on Gathering Beauty, but you can find tons of ideas on Pinterest as well.

If you like to read more on reusing your trash, you can find more tips in these articles:

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