Don't Throw out your HTH or Paint Buckets
If you regularly buy an HTH bucket or have some paint buckets leftover, check underneath to ensure they have a recycle #5 stamped on the base and you can use these to store or grow plants.
While looking for affordable containers for my sustainable garden, I discovered that both HTH buckets and Plascon paint buckets have a recycle symbol #5 stamped on the base, that means that you can use these buckets to store almost anything, including foodstuffs, and also use them for gardening. Plastics that are labelled with a recycle symbol #5, as well as 1, 2 and 4, are considered food safe and that the plastics won't leach into anything you grow in these buckets. That's great news for me because I have been building up a stockpile of both in the hope that I could use them somewhere.
HTH BUCKET OR PAINT BUCKET FOR STORAGE
If your plastic buckets aren't labelled 1, 2, 4 or 5, there are still plenty of other options for putting these to good use, both indoors and outdoors.
• Cleaning Bucket
Rather than buy a bucket to use for cleaning the house and around the garden, I repurpose any paint buckets I can get my hands on. They are large enough that you can fit a mop or squeegee inside them, they have a handy handle, plus the lids are fairly airtight making them ideal for carrying around buckets of clean water when you need it.
You can pop your cleaning supplies inside to make it easier to take what you need to wherever you need to clean.
• Watertight Storage
Plastic buckets of any type can be recycled into storage containers for indoor or outdoor use. In the garden, keep your garden tools safe or store seeds to protect them from moisture, by placing them in a clean plastic HTH or paint bucket. To ensure the moisture stays out, add a few silica gel packets to soak up any moisture.
Recycled buckets will keep your tools free from rust and ensure any seeds you store are still fresh for the next planting season.
• Playtime or Craft Storage
Sometimes all a bucket needs is a new look and you can use it for storage in oh so many different ways. Sew an inner/outer apron with pockets for all your colouring-in essentials or sewing supplies, or for whatever craft or hobby storage you need. If you don't already have a toolbox, why not upcycle a plastic paint bucket into one instead! You will find some basic instructions for making a storage bucket on homesteady.com.
If you don't sew yourself but know someone who does, you can ask for assistance in making a cover that fits over and inside any paint bucket you have.
A bucket for garden tools is a great recycling project if you love being outdoors on weekends. You can use the bucket to collect waste as you move around the garden, or fill with seeds or gardening supplies, or tools that you will be using.
• Storage for Hobby or SME Business
Don't spend a fortune on industrial storage when you can recycle paint buckets into excellent storage bins for your hobby space, garage or home office. You don't need to have a steel rack made - simply make up a rack to hold the plastic buckets using PAR pine.
Another excellent way to use plastic buckets is for decorative storage. I like the idea of wrapping them with natural rope, including the top, and then using them for storage - in any room in a home. Paint them in bold colours for storage in a children's bedroom to pack away toys, have one in the family room to corral all your family games and have a covered bucket in the bathroom for small laundry items... and so on - there are plenty more ways to use recycled plastic buckets.
A super-easy way to make a decorative upholstered ottoman - wrap a plastic paint bucket with batting or foam and cover with your choice of fabric.
HTH BUCKET OR PAINT BUCKET FOR PRACTICAL USES
• Outdoor Seating
Remember some years back when I showed you my recycled paint bucket seats for outdoors? Well, it seems that this has become quite a popular trend for recycling plastic paint buckets - the larger ones. Using paint buckets for seating is also an inexpensive and fun way to make seating for young children, especially the smaller paint buckets. And all you need to make these outdoor seats is some spray paint in your choice of colour, and foam and fabric for the seat on top.
• Cooler for Parties or Get Togethers
If you are planning an event or special occasion, or even when you get together with family and friends, recycling plastic paint buckets is a great way to make your own drinks cooler. Small, medium or large buckets can be filled with ice to keep all your refreshments cold.
• Workshop Helper
When you need to cut circular pipes or tubes, getting them to stay still and not move around can be tricky. If you have an empty paint bucket lying around, it makes the perfect workshop helper to hold items in place.