Overcast   69.0F  |  Forecast »

How to Make Basket and Wallet Crafts out of Cartons

Tetra Pak packaging is great material for a family DIY project kids will love. Get recycling and make a spring inspired woven basket or cool change purse.

A castoff carton might not be the first thing you think of when you hear "crafting supply." But it should be! Those juice and dairy containers often are made of Tetra Pak: A plastic-coated paperboard that's sturdy enough to stand up to liquids and freezer burn alike. So why not your kids' collections – or spare cash? To boot, it's a great way to repurpose the stuff, if your southeast Michigan community doesn't happen to offer carton recycling. Whip up your own basket or wallet with these directions.

Ice Cream Carton Basket

"Recyclo-weave" a cool container to stash your kids' art supplies or knickknacks. This simple three-stepper is from Recyclo-Gami, in which veteran kids' food and craft editor/maker Laurie Goldrich Wolf upcycles household castoffs into 40 cool creations. We betcha melt for this classic.

Materials

  • Round, empty ice cream carton (cleaned and dried)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Scraps of fabric, ribbon, foil or any other sturdy, colorful scrap material

Instructions

  1. Cut the carton sides into vertical slices – right to the bottom. Cut your scrap material into strips 1/2" to 1" wide. Figure the strip lengths by wrapping each around the carton until it overlaps by a 1/2 to 1 inch, and cut off the excess.
  2. On the inside of the carton, tape the end of a scrap strip to the backside of a slice of the carton. Weave the strip around the container, first going under a slice of the carton, then over another slice – under, over, etc. When you get back to the beginning, tape the end to the inside and cut off any excess.
  3. Repeat with a second strip, this time first going over a slice of the carton, then under (so the strips alternate). Keep weaving with new strips until you've reached the top. Secure the carton slices from the inside with a piece of tape that wraps around the entire interior of the top (hint: colored tape looks best!).

Tetra Pak Wallet

For almost 60 years, Sweden-based Tetra Pak has made kick-butt food packaging. Well, turns out one of its most iconic products, the Tetra Brik, easily morphs into a cool customizable coin purse (and odds are good you already have one in the fridge). Crafty bloggers dish plenty of variations, but here are the basics.

Materials

  • 1 32-oz. (1 quart) Tetra Brik box* (commonly used for soy milks, juices, broths and pre-made soups)
  • Scissors
  • Colorful masking or duct tape
  • Stapler
  • Self-adhesive hook-and-loop fastener (like Velcro)
  • Magazine clippings or stickers (optional)
  • Water-based sealer (like Mod Podge) or packing tape (optional)

*See purple wallet. You can also modify a half-gallon milk/juice carton, like the red one.

Instructions

  1. Rinse out and shake-dry the box. Release its folded top and bottom flaps. Flatten it by pushing down on the front, carefully squashing out and creasing the sides.
  2. Use scissors to cut off the top and bottom, along the horizontal crease lines. This is also a good time to clean the inside (try a spray, to avoid over-soaking).
  3. Find the box's vertical seam, where it was glued together (it's on one of the box's "big" sides). This'll be the inside of your wallet. Have it facing up.
  4. From the bottom, fold up about one-third of the box. With scissors, cut off the following parts of this "third": the upward-facing seam piece, and the two sides. Do not cut off the "front" flap (i.e., the part touching your work surface).
  5. Reinforce the rough edges, sides and folds with masking or duct tape. Use a bit thinner tape to get that "edging" effect, or just cover any surfaces you desire.
  6. Fold the other one-third of the box up, so it's touching the middle third. You've now got a familiar tri-fold wallet shape.
  7. The sides are currently squished "out." Tuck them in, and press down.
  8. Press the two main sections together (i.e., not the flap part) and connect them with a staple or two.
  9. Stick the self-adhesive hook-and-loop fastener to the inside of the top flap and the portion of wallet it folds down to, creating a closure.
  10. Add flourish with stickers or by affixing clippings with a sealer or packing tape.

Get pumped up! Learn how to turn a carton into a wallet with this MetroParent.com DIY video.

 

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Easy Lunch Wraps for School Lunches

Easy Lunch Wraps for School Lunches

Skip the bread and use tortillas to make one of these recipes for your kid's lunchbox.

Egg-Freezing Parties for Career Women Not Ready to be Moms

Egg-Freezing Parties for Career Women Not Ready to be Moms

Company EggBanxx just took fertility awareness to a new level, complete with cocktails and swank. Will the trend help? Will it stick? Or is this all a bit much?

AHA Arts Clear-Cling Stamps Are Fun for Paper Crafts

AHA Arts Clear-Cling Stamps Are Fun for Paper Crafts

For a creative, offbeat alternative to woodblock stamping, try these cool tools that add a great look to your DIY projects. Buy them here in southeast Michigan.

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Tiny stuff is terrific! This roundup of DIY fun from various blogs shows you how to make matchbook notebooks, gift bags, stickers and bitty butterflies.

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

One mother got sick of her kids blowing off her phone calls, so she created an app to make it impossible. Stroke of genius – or an overstep of parental bounds?

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Combine ice cream with cookies and you've got the perfect dessert combination. Whip up one of these cool treats with the kids!

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

A perfect summer craft, this DIY project is centered around used plastic accessories, which are cheap finds at garage sales and thrift stores.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement