Fresh Ideas

Carton Village

Using recyclable materials for kids crafts is a great way to teach your kids about sustainability while participating in a fun, interactive project. Here is a simple activity that turns gable top cartons into an entire milk carton village!


Cartons are great for a number of reasons. They’re recyclable*, made from paper that comes from trees, a renewable resource, and protect the nutrients in some of your favorite beverages. After you finish all the delicious contents inside, you can easily use cartons for making unique and fresh crafting projects. Inspire kids to explore their imagination by customizing their own little town!

*Where facilities exist.

Materials Used:

  • Gable-top cartons
  • White acrylic craft paint
  • X-ACTO® knife or box cutter
  • Copy paper
  • Mod Podge® glue
  • Roving wool or poly-fill (optional)

Step 1
Clean out your cartons with water and soap and apply 1–2 coats of white acrylic craft paint to cover any logos or bright colors.


Step 2
After the paint dries and with adult supervision, use an X-ACTO knife or box cutter to cut off the bottom of the cartons and the plastic spouts. Feel free to adjust the heights of the cartons here too! After the bottom is removed, wipe down the inside of the carton with a paper towel to make sure there is no moisture.

Step 3
Print the PDF templates for the house pieces onto regular copy paper and cut out the patterns you’d like to use. Attach these templates to the cartons with Mod Podge glue in any combination that you would like.


Step 4
To add a chimney, print the template and attach to carton houses with hot glue. You could even add a bit of roving wool or poly-fill to the chimney top to resemble smoke. As a finishing touch, use a small juice box carton to make your own carton car for your carton village.



Lia Griffith

Lia Griffith is a designer, maker and handcrafted lifestyle expert who began blogging to share her unique paper flower designs and diy projects. Lia inspires millions worldwide to reconnect with their creativity through daily DIY projects, tutorials and videos at

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