wreath

Michele Pacey merrily explores the crafty possibilities of simple materials (especially those found in her recycling bin) on her blog: (Michele Made Me). She has just recently opened a little tutorial and pattern shop: (The Tute ‘n Pattern).

A Milk Carton Sun Wreath

In my world, the ideal craft is like a treasure-hunt-science-experiment. It involves scrounging around the house for something I already own, and then taking that thing and turning it into something else entirely. There’s so much fun in that, I find. My crafty adventures very often lead me here, to my basement, where I park my significant recyclable stash, a collection of junk from toilet rolls to candy wrappers and everything in between. And, speak of the devil, here’s a little family of empty milk cartons just waiting to come into their own. Come on. I have an idea… Let’s build something together.

Tutorial: Milk Carton Sun Wreath

For this project you will need:

  • 3 empty and clean milk cartons
  • String
  • Cereal Box
  • Ribbon
  • Large-eyed needle
  • Pair of scissors/Exacto knife
  • Ruler
  • Marker (I love my Sharpie)
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Circle templates (I used two different bowls)

1. Use an Exacto knife to remove both the tops and bottoms from all three milk cartons. Clean up the edges with scissors if necessary.

2. With a marker, draw pairs of horizontal lines around each milk carton as follows:
Milk Carton 1 (MC1): draw lines at 2 inches (5 cm) and 2-1/2 inches (6.4 cm)
Milk Carton 2 (MC2): draw lines at 2-3/4 inches (7 cm) and 3-1/8 inches (8 cm)
Milk Carton 3 (MC3): draw lines at 3-1/2 inches (9 cm) and 3-3/4 (9.5 cm)

3. For each milk carton: make a set of vertical cuts every 3/16 inches (4 mm) all around each carton and from the top edge of the carton to the nearest marker line. Do not cross the marker line while cutting. You must not cut through the zone between the two marker lines. Flip the milk carton over, and make a second set of vertical cuts from the top edge of the carton to the nearest marker line. Again do not cross the line. (Step 3 will take some time. Be patient, do one milk carton at a time, have a spot of tea with cookies, and keep at it!)

4. Once a carton is cut up, work the zone between the marker lines with your fingers, until the carton is nicely rounded.

5. Now, fold down all the rays to make a double-layered sun shape. Repeat steps 4 to 5 for Milk Cartons 2 and 3.

6. With your scissors, cut open Milk Carton 2 (MC2). Thread a large eyed-needle with some string. Use the needle to poke a hole in each side of MC2. Thread the string through these holes.

7. Now slip MC2 around MC1 between the top and bottom rays of MC1 and bring the string around and over the rays of MC1.

8. Tie off the ends of the string with a tight knot so that MC2 is nestled snuggly around MC1. Trim the ends of the string.

9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 with Milk Carton 3.

10. Draw out a ring on a cereal box using your circle templates (or some bowls). The ring must be larger than the diameter of the inner hole of the wreath. Cut out the ring. Glue it with carpenter’s glue to the back of your wreath. This will help the wreath hold its lovely round shape.

Behold! You have successfully wrested a wreath from those old milk cartons. Add a pretty ribbon, hang up your wreath, and enjoy!

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