Sunday, August 19, 2012

Make a quick picking pail from the recycling bin

I made a few of these easy baskets from gallon vinegar and bleach jugs.  They are perfect for clothespins as you can hang one on your arm easily and comfortably.  For this reason, these also make ideal picking baskets for small things like berries, cherries, grape tomatoes, etc.  It takes about 5 minutes or so to make one and all you need is a marker (or you could eyeball it), sharp scissors, and a plastic bottle, rinsed out.

Roughly sketch your basket, noting the placement of the handles on the bottle.

Puncture the bottle in the middle of one of the planned openings, then cut your way towards and around your lines.   You can use the basket now, or continue for a smoother finish if desired.

Snip off the top.

Carefully cut out a small arrow on one side.

Poke a horizontal slot near the top of the other handle.

Poke a vertical slot under this, making a T, extending the upright of the T to accommodate the width of your arrow.  I trimmed my arrow a little at this point.

"Tab A in slot B..."  insert the arrow into the upright of the T, then carefully twist it so it rest in the horizontal of the T.

Fill with clothespins....

Perfect!  Imagine having both hands free to hang laundry or pick raspberries....

A bleach bottle version.  I cut this one too low, but no worries.  Bleach and vinegar bottles are free!

These can also be used to organize the garage or basement.  I like the vinegar ones as they are slightly clear and I can quickly see what is in them.  We use vinegar in the dishwasher and laundry and for cleaning the milking machine, so we always have empty ones around.  If you don't, do you know someone who has a garden and makes pickles the non-traditional, fairly modern way with a canner and vinegar?  I know lots of people do, because the stores are often out of the gallon jugs of white vinegar in late July and into August, so you should be able to find some in your neighborhood.

I'll bet these could be fancied up a bit with some ribbon or fresh herbs and used to gift extra garden produce, too.  The possibilities are limitless!  What else can these be used for?

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