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40 Alternative uses for a grit bin

We're celebrating 40 years of business this year, so here are 40 alternative uses for a grit bin.

1. Paddling pool

Although our summers may be brief, most years will provide enough sunshine for a paddling pool. The robust plastic sides and watertight construction make it ideal for dipping your feet into and having a splash about.

2. Sand pit

Keep your grit bin half full of sand and suddenly you have an effective and fun sand pit to use when ever needed. The lid and high sides will stop the sand from disappearing and it will be kept dry and clean when not being used.

3. Ice box / beer cooler

Now we’re getting somewhere; more of an adult idea. Keep cans and bottles cool during outdoor parties with a grit bin filled with iced water, probably also works with non-alcoholic drinks too.

4. Outdoor cushion storage

It’s that eternal problem; where do you put patio furniture cushions when they are not being used? Fear not, you can take that empty grit bin and use it to store cushions when you don’t need them, ready to whip out at the first sign of sunshine.

5. Parcel box

By the year 2023, 104% of us will be shopping online and shopping malls will have all been converted to giant zero-gravity robot-fighting arenas (maybe), this means a boom in the delivery business and an increase in the amount of missed parcels. Having an empty grit bin in which Mr. Postman can leave deliveries dry and safe makes perfect sense.

6. Strawberry Planter

The ideal depth for home growing of strawberries, get nature’s candy straight from just outside your back door.

7. External shoe storage

Save your carpets from muddy boots and shoes by setting your grit bin up as an outdoor boot box. Footwear can be kept dry and ready for use.

8. Giant punch bowl

Get slicing fruit, because it’s going to need plenty to fill it up.

9. Very small ball crawl

This could work, right? Maybe for a cat? Would a cat enjoy this sort of thing? Can someone check and get back to us? (Not pictured: an exceptionally smiley cat.)

A very small ball crawl

10. Dog bath

This seems like safer territory, wash the dog in the garden in your empty grit bin. Perfect.

11. Compost bin

Practical and environmentally friendly - collect food scraps and garden trimmings and let them mulch away happily in the garden.

12. Exceptionally large trifle bowl

The World Record for the largest trifle was set in Yorkshire in 1987 (I haven’t looked this up, but I imagine it is true) - with only a hundred weight of sponges and a pallet of custard, you could break this record.

13. Picnic basket

We are back on more practical footing now; fill it up with sandwiches and take your grit bin for a nice walk in the woods (forklift way be required)

14. Small and rather unstable boat

More of a coracle, really, but the theory holds up.

15. Washing up bowl for after BBQ's

No one wants to wash up after a bar-be-que, but by filling a grit bin up with warm water and fairy liquid, it magically turns from dull chore to interactive party game.

16. A stall to sell home grown veg at the end of your driveway (lockable at night)

You’ve grown too many runner beans? Again? Fear not, a grit bin at the end of the drive way will easily convert into a temporary vegetable store.

17. Water balloon storage

Transform into the greatest parent ever by revealing a grit bin full of pre-prepared water balloons in the middle of an outdoor kids party.

18. Storage space for all your winter jumpers

Another great space saver, grit bins are the perfect size to keep winter jumpers in.

19. Fish pond

First dig a whole, then add the grit bin as a pond liner, fill earth in around the edges and build up rocks around the edge. In no time, your fish will be ready for their funky new bright-yellow home.

20. Water butt

Leave it in the garden with the lid off… bingo, you have a water butt.

21. Go Kart

Add some pram wheels, a seat, and preferably a roll-cage; then take your creation to a hill. Safety gear is optional, life insurance probably isn’t.

22. Extra outdoor seating for unexpected guests

Let your guests know exactly how unexpected and welcome they are by making them sit on a grit bin.

23. Carrot planter

Plant carrots at the ideal height to prevent carrot rootfly attack!

24. Toy storage

Grit bins make brilliant toy boxes, tough, bright and fun.

Toy storage box

25. Outdoor naughty step

Keep order in the garden by employing your grit bin as an ad-hoc naughty step

26. Outside exercise station

Bench press anyone? Get fit with your grit bin by using it to store yoga mats, weights and other exercise paraphernalia.

27. Table top for outdoor eating/prep

Admittedly, it’s going to be a bit low, but at a push you could sit around your grit bin either happily eating or chopping onions.

28. Fold-away poker table

To avoid being rumbled.

29. Horse trough

Hay (sorry!) presto, one happy horse!

Horse Trough

30. Tool box

Avoid the ‘where did I put my spanner?’ question everyone loathes when they have a leaky radiator and the floor is flooding. Keep all your tools together in one place. Now where did I put that grit bin?

31. Giant pac man

Stick some eyes on the lid and those pram wheels from your grit bin go kart for ease of movement - amuse yourself and others by lifting the lid and gobbling ghosts.

32. Time capsule

Collect 10 pieces of memorabilia from 2015, newspaper cuttings, photographs, a tin of beans perhaps. (You probably don’t want to bury your iPhone!) Put them in the bin – bury the bin. In 2025 try to remember where you buried the bin, dig it up. Giggle at the hair styles. Don’t eat the beans.

33. Fancy dress storage / mobile theatre

Why not set up a grit bin full of fancy dress at the end of your drive way and encourage passers-by to dress up and act out small plays? This has the advantages of brightening up strangers’ days and providing free entertainment for you.

34. Concealed basement entrance

Cut the bottom out of your grit bin and mount it over a hole that leads down via ladder to a basement. Then you can amaze your friends by disappearing into your ‘grit bin’ and returning with useful objects.

35. Sledge

Wait for it to snow. Sit in the bin - slide down the hill. If you’re struggling to get off the start line, use a pair of Ski poles. These will also come in useful where it comes to steering and avoiding snowmen and other fellow sledgers. Wheeeeeeeeee!

36. Drum

Hit it with a stick, repeat as required. The End.

37. Apple bobbing

It’s not just for Halloween. Fill your bin with water. Add apples. Get Bobbing

38. A nightclub for newts

Fill the grit bin full of greenery, add a bucket or two of water. Cut a doorway in the front. Hey presto you have created a nightclub for newts. Wait and watch as your lizard friends queue up. Neon signage and disco balls are optional.

39. Life jacket pool equipment storage

Perfect for the poolside, no need to create a splash, keep your water-wings, life jackets and buoyancy aids visible and close to hand for those times when you get that sinking feeling.

40. Sculpture

Stack one grit bin on top of another, call it modern art.

Photograph of Martin Gilmour

Author Bio -

Marketing Manager for ESE Direct, in my spare time I enjoy reading, playing music and near-total avoidance of DIY.