EDITOR’S NOTE: I first shared this craft along with several other fall art projects a few years ago at the parenting website Mumbling Mommy.
Empty plastic milk jugs are excellent resources for craft projects, and this pumpkin treat holder is one example. I like finding ways like this to reuse or recycle what I already have. I made a few of these when my oldest daughter was in preschool, and they were a conversation starter when I took them to her preschool Halloween party to collect treats in. You don’t have to use them only as treat containers, though. You can simply set them out as decorations, and stick a battery-operated candle in each one for added fun. These pumpkins look especially great if you make a group of them and line them up along a sidewalk or driveway.
Before you get started, gather these items:
- Empty, clean plastic gallon milk jugs with all labels removed (You could use half-gallon jugs, but if you want to collect treats in your pumpkins, I recommend the gallon size.)
- Orange acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Green construction paper
- Black construction paper
- Green pipe cleaners
- Green tissue paper
Start by cutting out the back side of the milk jug, toward the top, but leave the handle on. Cut a hole big enough so you can stick your hand inside the jug (either to collect goodies or place a candle inside).
Then cover your jug with orange paint. You may need to use two coats.
Once the paint is dry, wrap some green tissue paper over the lid to look like a pumpkin stem. Cut out a few leaf shapes from the green construction paper, and thread them onto a green pipe cleaner. Wrap the pipe cleaner with paper leaves around the milk jug lid. Leave a short section of pipe cleaner hanging off, and shape it into a spiral to look like a pumpkin vine.
Cut out black construction paper triangles for a nose and eyes, and cut out a mouth in whatever shape you desire. Glue them onto the jug to make a jack-o-lantern face.
Now, you’re ready to collect candy inside your pumpkin, or put a candle in and set it on your porch.
Or if painting is not your thing, turn your milk jugs into ghosts with some black construction paper faces glued on, like these.
Either way, you now have recycled Halloween decorations. Ta da!