In our last collaboration with Choose Cartons, we were challenged to make an adult craft project with upcycled milk cartons. After some great brainstorming we came up with our stylish coffee shop chandelier. This time around, we wanted to make a kid’s craft that could encourage kids to participate in recycling while also involving them in the crafting process. We are feeling pretty excited to share our latest creation from the Lia Griffith Studio! Ideas grow quickly here, and we ended up coming up with a whole milk carton village that you can create using basic gable-top cartons. Because these cartons are made with sustainable materials, you can easily use them for making unique and fresh crafting projects!

Start by gathering your cartons and washing them out. Fill them with water and soap and then allow them to dry. Do not worry if the cartons are not 100% dry or clean on the inside, you will have a chance to clean them again after painting them. Apply two coats of white acrylic paint to the cartons and then set them aside to dry. After the paint dries, use an x-acto knife or box cutter to slice off the bottom of the cartons and the plastic spouts. Now that the bottom is gone, you can use a paper towel to give the inside of the cartons a good cleaning. At this step you can also cut the cartons down to different heights to create some variation in your milk carton village. This is your project so you can make the carton houses in any way that you would like!

Find the free PDF download below, with templates for windows, doors, and other patterns to form your houses. Simply print these out onto regular copy paper and cut out the patterns you would like to use. There are brick and stone patterns for the siding of the houses, various patterns for your roofs, and even a template to add chimneys. Once you have your templates ready, attach them to the cartons using Mod Podge glue. If you would like to create your own design, we also have blank templates that your kids can color in themselves. To finish off our milk carton village, we also created some trees (included in the template) and even a cobblestone road. To add smoke coming out of the chimneys, we fluffed a bit of roving wool and placed it on top. You could also use poly-fill for this. So easy!

I love this milk carton village project as a class activity for elementary school teachers. Each student can make their own house and personalize them using our templates. Of course it would also be a wonderful activity to do with your kids at home too! For more kid’s craft ideas, head over to our kid’s paper crafts section or our kid’s felt crafts. Always feel free to write in with projects suggestions, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for glimpses into our daily makes! Enjoy ~ Lia