Milk bottle watering can


Make a watering can from a plastic milk bottle - perfect to use in the garden.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Learn how to recycle plastic in the garden

Essential background information


Collect milk bottles - 1 pint bottles are great for smaller children and 2 or 4 pint bottles for older children or adults.

Wash out milk bottles well and remove labels.


  • Empty plastic milk bottles with lids – 1, 2 or 4 pint sizes
  • Wooden board
  • Hammer
  • Nails (size will be dependent on how fine you want your spray)
  • Permanent marker pens

Need more help?

Watch our RHS Ambassador, George, show you how it's done.

Step by step

  1. Make sure the milk bottle has been washed thoroughly with hot soapy water to get rid of any milk and the milky smell. 
  2. Place the lid onto a wooden board and use a hammer and nail to make holes into the lid (teacher support may be required when working with younger pupils). Smaller nails will create smaller holes for a finer spray.
  3. Pop one small hole in the handle of the bottle to allow air to get in. This will help the water flow.
  4. Make sure the outside of the bottle is completely dry, then decorate the bottle with permanent pens.
  5. Fill the bottle with water and replace the lid.

Hints & tips

  • Different sized nails will produce varying sized holes e.g. smaller nails will create a finer spray which is ideal for seeds and seedlings. Larger holes can be used to water more established plants.
  • Explore our top tips on watering your plants effectively and also our tips on how to conserve water in your garden.
  • Left over milk bottles? Have a go at making a recycled basket or a small bug home.
  • Use this activity as part of our Grow Your Own Lunch class growing topic.
  • Safety tip - Teaching staff supervision and guidance will be needed on using tools safely.