Monday, October 25, 2010

Eco-Chic Halloween Decor Part 2: Milk Jug Skeleton

I found this project in the October 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine. I actually made this craft a couple of years ago and just keep re-using it! (When not on display, he hangs in our garage.) It is a lot of fun, but make sure you have time set aside to do it. It is a little time consuming and too difficult and dangerous for young kids to do alone. They do enjoy getting their hands and feet traced to be the skeleton's appendages, but they will get bored before you are through so make sure you have another craft on hand for them while you cut out the difficult pieces. I found that a small box knife works best for the detail work. This craft says that it takes 1 hour to complete, but realistically it takes about 2 hours to finish.The good news is that you can use it from year to year and he looks really neat!

Mr. Bottle Bones

Materials
  • 6-8  clean, plastic gallon jugs (I used 6, but you have to plan ahead and try not to "waste" too much of the milk jugs.)
  • String (I used fishing line. It's practically invisible and lasts longer than string.)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Glue gun
  • One-hole punch (I just used the box knife to poke holes instead.)
  • Neon paint (optional-to paint completed skeleton)
 
Instructions
  1. To make the head, choose a jug with a pair of circular indentations opposite the handle and turn it upside down. In the corner, opposite the handle, cut out a large, smiling mouth, centered under the indented "eyes." Make two small slits in the top of the head and tie a loop of string through them for hanging the finished skeleton.
  2. For the chest, cut a vertical slit down the center of a right-side-up jug, directly opposite the handle. Cut and trim away plastic to make the rib cage. Glue the head and chest together at the "neck" by connecting the spouts of the two jugs with a thick band of hot glue. Hold the jugs together for a few minutes until the glue cools.
  3. To form shoulders, cut off two jug handles (leaving a small collar on the ends) and attach them to the chest section with hot glue. Punch a hole at one end of each shoulder.
  4. For hips, cut all the way around a jug, about 4 1/2 inches up from the bottom. Take the bottom piece and trim away a small smile shape from each side to make a four-cornered shape. Punch holes in two opposite corners.
  5. Make a waist by cutting out two spouts, leaving a 1/2-inch collar on each. Glue the spouts together and let dry. Then, hot-glue the waist to the bottom of the chest and the top of the hip section.
  6. Form arms and legs by cutting eight long bone shapes from the corner sections of three jugs (cut into the curved shape of the jug to make the bones even more realistic). From four of these bones, cut out the center to make lower limbs (forearms and shins). Punch a hole through the ends of all eight bones. Use string to tie two arm sections to each shoulder and two leg sections to each hip.
  7. Let kids trace their hands and feet onto the side of a jug, then cut out the shapes. Punch holes in the hands and feet, and tie them onto the arms and legs.

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