How to fix a plastic trug

These flexible  plastic trugs are everywhere these days and no wonder. They are really useful, not expensive, easy to clean, come in lots of sizes, are hard wearing and can be bought in a range of bright colours.

We use them in the garden and for bringing in logs to the wood burning stove.

But flexi tubs do have a couple of weaknesses. They are not exactly environment friendly so it is important we don’t think of them as disposeable. Therefore, when they get broken we really should repair them rather than throw them away.

Repair a split seam

When the weather gets cold they are liable to split down the seam. Unfortunately you cannot just run a bead of glue along it and expect that to hold. The plastic is just too thin to allow the glue to grip well. There are glues that claim to do the job, but on their own we don’t see good results. However a glue in combination with the ‘sewing’ technique (see below) should be ideal. That said, the glue is redundant because the stitched repair seems just as good without the addition of glue.

This easy fix for split trugs that will extend their useful lives by many more years and costs only a few pence.

Stitch a plastic trug together

Flexi tub repair

You are going to drill a series of holes along each side of the seam. Just lay one side of the split seam down on a drillable bit of scrap wood and Mark spots about 1 inch from the seam and 1 inch from the previous hole.

Space your holes evenly. You don’t technically need to have accurately spaced holes, but it is much more satisfying if the job all lines up neatly. That’s what we mean by ‘doing it properly’. Just taking a bit of care leads to a job you will be proud of. . Mark the other side of the seam, making sure to line up with the holes on the other side and now carefully drill your two lines of holes.  A cordless drill is definitely a better choice than a corded drill for this sort of task, and a size eight drill bit should do nicely unless you have exceptionally large or small cable ties in you shed. Now stitch the two sides together using… cable ties. Yes, ordinary cheap cable ties are all you need. The resulting mend won’t we watertight, but for moving stuff around the garden or house, this is all you need. Tighten the ties, snip the ends off and get back to work.

repair a trug

Cable ties

Repair broken handles

You might think that when a handle goes, the whole trug is useless, but it really isn’t hard to repair. This is almost too easy. Drill a couple of holes and thread a new rope handle using smooth PVC based rope that doesn’t abrade the plastic. The knots on the inside of the trug can be made extra secure by melting the ends.


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About the author

Loves to learn new things and make stuff...properly. Born and living in the Thames Valley west of London, England. I have an office job during the day, but evenings and weekends are all about making.