Monday, May 24, 2021

The New 5-Gallon Bucket Book: Ingenious DIY Projects, Hacks, and Upcycles

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The New 5-Gallon Bucket Book is a DIY and tutorial manual full of ingenious ideas for sourcing/using/repurposing 5 gallon plastic buckets by DIY maven Chris Peterson. First published in 2015, this reformatted second edition is due out 25th May 2021 from Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint. It's 144 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats (ebook available now). 

The projects are of varying usefulness or practicality. Most of them look like what they -are-; items made from 5 gallon HDPE buckets. The tutorials are grouped roughly thematically: things for use in the home, camping/outdoors, pet/livestock, toys, and gardening. The upcycled items are truly creative and make good use of the particular strengths of the buckets, especially the more utilitarian projects. I'm a little iffy on some of the home decor uses (they're about as attractive as macaroni art - but there are a lot of people who like macaroni art, so *shrug*). The gardening and outdoor tutorials are really packed with do-able, suitable, utilitarian projects which I will definitely be using. One of the tutorials is for an "upside down" tomato planter, and my personal experience using a similar layout some years ago was not an unqualified success. The plants spent a majority of their growth trying to compensate for being suspended upside down and didn't bloom or fruit as vigorously as their earth-bound siblings. I suspect like most DIY books, it's a mix of varying degrees of success and experimentation is key. 

Each of the tutorials includes tools and materials lists, time / difficulty / cost estimates, followed by step-by-step tutorial instructions. The guides are easy to understand and clearly photographed. Tools and supplies will be easily sourced or readily available in the average home.

Four and a half stars. As the author says in his introduction, "the best things in life are free". I would recommend this one for library acquisition, homeowners, self-reliance smallholders, DIYers, recyclers, low-impact living folks, maker's groups, cooperative gardens, and similar. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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