Sunday, September 23, 2012

Project of the Week: Milk Jug Baskets

Inspired by the many gallons of milk we are going through, since my baby girl loves her milk and my little man is on a cereal kick, I found a way to make something pretty from a disposable product! That's right, friends, we are going back to our trash/recycle bins for this project! We are going to make beautiful milk jug baskets!

What you will need:
an empty milk jug
box knife or blade
quilt batting
spray glue
glue gun and glue sticks
piece of cardboard

How you do it:

1. Using your box knife or blade, cut the mouth (or spout, not sure of the correct name for it!) of the milk jug off.

2. Using your scissors or your box knife (whichever you are comfortable with), cut down the sides of your jug so that you have a basket part and two pieces standing that resemble two straps. Try to make sure the straps are of equal width. After that, make sure you thoroughly clean and dry your empty milk jug.

3. Staple the ends of the straps together, overlapping each other a little. Then wrap tape around the part where you stapled to ensure that the staples never poke through.

4. Cut wide strips of the quilt batting long enough to go across the whole base of the basket and overlap the inside of the basket on both sides. Apply some of the spray glue onto the first strip of batting (Note: the spray glue is very adhesive so be careful not spray it onto any flooring or furniture. Working on newspaper helps avoid this.) Stick the batting onto the jug. The easiest way I found to do this is to place the jug on the middle of the strip before spraying the spray glue. Adjust it to make sure it sits where you want it. Then lift the bottom of the jug and spray the batting where the bottom of the jug was. Replace the jug in the middle of the batting. Then spray more of the spray glue on one side of the batting and stick it to the jug. Then repeat with the other side. Do this until the basket part is covered in batting.

5. For the basket handle, cut a long piece of batting long enough to go across the whole handle and wide enough to fold it around the width of your handle. Use the spray adhesive to stick the batting to the handle. Your basket should be completely covered in batting now.

6. Before using your fabric, iron out any wrinkles from it. Then cut your fabric into wide strips that are about the same length that your batting strips were. Then use your iron to iron down the edges of each strip so you don't see where you cut and so they do not fray. (Note: you can make your strips as wide or as narrow as you prefer. If you cut them narrow, it means that you will have to cut more strips. But it just depends on what kind of look you are going for. For this basket, I used wide strips.)

7. For the handle, you will need a piece of fabric long enough to wrap around the handle. There are two ways you can wrap your handle. You can lay the fabric flat on the top and overlap the ironed down edges on the underside of the handle and glue them. Or, you can go all around the handle so that the fabric resembles a candy cane design around your handle. I chose the candy cane method for this basket because I thought it gave a fun look to it.

8. Use your glue gun to glue the fabric strips to your basket. The easiest way for me was to do this this same way I glued the batting. You just have to apply the glue in shorter lines because hot glue dries quicker. And you only need to apply the glue to the edges of your fabric. Your basket should now be covered except for the bottom of the inside.

9. For the bottom of the inside, you will need to cut a piece of cardboard so that it fits snugly into the bottom of your basket. You can do a squared shape or a rounder shaped bottom. I chose a rounder shape for this basket. After you cut your cardboard, place it at the bottom of the inside of your basket to make sure it fits properly, then make adjustments as needed and check the size again until it fits properly. Then remove the cardboard.

10. Using the spray glue, glue batting to one side of the cardboard.

11. Then place the batting side of your cardboard down onto some fabric that is a little bigger than your piece of cardboard. Then use your glue gun to glue down the edges of your fabric all around the shape of your cardboard.

12. Place your cardboard inside the bottom of your basket with the fabric side up. Lifting a little of your cardboard up at a time, use the glue gun to secure the piece to the bottom of your basket.

13. Now is the fun part! Use your ribbon or other embellishments to decorate and personalize your basket. You won't even be able to tell that this was a milk jug!

Have fun and let me know how this projects worked out!

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