Here's a fun idea for you that uses a common household item: altered milk cartons! It might sound kind of wacky, but once you start looking at all of the fun things you can craft from these versatile containers you'll be hooked on altering them.
There are a variety of sizes and shapes available at your local market. I've used half-gallon cartons and the small 8-ounce-sized container as well. Tall, skinny quart-sized containers are easily found, and could be used to make a smaller version of any of these projects.
The very first thing you want to do, other than use up the contents of the carton of course, is to thoroughly wash out the inside and outside of your carton with hot water and dish soap. Be sure to allow enough time for your cartons to totally dry.
Once you remove the top from your carton you essentially have a square, open-topped container. From here it's just a matter of using your imagination. These containers are water-tight so you can craft adorable little window box herb containers, desk organizers for small items, candy containers, small themed serving bowls, wine box, candle holders, and any number of other small projects.
Wouldn't this be adorable altered and filled with birdseed? Put one nestled on a window's ledge and you could watch the little birds enjoy their treats. Or how about covering one in paper that matches your bath and filling it with small decorative soaps to put beside your sink in a powder room? As long as you protect the outside with a few layers of sealer your container should hold up quite well.
I've made three projects to share with you including a paint brush holder, a party favor, and a flower pot.
Paint Brush Holder
This project came about because I was using a small metal bucket to hold my paint brushes, and the bottom was becoming rusted from the dripping water. Inexpensive, altered milk cartons were the perfect solution. The inside is waterproof, and you can easily wipe out any mess that settles in the bottom. The fact that it's cute and coordinates with my scrapbook studio is an added bonus!
If you are worried about the outside of your container being damaged by water, you could cover it with clear contact paper for added protection.
- milk carton
- patterned paper - Die Cuts With a View
- ribbon - Offray
- rub-on words - Making Memories
- self-adhesive mesh - Magic Mesh
- ink - Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Walnut Stain
- button and silk flower - unknown
- tools - Cutter Bee Retractable Blade, sewing needle, Tim Holtz Ruler
- adhesive - Xyron 900, K&Co. Wacky Tac Ribbon Adhesive
This small project is so cute! I asked the children from my daughter's class to save their milk cartons from their lunches. I used these 8-ounce cartons to create party favors for her upcoming birthday party. After washing and cutting the carton to size I added papers and stickers from the Sassafras Lass line. I finished off each one with a glittered chipboard letter for the first letter of each little girl's name. Inside is a little bundle of candy treats for each guest to take home after the party is over.
- milk carton
- cello treat bag
- patterned paper and cardstock stickers - Sassafras Lass Sunshine Lollipop
- ribbon - Offray
- chipboard letter - BasicGrey, Undressed Chipboard Mini [K3] Monos
- glitter - Art Institute, Angel Dust
- tools - Cutter Bee Retractable Blade, Fiskars Scallop Edge Scissors
- adhesive - Xyron 900, Xyron 150 Sticker Maker, JudiKins Diamond Glaze, K&Co. Wacky Tac Ribbon Adhesive
This little flower pot is for my oldest daughter's bedroom. The fun graphic paper is perfect for a spunky tween girl. After cutting off the top of the carton I put slits in each corner about 2 inches long. I folded down the tops, covered them with contrasting paper from the BasicGrey Phoebe line and used large-sized eyelets in each corner. Tied ribbon keeps the edges folded downward and adds a nice visual punch.
To make your planter even more water resistant you can cover it with Mod Podge matte or gloss finish sealer.
- milk carton
- patterned paper and letter stickers - BasicGrey, Phoebe
- ribbon - unknown
- large eyelets - American Tag, 3/16th
- tools -Cutter Bee Retractable Blade, Crop-A-Dile, bone folder, Tim Holtz Ruler
- adhesive - Xyron 900
These projects are not only fun for adults; they're great party activities, or art projects for the kids to complete during long summer days. It's a great opportunity to recycle a common, everyday product into something pretty and functional!