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Upcycled Milk Jug Watering Can: “Stained Glass” Lorax

Since most of the plant food recipes call for a gallon of water to mix everything up I’ve accumulated several milk jugs in my gardening supplies. I recently learned (thank you, Pinterest) that if you punch holes in the cap with a screwdriver they make great watering cans! So, really… how long was it really going to take before I made something sparkly or customized them? Pshh… I can’t last! I had to turn my plain milk jug watering can into a happy milk jug watering can, PRONTO!

This is a very simple project, and if you keep artsy-crafty supplies around anyway it’s not very expensive. If you just decide to go buy everything you’re looking at a good chunk of cash, but it’s stuff that’s good to have around the house and for arts and crafts.

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I used a variety of different colored Sharpies. These can rack up your grand total if you don’t find a good price on a set somewhere – Costco usually has a set for a decent price or you can find lots of different sets on Amazon.com. I like the big Magnum black Sharpies because they have a chisel edge and you can make thick or thin markings with them. I also used a regular size black Sharpie not shown in the picture.

I used a soft (6B) pencil to sketch out my design before I used the Sharpies. You can use a regular #2 pencil, but those are much harder and don’t mark the plastic as well – I learned that the hard way.

The jute twine is the same I used for the lightbulb fishbowl, and should be available for less than $2.00 at a hardware store. The scissors are to cut the twine, and the lighter is for burning the ends of the twine so they don’t fray. Just wrap it around the handle however you’d like and tie it off good when you’re done.

You’ll need a skinny Phillips-head screwdriver to poke the holes in the cap. The material is fairly soft and you shouldn’t need to apply too much force to get the screwdriver through.

Goo Gone is great for removing grease, sticky stuff, and all manner of “goo” from things around your house. I used it to help remove the stubborn glue from the label. Be careful with it since it will also take off paint, and a Q-tip dipped in the stuff makes a good “eraser” if you make a mistake with the Sharpies.

I used an acrylic UV/moisture resistant coating to seal the outside from the brand Krylon. It’s about $13.00 on Amazon, but it was only $9.00 in the store. You might want to shop around on that one. The Sharpies will smear and smudge on the plastic if you don’t seal your artwork. Make sure to read the directions and shake up the can really good before use because it will smear your design if you don’t shake it or if you hold the can too close – I learned this the hard way as well. I used a bamboo staff stuck in some dirt with the milk jug turned over the top to hold it while spraying, but you could also use a shovel in some dirt. The Krylon spray will give you an even coat of acrylic protection over your design if you follow the directions.

You can create any kind of design you want. I’m personally a big fan of Dr. Seuss so I HAD to put the Lorax on mine!

Dr. Seuss used his writing to make a lot of important statements, and I had wanted to put a star-bellied sneetch, a plain-bellied sneetch, and Yertle the turtle on the watering can as well. I very quickly realized it would get too crowded and opted for a Yertle-esque turtle, a swomee swan, and some truffula trees.

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A lot of people don’t realize that Dr. Seuss did a lot of political work with his art. It’s unfortunate, but I think we still see quite a bit of a bitter “Butter Battle” going on in our global culture. If you liked Dr. Seuss’ children’s books, and you’d like to learn a little more about his other work in a “family friendly” way, I highly suggest the movie “In Search of Dr. Seuss“. An all-star cast acts out some of our favorite stories and enlightens us to a new world of Dr. Seuss.

Here’s a clip from the movie that illustrates what Dr. Seuss had to go through in the publishing world:

NOTE: IF YOU’RE TRYING TO PUBLISH DON’T GIVE UP!

Dr. Seuss also did political satire cartoons, a short video about WWII, and a series of instructional videos for the military called “Private Snafu“.

Just a quick heads up if you intend to keep reading – Private Snafu is not what I would call “family friendly”.

If you didn’t already know, “SNAFU” is an acronym for “S.ituation N.ormal, A.ll F.ucked U.p” playing off the common military way of reporting “everything’s okay” as “situation normal”. SNAFU is something that should be normal or easy but has been messed up. This is not to be confused with FUBAR in which a normal situation has been royally messed up!

Private Snafu was supposed to teach soldiers about basic military protocols by showing them the wrong way to do things. There are a bunch of “Private Snafu” videos available on YouTube if you want to watch more of them. I’ll just share one that’s a little risque, but particularly funny called “Booby Traps”.

I think the best line is: “If you are a boob, you will be trapped!”

My point with all this is that you may want to take the time to learn more about Dr. Seuss!

Alright, so that’s my little post for today!

If you make a fancy watering can please send me a link! I would love to see your amazing creations. 🙂

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