five gallon bucket uses

15 Creative Uses For 5-Gallon Buckets

You made a haul at the Murdoch’s Bucket Sale, earning a free 5-gallon bucket. The 5-gallon bucket is priceless for carrying water, gathering garden harvest, and storage, but it can be used in many other ways.


  1. Upside-Down Tomato Planter

    Enjoy delicious homegrown tomatoes by using a 5-gallon bucket to build an unconventional planter that you can place nearly anywhere. Hang it from a wall, a fence, a patio ceiling, wherever, this space-saving planter grows tomato plants down, not up.

    Click here to learn how to construct an upside-down tomato planter with a bucket.

  2. Worm Composter

    A worm composter is a simple and eco-friendly way to recycle food scraps and create nutrient-rich compost for your garden. To make the composter, drill holes in the bottom of the 5-gallon bucket, add bedding, red wiggler worms or nightcrawlers, and food scraps. Alternate layers of safe, non-acidic bedding like shredded newspaper or cardboard and food scraps until the bucket is full. Keep the environment damp, cover the bucket, and store it in a cool, dark place. The worms will digest the food scraps and create nutrient-rich compost for the garden.

  3. Garden Hose Storage

    A 5/8-inch garden hose up to 50 feet can be coiled and neatly stored in a 5-gallon bucket. It is important to coil the hose carefully and evenly to maximize the amount of hose that can fit in the bucket.

  4. Versatile Planter

    A 5-gallon bucket's ample size allows for a variety of plants to be grown, from small flowers and herbs to vegetables and fruit trees. The bucket can also be customized with drainage holes and soil amendments to create the ideal growing environment for your plants. Additionally, the bucket's portability allows you to move your plants to different locations to maximize sunlight or avoid harsh weather conditions.

  5. Potato Patch

    Growing potatoes in a 5-gallon bucket is an easy and space-efficient way to yield a good crop of fresh potatoes. Plus, this method is great for those with limited garden space and poor soil conditions. Simply fill the bucket one-third full with a soil and compost mixture, plant potato seed pieces with at least one or two eyes each, and cover with soil. Continue adding soil as the potato plants grow and harvest the potatoes once the plants begin to flower and the leaves turn yellow.


  1. Beer Brewer

    Brew up a batch of beer using the bucket as a fermenter vessel. The bucket’s size and shape make it convenient for handling, cleaning, and storing during fermentation. You will need a tight-fitting lid to create an airlock to prevent contamination from outside air and bacteria while the beer brews. Once the beer is brewed, attach a snug spigot to get the party started.

  2. Tool Bucket

    The size and shape of a 5-gallon bucket make it convenient for storing and organizing various tools, from hammers and screwdrivers to power tools and extension cords. Additionally, you can customize the bucket with tool organizers and accessories to keep everything in its place and at your fingertips. It is also easy to carry around with its built-in handle.

  3. Seat

    For a cheap, cushy seat, a 5-gallon bucket is a perfect choice for seating at an outdoor concert, campfire, tool shed, garage, or wherever. Place a pillow, custom cushion, or another padding on the lid or flipped-up bottom, and you’re set. It’s a go-anywhere seat.

  4. Vehicle Emergency Kit

    A 5-gallon bucket can easily create a vehicle emergency kit. The bucket provides a portable and waterproof container to store supplies and equipment like a first-aid kit, blankets, flashlight, batteries, water, toilet paper, non-perishable food, a multi-tool, duct tape, a whistle, a phone charger, and whatever else you deem necessary in your personal kit.

  5. Turkey Briner

    Gobble, gobble! Brining a turkey in a bucket is a simple and effective way to add flavor and moisture to your Thanksgiving turkey. To begin, thoroughly clean the bucket. Next, mix your brine solution in a separate container, including salt, sugar, water, and any additional flavorings. Heat half of the solution and dissolve the salt and sugar, then add the other half to cool it down. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and place the bird in the bucket, pouring the brine solution over it until submerged. Place the bucket in a cool place, like a refrigerator or cooler, and let it brine for 12-24 hours. Afterward, rinse the turkey with cold water, pat it dry, and cook as desired. The result will be a juicy and flavorful turkey that will impress your guests.


  1. Anything But a Backpack Day

    lt’s a thing, really! Anything But a Backpack Day is a spirit week craze at school that, for one day, calls for kids to swap backpacks for anything else to carry school supplies. A 5-gallon bucket handily qualifies, easy-peasy!

  2. Piggy Bank

    Start saving! Decorate a bucket, cut a slot in the top, put it in a visible spot in your home such as on a countertop or shelf, and make it a habit to empty your pockets and purse of all spare change and small bills at the end of each day. A 5-gallon bucket is no little thing, so if you can keep your hands out of it, imagine how quickly your savings will grow!

  3. Fishing Rod Holder/Tackle Box

    Plastic pipe straps or PVC tubing attached to the outside of a 5-gallon bucket is a great way to keep your rods and fishing gear organized and within reach, whether fishing from the shore or on a boat. To attach your fishing rod to the outside of the bucket, use nuts and bolts to secure two pipe straps, spaced the length of the rod handle vertically, or one PVC tubing per rod. If you opt for PVC tubing over pipe straps, to accommodate the reel use 8 ½-inch lengths of PVC tubing with top notches cut ¾-inch wide by 3 ¼-inch long. Additionally, you can use the inside of the bucket to store your tackle and fishing gear.

  4. Camping Toilet

    Take a seat. Line the bucket with a plastic garbage bag, pad the rim with soft cushioning, such as a split foam pool noodle fit to the bucket rim — and you are good to go! It's not exactly the height of luxury or convenience, but it does the job in a pinch. Just remember to dispose of the waste properly to minimize your environmental impact!

  5. Mealworm Nursery

    A 5-gallon bucket with ventilation holes and wheat bran or oats for bedding is an affordable way to breed mealworms for poultry and aquarium fish. Furthermore, mealworms make great treats for your backyard birds. Feed starter mealworms fresh fruits, vegetables, or dry dog food. When they turn into pupae, transfer them to a separate, larger container to mature into beetles. After the beetles mature and lay eggs, remove the beetles. When the eggs hatch and larvae appear, move the larvae to the 5-gallon bucket with the original bedding and food source. As they grow into mealworms, use a portion to treat your animals but retain enough to repeat the process. Keep the bedding clean and dry and the bucket in a warm, dark location.

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