Two of my favorite hobbies are container gardening and recycled crafting, so I combined them to bring you this project, A Recycled Milk Carton Roof Garden! If your kids want to make more, you can turn your garden houses into a whole city!
- recycled milk or juice cartons
- acrylic craft paint and paint brushes
- a pencil
- black markers, both fine and medium weight
- spider plant babies, or succulent cuttings or small plants of some kind
- Cut the tops off of your used milk or juice cartons with scissors, or get an adult to do it with a knife. Wash out the cartons with warm water and soap. Paint your milk cartons using acrylic paint, first applying a base coat through which the printing will still show, and then applying a second coat to completely cover the graphics on the carton.
- Set aside to dry, and then cut your cartons to the desired height. Cut slanted grooves to make house shapes. Using a pencil lightly draw doors, windows and other details on your cartons.
- Using black markers in several weights, go over your pencil drawings.
- Fill your cartons with soil, but not to the top. If you will be using these cartons for large plants, you will need to first poke holes in the bottom as drainage will be necessary. Have an adult do this for you with a knife.
- Talk about spider plants and how they propagate! Find or buy a spider plant. Spider plants are common household plants that propagate by growing “babies” on long stalks that grow from the mother plant. The spider plant babies do not need soil while still attached to the mother, and are actually already tiny plants just waiting to be planted in soil, or placed in water to root.
- Separate the spider plant babies from their mother by gently cutting a stalk, and examine each baby to find the brown nodule from which the leaves are growing, and from which the roots will grow.
- Place each baby into the soil with the root nodule down. Keep the soil evenly moist, and soon your spider plant babies will form roots. They can live in your milk carton roof garden for several months, but when they start to get big they will need to be transferred to a larger container. Before you know it, your baby spider plants will become mothers themselves and you can start this wonderful cycle all over again!
Enjoy this craft over and over again by building a city of garden homes!