Milk jug skeleton decorationStart saving your empty plastic gallon milk jugs. With a few quick snips and hole-punches, you can turn them into a scary life-sized skeleton! Small children can punch holes and help tie bones together. Cutting out and gluing pieces together is a job for older children and parents.

Remember, you can keep your Skeleton Man for next year or simply take him apart and recycle the milk jugs! All you’ll need are the materials below:

• 8 or 9 clean, plastic gallon jugs
• String
• Scissors
• Craft knife (optional - for parents use only!)
• Glue gun (for parents use)
• One-hole punch

HEAD: Choose a jug with a pair of 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 head and tie a loop of string through them for hanging the finished skeleton.

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.

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.

HIPS: Cut all the way around a jug, about 4½ 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.

WAIST: Cut out two spouts, leaving a ½ inch collar on each. Glue the spouts together and let dry. Hot-glue the waist to the bottom of the chest and to the top of the hip section.

ARMS AND LEGS: Cut 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.

HANDS AND FEET: 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.

printable instructions

back to Halloween tips



Recycle Guys Home Page
Site hosted by the N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance.
1639 Mail Service Center - Raleigh NC 27699-1639
(919) 715-6500/(800) 763-0136 - fax (919) 715-6794
Recycling question or comment?  Send e-mail to:  Kelley Dennings

The “Recycle Guys” characters are provided courtesy of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control