Milk Cartons for Birds, Bowling and More!

Reuse empty milk cartons -- 7 different ways!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Make ice blocks for parties
Keep drinks cold at your next barbecue or party with ice blocks made from empty milk cartons. Just rinse out the old cartons, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer. Peel away the container when you’re ready to put the blocks in the cooler or punch bowl.

Instant kids’ bowling alley
Make an indoor bowling alley for the kids with pins made from empty milk and juice cartons. Just rinse the cartons (use whatever sizes you like) and let them dry. Then take two same-sized cartons and slide one upside down into the other, squeezing it a little to make it fit. Once you’ve made ten, set your pins up at the end of the hall and let the kids use a tennis ball to roll for strikes and spares.

Feed birds in winter
To make an attractive wintertime treat for feathered visitors, combine melted suet and birdseed into an empty milk carton. Suet is beef fat; you can get it from a butcher. To render it, chop or grind the fat and heat it over a low flame until it melts. Then strain it through cheesecloth into the carton. Insert a loop of string into the mixture while it is still melted. After it hardens, tear away the carton and tie your new mass of bird food to a branch. Do this only in cold weather. Once the temperature gets above about 70°F (20°C), the suet will turn rancid and melt.

Make seed starters
Milk cartons are the perfect size to use for seed starters. Simply cut off the top half of a carton, punch holes in the bottom, fill with potting mix, and sow the seeds according to instructions on the packet.

Make vegetable garden collars
Use empty milk cartons to discourage grubs and cut-worms from attacking your young tomato and pepper plants. Just cut off the tops and bottoms of the containers, and when the ground is soft, push them into the ground around the plants when you set them out.

Collect food scraps for compost
Keep an empty milk carton handy near the kitchen sink and use it to collect food scraps for your compost heap.

Disposable paint holder
If you have a small paint project and you don’t want to save the leftover paint (or lug a heavy can), an empty milk carton can help. Just cut off the top of the carton and pour in the amount of paint you need. When the job is finished, throw the carton into the trash, leftover paint and all.