How to make a homemade skeleton

Written by jaimie zinski
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How to make a homemade skeleton
Make your own skeleton with plastic milk containers. (skeleton image by JASON WINTER from

Halloween is a time to decorate your home and costume your children to scare and delight your friends and neighbours. Instead of spending a small fortune on store-bought Halloween decorations, build your own skeleton at home from recycled milk jugs. This craft project can be made in a single afternoon with the assistance of your excited little ghosts and goblins. Put the skeleton in your front yard to add a ghoulish surprise for trick-or-treaters who dare to come to your door.

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Things you need

  • 8 or 9 4.5 litre (1 gallon) plastic milk cartons
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Black permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Hot glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • White poster board
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • String
  • Child's hands
  • Child's feet

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  1. 1

    Wash out 8 4.5 litre (1 gallon) plastic milk containers with soap and water. Allow to dry.

  2. 2

    Make the head of the skeleton from one milk jug. Turn it upside down and create a nose from the handle by painting it with a black permanent marker. Draw an eye on each side of the nose and make a smiling skeletal mouth underneath.

  3. 3

    Cut two small holes in the top of the head, string a piece of twine through them and tie the ends together. This will be the hanger for the skeleton.

  4. 4

    Construct the chest of the skeleton by turning a jug right side up and cutting a slit down the middle on the opposite side from the handle. Draw three ribs on either side of the slit with the black permanent marker. Glue the bottom of the head to the top of the rib cage with hot glue, spout to spout. Hold the two pieces together for several minutes to allow the glue to set.

  5. 5

    Cut the handles from two jugs and hot glue them to either side of the top of the chest, with one end of each handle sticking out and down to the side. These are the shoulder blades. Punch holes in the ends of both shoulder blades.

  6. 6

    Cut out the bottom section of one of the jugs approximately 100 mm (4 inches) from the bottom of the jug. Cut two semicircles (one on either side) in the bottom section. Punch holes in the remaining sides. Attach the chest and the pelvic section together with hot glue.

  7. 7

    Cut out eight bone shapes from the white poster board. Punch holes into the top and bottom of each of these bones. Connect two of the bones by tying them together through the holes with the string. There should be four sets of connected bones.

  8. 8

    Attach one set of bones to each shoulder blade and one set of bones to either side of the pelvis at the holes by using the string to loop them together.

  9. 9

    Trace a child's hands and feet onto a piece of white poster board and cut out the shapes. Glue the hands to the bones connected to the shoulder blades and connect the feet to the bones connected to the pelvic bone.

  10. 10

    Hang the skeleton wherever you choose.

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