Thursday, December 1, 2011

Milk Carton Sun Wreath

This post originally appeared at Whip Up in November. I'm reposting it here today. Ready. Set. Go!

In my world, the ideal craft is like a treasure-hunt-science-experiment. It involves scrounging around the house for something I 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) 

  • Step 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.
    Step 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) 

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

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

    Step 6. With your scissors, cut open Milk Carton 2 (MC2) as shown. 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.
    Step 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.
    Step 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.
    Step 9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 with Milk Carton 3.

    Step 10. Draw out a ring on a cereal box using your circle templates (or 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 your wreath, and enjoy!

    Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day! ♥M


    1. Love your work. Disfruto con tu creatividad e ingenio. Feliz Navidad.

    2. Oh yes, I have seen this post before at whipup :) you are amazing dear Michele..keep Rocking :)
      ~ Love

    3. Just as I have written on whipup - astonishing!

    4. This must be one of the most beautiful recycled projects I have ever seen.

    5. Very do see things that escape most of us - wonderful inner-vision...

    6. OH my, you really do have an eye for this don't you! I would never have imagined milk cartons turned into this! I wish I had a basement to stash things!!

      Jill @ Creating my way to Success

    7. This is absolutely gorgeous! Had to share it with my readers who are also interested in recycled arts and crafts. Thanks for the share and pop on over to for recycled and repurposed inspiration.

    8. really inventive. you have crafted something very beautiful out of humble, nay discarded objects. bravo

    9. Aha, for all this time it's been nothing but cereal boxes, and now finally, the milk cartons get their due. A family needs milk to make it through all that cereal, after all! Love this one.

    10. I totally loved this when you posted it on Whip-Up and i love it now! One of the things I love about what you do is that you create very lovely items - well designed and engineered, excellent workmanship, and beautiful to have around.

      And this is just one more example!

    11. You are not even KIDDING me with this creation! I love it. But it's 9pm and I can't fiendishly scurry down to the garage and pull out the milk cartons (yes, I have a stash, too, but was considering it a follish one). High praise from a recycle queen to you!
      I did make one if these once:
      You should also check out her milk carton cookie houses:

    12. Muito bom!
      Apesar de ter dificuldades com a língua Inglesa, o passo a passo ilustrativo é muito claro e dá para entender direitinho.
      Vou fazer a guirlanda.

    13. ingeniously fabulously gorgeous!! saw your wreath at Blue Velvet Chair and just had to check it out. You are so imaginative!!

    14. so now i have to buy my milk in cardboard cartons!!

      you are UNBELIEVABLE...and i'm pinning the hell outta your posts.

      in awe,


    15. Oh my God!! This is sooo beautiful!!!


    I want to know what you think... :)

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