How to cut a hole in a plastic container

Updated February 21, 2017

Cutting a hole in a plastic container is often the first step to transforming it into a craft or hobby project. After cutting out the holes, smaller plastic containers are used as bird feeders and puppets, while larger plastic buckets and storage bins are used to create worm bins, planters and even to hold compost. Cutting holes in these plastic containers requires different tools, depending on the thickness of the plastic you are cutting.

Place the plastic container on a flat, sturdy surface and use a black marker to draw an opening for the hole. If you are cutting a circle, insert the marker into a compass and place the point of compass on the plastic, turning it to create a perfect circle.

Hold the plastic container steady with one hand and carefully insert an the tip of a pair of scissors, or a craft knife through the marker line.

Pick up a pair of scissors and open the blades. Insert the lower blade into the hole in the plastic and then use the scissors to cut all the way around the perimeter of the marker line.

Remove the excess plastic that probably fell inside the container.

Place the plastic object on a sturdy surface or on the ground and use the black marker to draw a line on it where you want the hole to be.

Put on safety glasses and insert a ΒΌ-inch diameter drill bit into a drill. Create a hole directly on top of the marker line. Then create a second hole overlapping the first to expand the opening.

Plug in your jigsaw. Insert the thin blade of the jigsaw through the opening in the plastic and press the trigger. Guide the jigsaw around the marker line until you reach the starting point.

Release the trigger and set the saw aside before removing and discarding the excess plastic.

Things You'll Need

  • Black marker
  • Compass (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife (optional)
  • Safety glasses
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch diameter drill bit
  • Jigsaw
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.