Is it possible to make modern looking, cubby style storage out of cat litter pails? Perhaps modular?

Depending on the brand of cat litter, the pails seem very well-suited for being made into stacked, modular storage.  They are so sturdy but cannot be recycled in most areas.

It would be ideal not to have to cut off anything, but the edge where the pail is intially sealed prevents the pail from laying level.  Could something as simple as  2" x 4"s help stabilize them?  But would that necessitate an overall structure or lattice holding all the pails together?

(Disclaimer: I don't use clay cat litters because of environmental concerns).  And, if the lids could be included in a design, it would be a great way to store all kinds of supplies without dust getting inside.


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I think that if you take the lids, run them through a saw to cut them in half and stack them you could very well eliminate the gap problem. You could cut them into smaller squares so it would be more sturdy.

For the shelves themselves, you could stack them like four or five tall in a line, and cut off the bottoms. This would give the "Oh, I'm modern because I am freestanding and rounded square" look that I think you are going for. Also, depending on how you use the lids, they could add some color.

You may have to add weight to the bottom so it doesn't fall over, and I have no idea how you would put everything together, maybe nuts and bolts? Or rivets?

You could always take a saw to the bottom end of the cat litter box, and then also cut off that oh-so-annoying rim (yes, I know what you are talking about exactly) and then super glue the structures together. If you did two rows you could turn it into a tv stand for storage! (You got me thinking.)
Burf7 years ago
Without knowing what the container looks like or its size, I can't even begin to offer up any ideas. Is the container round or rectangular, what are its dimensions, etc. A picture. or a link to a picture would be most helpful.
I can tell you that I made a small parts cabinet using some PVC pipe, a couple of pieces of 1x8 and 15 plastic cat food containers (three rows of five), but without knowing details about the specific container you want to use, I can't say whether it would work for you or not.

urbanmari (author)  Burf7 years ago
Thanks Burf for your consideration.  Your parts cabinet sounds nice.  I'm wondering what the 'plastic cat food containers' you refer to.  Maybe you've already made an instructable about it, or posted pics somewheres.  I'll post if you post.
orksecurity7 years ago
I think the best answer is likely to be "Interesting. Try it and report back on how successful you were and what problems you ran into."
urbanmari (author)  orksecurity7 years ago
Thank you for giving it some thought.  A couple of responses here have jogged the brain.  Will post when it gets done.
Seems like this should be possible without building a framework out of wood. I'd look into shims to fill the gap in back to keep the buckets level. Shims could be made out of practically anything that would fill the gap, but I think using the handle of the bucket would be ideal.

To hold the unit together, you could use pop rivets for a permanent structure, bolts for a semi-permanent structure, or Velcro for a modular unit. Heck, you could even use duct tape....
urbanmari (author)  RavingMadStudios7 years ago
Yours was quite nearly the best answer, for the fact of pointing out that shims (and made out of most anything) would sufficiently level out these shapes.  Great!

I just discovered this page wherein you all had offered solutions--very sorry for the delay in responding.

Thank you.  These ideas have just helped remove the mental chock blocks, so this project will soon get put back in the active queue. 
Will post when that happens.