Ultimate Guide to Recycled Milk Jug Crafts

Recycled Milk Jug Lanterns

Adults and children of all ages can find entertainment from taking old empty milk cartons and turning them into decorative lanterns. In fact, the different types of lanterns you can make are limited only by your imagination.

One of the easiest types of milk jug lanterns to make requires a milk jug (gallon or half), a knife, sand and a candle. Begin by cutting the milk jug in half, saving the bottom half for your craft. You can use a pair of scissors to clean up the edge of the jug or even add some decorative edging. Once you're happy with the way it looks, simply put enough sand in the bottom to weigh it down and then set a candle in the middle. Be sure there's space between the flame and the plastic, as it may melt if they get too close.

You can also make a jack o' lantern from an old gallon milk jug. Simply draw the jack o' lantern face on the jug with a marker and then cut it out carefully. Once you're done with that, paint it orange and draw some black lines from top to bottom to make it look more like a pumpkin. Paint doesn't always stick to plastic well, so it may take a few coats. Acrylic is generally the best paint to use. Cut a hole in the back and place a lit flashlight inside. The end result is a jack o' lantern that's completely safe [source: Kinder Art].

For a more advanced project you can use half gallon milk jugs to make a string of hanging lanterns. For this one, you'll need 10 or more half gallon jugs and a string of larger bulbs -- sized between Christmas lights and full-sized light bulbs. Cut the jugs in half, just below the handle. Take the bottom and cut a hole in its bottom large enough to screw the light bulb into its socket from inside while holding the jug in place. Just paint as desired [source: Sipper]!

Keep reading to learn how to support your favorite team with a milk jug.