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    15 Five-Gallon Bucket Projects to Keep You Busy This Weekend

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    15 Five-Gallon Bucket Projects to Keep You Busy This Weekend

    Stuck indoors this weekend? DIY projects are a great way to spend your time. It'll keep you busy, save you money, and you'll end up with something you can use. And if you have any old five-gallon buckets lying around, you're in luck. (If not, you can still find them on Amazon.)

    The projects listed below are great, whether you are an experienced DIYer, homesteader, or just someone looking for something to do. If you’ve got some free time, you’ll want to try one of these projects for your home, homestead, or backyard. If you don’t have a bucket, keep reading to find out how you can get them cheap or free.

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    Hydroponics can be an expensive venture. However, you can painlessly get your toes wet with indoor growing with just a five-gallon bucket, a pond pump, and a couple of other easy-to-find items.

    You’ll need a bucket with a lid, some three-inch pots, your pond pump, a dripline, and a drip manifold, all of which you could find at Home Depot or a similar store.

    Blacksmith Forge in a Five Gallon Bucket

    This is an epic project for the ultimate prepper or DIYer. In this video, AmericanPiddler demonstrates how to create and run a blacksmith forget out of a five-gallon bucket.

    Although they don’t wholeheartedly recommend this method, they do show how it can be done and include links to the necessary equipment. AmericanPiddler explains that proper insulation is key to building an effective forge and you should always talk to a professional first.

    They also discuss internal and external temperatures and the principle of dragon’s breath. You can see their video here:

    Camp Shower

    Need a camp shower or a survival shower? Check out KGB Survivalist’s video on how to make a shower out of a five-gallon bucket. This quick video shows you exactly what tools and materials you need, including pipe tape and a metal sprinkler head and on/off valve for the shower.

    Although not very portable, this quick project will help you get set up with an easy camp shower for your base camp.

    Camping Potty

    You love camping, but not going potty in the woods? Check out this quick and easy five-gallon project to make a camping or survival toilet.

    You’ll need a few simple items: a bucket, a pool noodle, trash bag liners, and some kitty litter and you’re on your way to an easy camping toilet. Don’t forget the toilet paper!

    Urban Survival Toilet

    Cat Feeder

    You can save yourself a little time and effort with this automatic cat feeder made from two five-gallon buckets and a lid.


    Automatic Chicken Feeder

    If you love your chickens, you’re going to love these easy chicken projects. Create an automatic chicken feeder with a single five-gallon bucket and lid, a rubber feed trough, and a few pieces of hardware to keep them together.

    These items are inexpensive to purchase, but you may have everything you need just lying around already.

    Easy Nesting Boxes

    If your chickens are laying eggs, you’re going to need some nesting boxes. Don’t spend money on expensive boxes, just convert a couple of five-gallon buckets into nesting boxes with a drimmel tool, an old piece of hose, and a hot glue gun.

    5 Gallon Chicken Waterer

    Chickens are notorious for getting their water messy and dirty. But you can easily make an automatic chicken waterer that will save you time and effort keeping their water sparkling clean.

    You’ll need a five-gallon bucket and lid, a large plant saucer, and a few nuts, bolts, and PVC couplings. When the project is complete, you’ll be able to easily fill the waterer with a garden hose without even taking off the lid.

    Emergency Kit

    Even if you don’t consider yourself a prepper, every home should have an emergency kit that keeps necessary supplies in one easy-to-find spot. In this video, the Urban Prepper gives directions and advice to create your own with a five-gallon emergency bucket.

    In this case, your best choice is a food-grade five-gallon bucket when possible. Keep watching the channel for future videos on what to put in this bucket.

    Field Sink

    Whether you’re camping, barbecuing, or picnicking, you might need a handy sink nearby when there isn’t easy access to running water. You can build your own foot-operated field sink so you can wash wherever you need.

    Although this a slightly complicated build, the step by step directions are easy to follow and the finished product is worth the effort.

    Fish Trap

    Make fishing easy with a five-gallon bucket fish trap. For a $5 to $10 investment, you can create this simple fish trap. You’ll need a bucket with lid and some hardware cloth, along with a few other odds and ends.

    Mouse Trap

    If you’ve got a mouse problem, you’ll want to try this easy mouse trap project. Using just a five-gallon bucket, a peanut bar jar, some peanut butter, a wire, and a couple 2 x 4’s for ramps, you’ll be able to catch an unlimited number of rodents in this trap.

    Drake’s Homestead demonstrates just how easy it is to create this successful trap. This type of trap does not need to be reset to catch more mice, simply set it up and let it work. You can safely catch mice in the bottom of the bucket to relocate at a later time or add water to make it lethal.


    Five-gallon buckets make great planters. Here are three for you to try.

    Potato Planter

    Growing potatoes is a little easier to manage when you use a five-gallon bucket for a potato planter. This is an affordable means of growing lots of potatoes, even in a small space.

    Hollis and Nancy recommend using food grade, BPA free buckets for this purpose .

    Strawberry Planter

    There’s nothing like fresh home-grown strawberries. You can grow your own berries in a small space with these hanging strawberry planters made from five-gallon buckets.

    All you need is a bucket, some PVC pipe, silicone caulking, and some chain.

    Tomato Planter

    Growing tomatoes in an upside-down container saves space and water. But you don’t have to purchase expensive planters to grow tomatoes this way, just create your own with these easy to follow instructions using a five-gallon bucket and lid. With a little ingenuity, you can add a drip waterer, too.

    Rocket Stove

    Rocket Stoves are small, efficient wood-burning stoves. You can make your own outdoor version with a five-gallon bucket, some sand, and a few other simple items.
    Be careful building and using this stove, and make sure to wear protective gloves and eyewear.

    Tackle Box / Fishing Seat / Pole Holder

    This clever project makes a combination tackle box, fishing seat, and fishing pole holder. This project is relatively inexpensive. The pole holders are the most difficult part, but the directions and supplies list are clear and easy to follow so you spend less time messing with your stuff and more time out on the pier.

    VermiCulture Composter

    Worm castings are the black gold of the gardening world. With a simple vermiculture composter, you can turn food scraps into rich worm castings for your garden and houseplants.

    Logan Mackey gives you the complete instructions to make your own VermiCulture Composter out of two five-gallon buckets, a simple faucet, dirt, rocks, and worms. You’ll need a few simple tools and a little bit of time to make this simple but effective project.

    Washing Machine

    How will you wash clothes when the power is out? Melissa makes a washing machine out of two five-gallon buckets, a plunger, and a PVC bushing.

    All you need is a drill and you can make this washing machine in just a matter of minutes. Watch the video for a demonstration on how to make this handy washer – and how to use it!


    With all of these bucket projects, you’re going to need a lot of buckets. You can purchase them anywhere, including on Amazon.com.

    However, it's possible to get them for cheap or free. Bakeries, grocery stores, and other big box stores will give away their leftover food grade buckets if you ask.

    Check out this video for the details:

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