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How to Make Storage Containers Using Recycled Materials

Updated on March 6, 2012

If you need storage containers for organizing your stuff at home, you don't have to buy them all the time. Why not use storage containers using recycled materials? It will save you some money by making them yourself. This hub will teach you a simple way how to make them.

I have a friend who is talented when it comes to making arts and crafts projects. When the children ministry in our church had a project of redecorating the kids' room, one of her projects was to make storage containers out of recycled materials. I really admire her talent. Just look at these recycled plastic ice cream containers and recycled box containers she made. It looks so nice and neat when arranged on this book shelf.

Shelf with Storage Containers Using Recycled Materials
Shelf with Storage Containers Using Recycled Materials
Storage Containers Using Ice Cream Containers
Storage Containers Using Ice Cream Containers
Storage Containers Using Old Boxes
Storage Containers Using Old Boxes

Why Make Storage Containers Out of Recycled Materials?

While it is possible to just buy storage containers from the market, which is an easy thing to do, why would we want to make storage containers from recycled materials on our own? Let me point out quickly 3 good reasons.

1. It is cheaper. If you buy storage containers, it would definitely cost a little more. When you use recycled materials like ice cream containers or boxes and some arts and craft materials, the total cost would be somewhat lower. Additionally, you get to make the design that you want for your container.

2. It is more environment friendly. Since these recyclable materials will be reused at home, that would mean lesser garbage to dispose of. Lesser garbage means lesser cost in managing the proper disposal of garbage. It would also mean lesser carbon emission which occurs within the recycling plants. And that means the cleaner our environment will be.

3. It is fun to make. These do-it-yourself storage containers from recyclable materials can be a fun project to make with your kids. Doing it with them not only keeps the kids busy (less naughty) but it will also enhance their creativity and art talents.

How to Make Storage Containers Out of Recyclable Materials

So, how do you make storage containers out of recycled materials? What are the materials and steps involved? After reading below you'll be glad to know how easy it is. With a little patience and creativity, you can make your own storage containers from recyclable materials.

What Recyclable Materials to Use

There are a lot of recyclable materials which you can use for this project - plastic bottles and containers; glass bottles or jars; aluminum cans and lots of boxes - cereal boxes, shoe boxes, boxes of toys or appliances, etc.

Steps to Make the Storage Containers

1. Collect and clean used containers such as plastic and glass bottles. Wash with soap, remove any sticker labels then dry. Boxes can be cut to the desired size or shape.

2. Prepare other materials such as art paper; gift/book wrapping paper, poster paint or acrylic paint, glue, stickers, glitter glue, scissors, rulers, pencils, etc.

3. One option is to simply wrap the outer side of the boxes, bottles or jars with the gift or book wrapping paper. I like to use book covers which are like stickers. Just peel off the back side and stick the sticky paper onto the container. Otherwise, you can put glue on the container then stick the gift wrapping paper onto it. Slowly flatten the paper onto the container removing air bubbles. A good trick also for curved edges is to cut parallel lines at the edge of the paper before sticking them to the container to avoid bulging.

4. Another option is to paint the outer side of the containers using poster paint or acrylic paint. Kids would love to do this painting job. Let it dry. Then, decorate it with stickers, drawings, glitter glue or creative lettering. You can also cut our art paper and use it to design a mosaic on the outside of the bottles or boxes if you want to.

5. Now, you can think of what you want to do with these containers.

How to Make Chest of Drawers Using Recyclable Materials

Some Ideas for Using Storage Containers from Recycled Materials

1. Use recyclable boxes, plastic containers as storage containers on book shelves or closets, for keeping art supplies and books as shown in the picture above. You can also design cereal boxes to be used as magazine or folder racks.

2. Use aluminum cans as pencil stand. Some aluminum cans already come with good designs but you can still use your creativity to customize it. You can also stick a number of aluminum cans together and place it on your desk or onto a wall which can be used as a shelf for small things like keys, IDs, eyeglass, etc.

3. Use glass jars to hold hair clips, fashion accessories, buttons and other sewing materials, scrap booking embellishments, etc. Those spice bottles with sprinklers - they are perfect for keeping in them glitters or colored sand which can be used for easily sprinkling them on art projects. Most airtight food bottles or jars are perfect for storing in them again food items like homemade cookies, sauces, jams and jellies.

Those are just a few of the things which I have come up with using storage containers from recycled materials. Do you have any more ideas and suggestions?


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That is a great step that everyone can use .Well Done Chin chin.

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 

      7 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      What a great idea, cheap and co-ordinated and green all at the same time - great hub.

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Better Yourself and A.CreativeThinker. Have a great day!

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Great and fun storage ideas! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These ideas are very useful and helpful. Very nice hub.

      Thanks for sharing. Voted up! Take Care :)

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for coming by FloraBreenRobison.

      Thank you, Happyboomernurse, for mentioning about the hub luv by brittanytodd. It was really a surprise.

      Thanks so much Brittanytodd for mentioning this hub in your favorite hubs list.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      I came here after reading Brittanytod's review of this hub and am glad I did. This is a nice creative hub with great ideas for making decorative containers from recycled materials.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      8 years ago

      I am certainly someone who needs a lot of storage containers. And I love being crafty! Great ideas.

    • maxravi profile image

      Ravi Singh 

      8 years ago from India

      Very nice and well described hub.. thnks.. voted up!!

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks DirtFarmer for enlightening me. That would really be great.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      8 years ago from United States

      Hub of the Day!

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you, Dirt Farmer and Brittanytodd. But honestly, I don't know what HOTD mean. Can someone please tell me?

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 

      8 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      The Dirt Farmer's right, this WOULD be a great HOTD! You have done a great job at describing ways to make attractive and useful storage containers and also added a helpful video. Great work! Voted up, useful, etc.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      8 years ago from United States

      This would make a great HOTD. (Anybody listening?) Nice work!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      these are really cute storage materials. a fun project made from things we usually discard.

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you to everyone who read, left comments/suggestions and voted up.

      God bless you.

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      @mandymoreno81, thanks for the additional suggestions.

    • mandymoreno81 profile image


      8 years ago

      Using material you already have is cheap and easy. I use a lot of cardboard boxes to store books and other junk and just make sure the sides are all secure. You can use glass bottles and cans you get from pasta sauces or beverages and pour other things in there, or even use them as a flower vase if you have enough space.

    • Alta5656 profile image


      8 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

      Wow Chin, this is very useful considering we have tons of recyclable materials. Voted up!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      This is a wonderful idea. And the pictures of the finished projects were bright and so professionally done.

    • samsons1 profile image


      8 years ago from Tennessee

      most interesting and instructional. Voted up and useful.

      Christmas blessings to you...

    • mathira profile image


      8 years ago from chennai

      With the world focus on Eco friendliness, your hub is very relevant Chin chin.

    • katrinasui profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for taking out time to compile this useful hub:)

    • Chin chin profile imageAUTHOR

      Chin chin 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Instantlyfamily, thanks for the additional input. Using cloth and ribbons are really great for making this types of project, too.

    • instantlyfamily profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a great step by step Hub. I've done this using carboard boxes and cloth material. I used a hot glue gun and added ribbon.


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