Repurposed Kitty Litter Bucket Storage Rack

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Introduction: Repurposed Kitty Litter Bucket Storage Rack

About: I enjoy finding ways to make the things around me work better. I enjoy designing, building and dreaming. My favorite tool is my mind! My second would be my hands! I'm grateful for the talents I've been giv...

24 kitty litter buckets, some 2x3's. a hand full of screws and a bunch of zip ties, and I've got some sturdy and cheep garage storage. I had a big pile of buckets starring at me in the garage and I needed more storage.  I looked at the buckets and started playing and just made it up as I went along... I think it turned out quite well.  Even has room to hang the skateboards on the back!

The bottom board is a 1x2.  The other boards in the back are 2x3's.  The smaller board on the bottom allows the storage unit to tip slightly to the back keeping things inside from rolling out.

I measured, marked and drilled holes in the exact same location on the sides of the buckets that touch each other.  The holes are drilled about an inch from where the handle snaps into the buckets on that flat section and then again on the 'front' and 'back' on those same flat spots.  Two holes were drilled in each flat section. (the handles were removed first)  The buckets are then zip tied together using these holes.  Be sure to carefully cut the zip ties flush with the end of the locking portion of the zip tie...  using a wire cutter will leave a sharp end...  I found using a razor blade was the fastest and gave a nice clean cut.  Just be careful.

The buckets are screwed to the 2x3's and 1x3's using pan head screws and fender washers.

I flipped the top row of buckets around to suit My location needs.  This storage unit acts as a wall by these stairs to my basement in my garage, and the top row would have been too high to reach from the stairs side....
  I added a shelf or 'table' in place of one of the buckets on the top row for drinks and what not when I'm in the garage working or playing.


is my first post.  I'll try to get more details posted soon or do a step by step for this...

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    14 Discussions

    0
    etriker
    etriker

    10 months ago

    NO elbow grease label removal! Acitone, GoofOff, etc, doesn't work that well to strip the silk-screened labels off. I use the aerosol 'CitriStrip' paint&varnish stripper gel from HD. Let
    a thick coat sit for 8-10 hours on one side panel at a time. Use a plastic scraper to remove liquefied label to an old plastic food tray. Wipe down with mineral spirits & paper towels. Remember to wear nitrile gloves & safety glasses in a ventilated area!

    0
    Kwolf12
    Kwolf12

    4 years ago on Introduction

    By the way, a 300 to 600 grit waterproof sandpaper, under running water, will take off the labels from the sides of these buckets. It also does a great job of prepping them for painting. I have four of these buckets outside on my fire-escape, being used as planter boxes for pollinator plants. Two of them are left yellow; the other two are painted periwinkle purple. A very nice color-combo, and very effective planters for good-sized plants! (One of the plants has even sent out new leafy shoots from what were meant to be drainage holes at the very bottom of the bucket.)

    0
    JLRice54
    JLRice54

    Reply 1 year ago

    So does a cloth soaked with lacquer thinner. It wipes the ink off and leaves the surface of the bucket unharmed.

    0
    Erenaissance
    Erenaissance

    3 years ago

    Did you have trouble getting the lids off the buckets? Any tips for that? What kind of tool did you use to cut only part of the lid off? TY

    0
    JLRice54
    JLRice54

    Reply 1 year ago

    I used a box cutter with a new sharp blade to cut my half lids. I've pretty much decided to leave the lids complete on the rest of my buckets as my shop get a lot of Texas recluse spiders in the summer and while they are a little less venomous than their cousin a brown recluse, the bite is still nasty and slow healing. I use my bucket wall for storing metal cut offs I purchase for my home machine shop. I can keep them sorted by alloy, size and shape.

    0
    funcky
    funcky

    Reply 3 years ago

    I have had trouble getting the lids off as well. I've found a straight slot screwdriver or small pry bar works good to get the lids off if they get stuck.
    I used my table saw with a fine tooth narrow kerf blade in it to cut the lids.

    0
    Trueallie
    Trueallie

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Pet food buckets...what can't they do? I see this and I see a waterproof, easy-clean group of nest boxes with built in egg doors. This is just super - so many uses!

    0
    jksurrusco
    jksurrusco

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I was just thinking of buying some shelving for my garage. This is much better and a great reuse of all my litter buckets. I've also thought of painting them and putting fabric by colors in them for my sewing room. I'd label each one on what color is inside or place in stacks in the closet . Fabric has to have air but no sun.

    0
    gonwththewind29
    gonwththewind29

    6 years ago

    Beautiful idea !! Way to think inside the bucket. Lol. I bed you could paint them with some plastic paint and put them in a mud room to store gloves, scarves, hats, shoes, maybe even sighted papers for little ones running out the door on their way to and from school !!! Wonderful frugal way of recycling.

    0
    funcky
    funcky

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I've painted a few litter buckets for other projects and as long as you give them a quick once over with some fine sand paper, paint (like you said, recommended for plastic) seems to hold on the buckets fairly well. I've found too if you use mineral sprits the labels will come right off leaving nice clean looking buckets. I really like the idea of mud room storage! Your mention of school got me thinking... maybe they could be used at a home day care as an inexpensive 'locker system', each child could have their own place for papers, boots, etc. Thanks for the great ideas!

    0
    gonwththewind29
    gonwththewind29

    6 years ago

    Autocorrect. Bet instead of bed. And signed papers .. Sorry

    0
    l8nite
    l8nite

    7 years ago on Introduction

    a very cool (and green) idea, thank you for sharing

    Sweet re-use. I have a few that I use just as buckets but I like this idea better. Would be nice to see this fleshed out a bit more as for the instructions but it gets the point across. The "table top" is a great addition. You could even put some knobs on the lids/doors to make it easy to open, just a thought.

    0
    steelnix
    steelnix

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome storage idea!!
    I have a bunch of cat food containers just like these...