Friday, October 22, 2010

Milk Jug Skeleton

If you are insane, make this skeleton from milk jugs!
 You will need:
  • 8 or 9 plastic gallon jugs (I only used 6, but have some back-ups.) Start saving them in September!
  • Fishing wire
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Hole puncher
  • Glow-in-the-dark paint (optional)
  • Black marker
  • "U-shaped" sewing needle
How to:
  1. To make head, try to find a jug that has a pair of circular indentations opposite the handles. (Of the 9 jugs we saved, none had two. We did have one that had two grooved circles on each side. I traced the circle with a black marker and colored it in.) In the corner opposite the handle, cut a large mouth (smiling or frowning) centered under the eyes. Make two small slits at the top of the head and tie a loop of fishing wire through to hang skeleton. (I'm not sure how that is possible. Unless you make the mouth big enough to slip your hand through, there is no way to thread the line through the holes. For whatever reason I happened to have a u-shaped sewing or why I have no idea; I am NOT a sewer...I threaded the line through the eye and looped it through the other hole.)
    Elliott holds the head and his skeleton straw that we used for inspiration.
  3. Chest: Draw "ribs" on a right-side up jug, opposite the handle. Cut the plastic away to form a rib cage. Hot glue gun the head and chest together by the spouts of the two jugs, which will form the neck of the skeleton. (***If you plan on painting your skeleton, hold off on any assembly for now. Paint all the pieces and once they are dry, follow assembly instructions.)
  5. Shoulders: Cut off two jug handles, leaving a small collar on each end and attach to the chest section with the glue gun. Punch a hole at one end of each shoulder.
  6. El holds the two shoulder pieces.
  7. Hips: Cut all the way around a jug, about 4 to 5 inches from the bottom. Cut a U-shape from each of the four sides. Punch holes in two opposite corners.
  8. The hip section
  9. Waist: Cut two spouts off two jugs, leaving a collar on each. Glue spouts together at the non-collared sides. Then, hot glue the waist to the bottom of the chest and the top of the hip sections.
    Two spouts, glued together will become the waist.
  11. Arms and legs: Cut eight long bones from the corner sections of three jugs. (I cut them at the curved sections.) For four of these bones, cut out a long, center piece to maker the lower limbs (forearms and shins). Punch a hole through both ends of all eight pieces. Attach to skeleton with fishing wire.
    I'm no artist. Make eight of these shapes for the arms and legs.
  13. Hands and feet: Trace kid's hands and feet onto flat pieces of jugs and cut out. Attach, with fishing wire, to arms and legs.
  14. Hang and enjoy!
Hands down, no competition, this is the WORST CRAFT EVER!! There is nothing kid friendly about this craft at all and poor Elliott could only look on as I cut each piece. Speaking of cutting, owwww!! My hands were so cramped up from this craft. Cutting into milk jugs is seriously hard work and your hands will suffer. (And, yes, OK, after this craft I WILL invest in a craft knife for things like this.)

We decided to paint our skeleton with glow-in-the-dark paint. (Why????) I don't recommend it. The paint we used was a very thick, gloopy type of paint that was very hard to paint on. I'm not sure if this is a characteristic of all glow-in-the-dark paints or just this brand. Either way, after hanging our skeleton outside, under a tree, he gets no sunlight during the day, and therefore does not glow in the dark at night. What a waste of time! Your skeleton, should you brave this project, will look just as good Au naturel.

Putting the skeleton together was fairly easy, but again, there wasn't much Elliott could do to help. He did, however, discover that he could drop items into the skeleton's mouth and they would fall into the chest area. He kept very busy dropping marbles and glue sticks into the mouth. Whatever floats your boat, kid.

Now that the skeleton is hanging outside, I will, begrudgingly, admit that he is pretty darn cute. Still, not a day goes by that I don't stand at the window and shoot murderous looks in his direction.

Elliott's Evaluation:
I really liked painting this. Mommy didn't like the paint. Our skeleton is hanging on our tree. We wrapped the string around the tree so it won't blow away.

1 comment:

  1. Murderous glances at that poor skeleton? It is really cute though! Maybe we'll try this...oh, darn...recycling has already picked up. Maybe next year.