Thursday, February 21, 2019

How To: DIY Plastic Containers Around the Kitchen

A few years ago I shared how I turned Starbucks Coffee Bottles into the popular faux milk bottles for parties, it was the perfect combination of making something similar to a product that I couldn’t afford, as well as recycling my trash!  I also shared how I turned beer holders into a cute utensil container instead of buying a new one.  I love using containers that I would otherwise throw out as something useful because I feel like I’m getting a bigger bang for my buck! 

I ran into two different issues in my kitchen that needed a solution and I decided to use my “trash” that was sitting in my recycling bin to fix!

Dish Brush Storage

The first issue I had was with the way I was storing my dish washing brushes, and I shared some of this project on my instagram (follow me here!).  I love using the dish washing brushes from Aldi because they seem to get my dishes cleaner and are easier to use compared to sponges.  They also last longer, but are harder to store.  I also just purchased two straw brushes from Amazon to clean my plastic straws that I wanted to make sure didn’t get beat up in storage as they are a little bit flimsier than the Aldi brushes.  

My current storage container was a plastic cup, yes, a plastic cup.  This worked for one or two brushes, but each time I went to grab one of them from under the sink, the whole thing fell over.  Also, the times I could get it to balance and stay standing, I had to store the brushes handle down which made them hard to get out and put away after use.  Since I store my brushes under the sink, I didn’t want to spend money on a caddy, the solution to my problem didn’t need to look “pretty”, it just needed to work. 

My goal was to get a container that was large enough to hold all the brushes handle side up and be able to drain, much like a plant pot.  When I found an empty pretzel container in my pantry cabinet (yes, empty, but that’s another story), I thought to myself “Self, could I turn this into a bin for my dish washing brushes?”  And then I thought, “Why not try it and if it doesn’t work out, I can just toss it in the recycling bin?”  I decided to try it out by throwing my brushes in the container to see if they would fit, and they did!   

To turn this pretzel container into a brush holder, I first took off the label.  I did this by using hot water, soap, and a magic eraser.  By the time I was done scrubbing, you couldn’t even tell it ever had a label on it.  It was just a clean clear bucket. 

Next, to make drain holes, I drilled some holes into the base.  I used a ¾ inch bit and drilled holes in the base about an inch and a half apart.

For a tray for water to collect under the container, I decided to try out the lid.  It was either use the lid or a plastic plate, so I opted for the lid to see how it worked.

Then, to keep my two new straw brushes safe, I added two command strip hooks to the inside of the bin to lock in the straw brushes.  The brushes just happened to fit in the command strip hooks, so they stay put when in storage but are easy to pull out when needing to be used.  

And there you go, an easy answer to my lack of dish washing brush storage!

Dish Soap Container

The second issue was with my dish soap container.  I had a very cute dish soap dispenser that I bought from the Container Store several years ago, but it rusted through most of it’s parts and no longer worked.  (it was a very sad day when I said good buy to this dispenser.)  In the interim, I tried to use a spare olive oil bottle for a cute replacement, however it was glass (breakable) and was very slow to dispense any soap onto my dishes in the sink because I had to turn it upside down and wait for the soap to slooowly come out of the top of the bottle.  It became more of a chore to use, and even though it was “pretty” on my counter, function wins over form what it comes to dish washing!  So I was on the hunt for a new container for my dish soap.  Could I just stuck with the Dawn or Palmolive soap container?  Sure, but I wanted something cute because it sits out all the time!

The solution to this issue started with washing my hair, yes, washing my hair.  I started buying Pantene Charcoal Shampoo and Conditioner a month or so ago, which by the way is AMAZING and totally worth the price if you ask me!  

The bottles have a nice large pump that doesn’t clog and the plastic is sturdy, not too flexible.  When my shampoo and conditioner ran out for the first time, I noticed that the labels were on the outside of the bottles, meaning it is a removable wrap label, not melted or glued onto the bottle.  I cut the label off to see what the bottles looked like without it and thought “these types of bottle sell for about $15 bucks at the store, what can I use this for?”  My answer to myself was “DISH SOAP!”

What is nice about reusing this type of container is that the bottle isn’t flimsy, but if I need to replace it, it won’t be as sad as tossing out a soap dispenser I purchased from the Container Store.  I can just recycle the old one and use a newly finished bottle of shampoo.  Easy Peasy!   

Now doesn’t that look so much better than a regular ol’ bottle of soap sitting on the counter?!

How do you re-use containers around your house?  Do you think about how to reuse a nice container before throwing it in the recycling container?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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