We’ve got a ways to go until Halloween, but you can make these spooky milk jug creatures year-round (and a simple change in mouth shape can easily change their mood). This project is incredibly simple and translates well across age groups.
- Empty, clean milk jugs
- Spray paint primer
- Acrylic or tempera craft paint
- Googly eyes
- Craft foam or cardstock
- Feather boa
- Hot glue gun
Prepare the Project:
- Cut out a gaping mouth shape toward the base of the jugs with sharp scissors.
- In a well-ventilated area, spray the jugs with a coat or two of primer (this is an important step! The paint will not apply well if you leave this step out.)
Make Some Art:
- Paint the jugs however you like. Some kids go for as many colors as possible while others prefer a theme like pumpkin or bat.
- Allow the jugs to dry. A hair dryer is useful here to speed this up, especially if the paint is thick in places.
- While the jugs are drying, trace the kids’ hands and feet onto the craft foam and cut them out. One of our art camp kids did wings instead of hands! Love it!
- Draw and cut out tooth shapes from craft foam or cardstock.
- *This is a job for the adult* Using a hot glue gun, attach the googly eyes, the teeth, and the hands/feet. You may try standard liquid glue here in place of a hot glue gun, but in my opinion it’s too much of a hassle to hold everything in place until it’s secure. And just when you think they’re attached, you turn around and next thing you know an eyeball is sliding down the face.
- Now add the accessories- we used tinsel for “barf” but it could also make some funky hair. You can also snip small sections of feather boa for hair, or perhaps create a spooky bird creature and line it with boa feathers!
- Create names and stories for the creatures. Where do they live? What do they eat? Are they scary, or nice? They make an excellent creative writing prompt.
- You can easily begin your art session with a simple primer on color mixing. Provide only the three primary colors and help the kids experiment with mixing new colors. When we ran this project as a three-hour art camp, we spent the first hour just exploring with the paints and mixing colors. We also used this exploration time to learn what happens if you add water to your paint.
- Use a piece of posterboard to paint a spooky backdrop for your creature, and then display them together. It makes delightful Halloween decor!