By Noreen Doll.
Never throw away a milk jug or vinegar jug again.
Here are some handy tips on preparing a milk or vinegar jug or other plastic bottle to use for crafting.
*Remove the label. The sooner you remove the label, the easier it comes off. And try not to get it wet before you remove it.
Start at one corner and peel slowly, and usually the whole label comes off in one try.
If a residue is left on the jug, you can rub a little vegetable oil on it and let it set a few minutes. Then wipe the oil off with a paper towel and clean the area with soap and water.
*Wash Thoroughly. Add water to the jug and shake it up to rinse it and pour the water out
Then put a few drops of liquid soap and 2 or 3 cups of water into the jug and shake it up thoroughly.
Let the jug sit for a little bit and shake it up 2 or 3 more times. Then rinse it well and turn it upside down to drain.
If the inside is still damp when you start to use it, you can wipe it with a paper towel once you’ve cut into the jug.
*Draw your shapes on the plastic bottle. I use a Sharpie as it leaves a visible line and is easy to apply.
Use a fine tip marker so there is less color to remove, or plan to cut just inside the marked line so it won’t show.
I used a thicker tip Sharpie so the lines would be very visible for the photos.
*Remove Sharpie Ink from the plastic jug. To remove the ink from the plastic, wet a paper towel with alcohol and wipe the Sharpie ink off.
I did notice that if the bottle has a fine pebbled surface instead of a smooth plastic, it is difficult to remove the ink entirely and it left a shadow where I had drawn.
So it is better to plan to cut the inked part off your plastic piece.
*Cut a plastic jug. I start cutting a plastic jug with a sharp knife, making the first long slit a little outside the line marked for use. [Or inside the line if I’m just removing a cut-out and plan to use the remaining jug for my project.}
I cut the entire plastic piece out, making it larger than the pattern I have drawn.
After I have removed it from the jug, using scissors I cut on, or just inside, the pattern line I’ve drawn.
*Make the plastic edges smooth. Try not to leave any jagged or sharp edges.
Some kinds of plastic cut very well, and other seem to want to make jagged little pieces along the edge.
An adult should always supervise kids using sharp knives or scissors, or do the actual cutting.
Using these basic tips will help make crafting with milk or vinegar jugs easier.
And here are lots of great ideas for using recycled milk jugs.