- Step 1: Prepare Carton
Any gable-top milk or juice carton will work well for this
project. Open the gable and thoroughly wash the carton. Allow the
carton to dry completely—overnight is best.
Cut the gable off the top of the carton, cutting on the folds all
around the top of the carton. Discard the gable top. Go on to Step 2
to make a gift box, or Step 4 to make a house or a cuckoo clock.
- Step 2: Make Gift Box Lid
To transform the carton into a gift box, you will need to make a
lid from a piece of cardboard about twice the size of the box's top.
or cereal box cardboard both work well.
Place the box top down on the cardboard and trace around it with a
pencil or pen onto the cardboard. Remove the box and use a ruler to
straighten the sides and square the corners.
The lid will need a hinge and a flap. For the hinge, draw a rectangle on
one side of the traced lid. Draw it about ½" to 1" (1-2 cm)
deep and the entire width of the traced lid. For the flap, do the
same by making a ½" (1 cm)-deep rectangle on the opposite side
of the traced lid.
Cut out the lid on the lines you have drawn. For a beveled flap,
cut the corners off the flap. Fold the cardboard on
the lines for the hinge and flap. Place the lid on the top of the box and attach it at the hinge
to the side of the box, using tape or staples.
Step 3: Wrap Gift Box
Put the gift inside the box and wrap the box in your favorite
way. That's it, you are done!
Tip: Cover the box and lid with paper before
attaching the lid. Now the box is permanently wrapped.
- Step 4: Make a House (or a Cuckoo Clock)
Instead of adding a lid to the milk or juice carton, you can turn
it into a house-shaped box by cutting roof peaks and adding a roof.
Make a pattern for cutting the roof peaks by cutting a triangle from
paper. Make the triangle's base the width of the box and make the height one-half the width
of the box. (Cut a taller triangle for a steep church roof.)
Trace the triangle onto opposite sides of the box. Be sure to point
the tip of the triangle up and align it with the top of the box. On the
other two sides of the box, use a ruler to draw a line connecting
the bases of the triangles. Cut all four sides of the box. You
should have two roof peaks and two flat sides, even with the bases of
Cover the house with solid-colored paper or decorative paper. Use
a good quality glue spread thinly on the paper with a foam brush.
Fold the excess paper at the top over the sides and the roof peaks,
then glue or tape the paper edges inside.
Step 5: Cut Roof
Cut a roof from cardboard. Make it a little wider than the box
width and long enough to cover both sides of the roof plus ½"
To determine the roof's length, measure along the roof peaks. For
most ½ gallon cartons, a 4¼" by 6" piece of cardboard
should work for the roof.
Fold the roof in half. Tip: Score the fold line with the tip of your scissors to make
Step 6: Attach Roof
Place the roof on top of the roof peaks. Attach one side of the
roof to the house with tape from the inside. Leave the other side
loose to open easily, or attach it with tape or glue. You may want to cover the roof with colored
paper before attaching it to the house.
- Step 7: Print Cutouts
Choose house cutouts or clock cutouts. There are black&white and
colored patterns for each. Download and print the pattern. Color the
black&white cutouts, or use them as patterns
to trace onto colored paper.
Cuckoo Clock Cutouts
Valentine Clock Cutouts
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The
Adobe Reader is available for free.
All of Aunt Annie's Crafts project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4).
When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.
- Step 7: Cut and Glue Cutouts
Cut the cutouts, then glue them onto the box to make a house or a
cuckoo clock. You could also make your own decorations. What other
ideas do you have for the recycled milk carton?