Milk cartons have so many possibilities for crafting. Just their shape alone is a work of art! I love that they already looks like a house, with a little chimney and everything. We use milk cartons a lot in art class (I haven’t written about them yet because sometimes I’m just a lazy blogger, mmm hmm), but this is our very first bird house attempt. Pretty cute I must say! These were made by five-year olds.
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~ Milk cartons
~ White paint or gesso (to prime – optional)
~ Tempera paint and brush
~ Hot glue gun and glue sticks
~ First, I cut a circle in each milk carton using my exacto knife. (I cut one out of paper first then traced it onto the milk carton.) Next, I painted the milk cartons with white gesso. Gesso is what artists use to cover their raw cotton canvas before they start a painting. It’s thicker and more opaque than regular white tempera paint, and it dries fast. But white paint would work just as well.
~ Next, I filled up plastic egg cartons with six different colored tempera paints. One of my favorite colors to use in this bright palette is the neon pink. I also set out a glass of water and a damp sponge for wiping the brush in between colors. When the children arrived for class, they could just sit down and paint their bird house however they pleased!
~ I collected some twigs before class and I also had a craft stick for each of them. Some of the kids painted their twigs but some wanted to leave them plain. All of them painted their craft stick.
~ Lastly, using my exacto I cut a little slit for the craft stick to push through. I used the glue gun to attach it to the back. I also used the glue gun to attach the twig on the side.
Voila! An adorable bird house, ready to play with or fill with seeds. One last step, which I didn’t do, is to spray the bird house with some Crystal Clear varnish. This way the paint won’t wash away in the rain. We actually made little birds from TP rolls (like these) so the kids decided they were going to use the bird houses as a toy rather than hang outside.
A simple and colorful craft that is good for toddlers on up!