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How to build an arts & crafts skeleton for kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Kids can construct their own skeletons from recycled materials for Halloween decorations and games or for science learning projects. The kids will learn the parts of a skeleton while making a delightful character to hang up at school or at home. All ages of children can participate in making a skeleton, either in a group or on their own.

Paint 13 paper towel tubes and 9 toilet tissue tubes white. Let the paint dry.

Turn the milk jug upside-down to be used as the skeleton's head. Use the pouring spout as the skeleton's neck.

Poke a hole in the top of the skeleton's head. Thread a twleve-foot length of rope through the hole and down through the spout. Tie a loop at the top of the head with the rope so you can hang your skeleton. Pull the remainder of the rope through the spout to be used in building the skeleton.

Wrap the rope around the centre of a paper towel tube to form a collar bone just below the skeleton's neck. Loop the rope through where it is wrapped around the tube and pull tightly. The tube will be sideways rather than up and down.

Push a toilet paper tube up from the bottom of the rope until it touches the collarbone piece. The shorter tubes will all be placed vertically on the rope to make a spine. Loop the rope around a paper towel tube for a rib, just as you did for the collarbone in Step 3. Push another spine tube up to touch the rib. Wrap the rope around a second rib. Continue these steps until four rib and four spine sections are added to the skeleton. Leave the remainder of the rope dangling from the last rib piece tube.

Tie a second piece of rope onto the last rib, equal in size to the leftover rope, about 5-feet long. Thread two paper towel tubes onto each of the two ropes for legs. Tie the leftover rope on each leg onto the centre of a sideways toilet paper tube to make feet. Tie the rope ends securely.

Cut an 8-foot piece of rope. Thread the rope through the collarbone piece. Push two paper towel tubes onto each side of the collarbone. Tie a toilet paper tube sideways onto the end of the rope below each arm for hands. Tie the rope ends securely.

Things You'll Need

  • Half-gallon plastic milk jug
  • 13 paper towel tubes
  • 9 toilet tissue tubes
  • White rope
  • Scissors
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue
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About the Author

Larry Davis has worked in the safety and environmental field since 1975, writing for "Chevron Review" and other professional magazines. He wrote monthly columns for "Heavy Equipment News" and has written safety programs and training materials. He holds two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree in safety and earned his doctorate in safety engineering, studying under professors from the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University.