How to Make a Skeleton Out of Milk Cartons

Written by erin ringwald
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How to Make a Skeleton Out of Milk Cartons
Use empty milk cartons to create a Halloween skeleton. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

After you finish drinking milk, use the left over milk cartons to create your own skeleton. By cutting clean, 1-gallon plastic milk jugs, you can create your own set of bones to form a skeleton complete with a smiling face. The finished product reuses everyday objects, making it both an affordable and easy craft to complete. Save up your empty milk cartons to build your own skeleton decoration for next Halloween.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 8 1-gallon plastic milk jugs
  • Utility knife
  • Hot glue
  • White string
  • Marker
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Turn the first carton upside down with the handle facing away from you. The two indications become the skeleton's eyes. Use a utility knife to cut a 3-inch wide crescent shape into the milk carton, centring it under the two eyes, to create the mouth. Discard the cut out piece.

  2. 2

    Use the utility knife to make two 1-inch slits in the top of the milk carton. Feed a 12-inch length of twine or string through one slit and out the other to create a hanger for the skeleton when you finish.

  3. 3

    Place a second milk carton upright on your work surface with the handle facing away from you. Cut a 6-inch vertical cut down the centre of the side opposite the handle. Use the utility knife to cut out four rib shapes on either side of the slit. Discard the cut out pieces.

  4. 4

    Apply a thick line of hot glue around the mouth of the jug on top of the ribcage piece you just created. Press the mouth of the head jug into the hot glue. Hold the two jugs together for two to three minutes or until the glue sets.

  5. 5

    Cut the handles off a third and fourth milk jug. Cut around the neck of the jugs, down the length of the jugs and 1/2-inch below the handle. The handles become the shoulders. Apply hot glue to the end without the neck of the jug on each handle. Press the hot glue to the ribcage section where the shoulders should be. Hold the pieces in place for two to three minutes while the glue sets.

  6. 6

    Use the utility knife to cut off the bottom of a fifth milk jug, four inches up from the bottom. Cut a 3-inch crescent shape into each of the top edges of the bottom piece, centring them, to create the hips. Discard the cut out pieces.

  7. 7

    Cut off the spouts off the fifth and a sixth milk carton, keeping them the same size. Make the cut 1/2-inch below the neck. Apply a thick line of hot glue around the mouth of one of the cut off pieces. Turn the second piece upside down and press it into the hot glue. Hold it until the glue sets to create the waist.

  8. 8

    Apply hot glue to the top of the waist. Press it to the bottom centre of the ribcage piece. Apply hot glue to the bottom of the waist piece. Turn the hip piece over so the crescent shapes are down. Press the centre of the hip piece to the waist piece. Hold it while the hot glue dries.

  9. 9

    Cut eight corner pieces off the sixth, seventh and eighth milk jugs. Cut them from the bottom to the top of the jug with a width of 1-1/2 inches to create the arms and legs. Punch a hole into the top and bottom of each piece. Also, punch one hole into each of the shoulders where the arms will attach and one hole in either side of the hips where the legs will attach.

  10. 10

    Feed a 5-inch piece of white string or fishing line through the punched holes. Attach two of the cut out corners from the previous steps together to create four limbs by tying them with the string. Attach the four limbs to the shoulders and hips where you punched the holes.

  11. 11

    Trace your hands and feet on to leftover pieces of milk jugs using a marker. Cut out two hands and two feet using scissors. Punch a hole at the base of each arm and leg and the edge of each hand and foot. Use a 5-inch piece of string or fishing wire to attach them.

  12. 12

    Hang your finished skeleton using the twine in the head.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean your cartons prior to use with soap and water. Allow them to dry overnight. When choosing cartons, choose ones that have the circular divots on either side of the handle.
  • If desired, make the arms and legs more realistic by cutting the centres out of the corners.
  • The glue and the metal tip of the hot glue guns have the potential to cause serious injury when they are hot. Avoid touching either.
  • Wear work gloves when working with the utility knife to avoid cuts.

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