Transform Your Trash: Milk Carton Elephant


by Aditi Bhandari Turn things that would go into your trash can into something you can use again.

This time of the year has always been my favorite time of the year because everything and everyone is waiting in anticipation for Christmas. The smell of peppermint hot chocolate sneaks into the air, everything is strewn with twinkly lights and many an hour is spent searching for the perfect gifts for friends and family. However, such things tend to cost money; a fact that I seem to be in constant denial of. But thanks to my almost-daily Starbucks consumption, I tend to accumulate enough change to treat myself once in a while – except I end up losing most of the coins that are handed to me at the bottom of my backpack and in between couch cushions.

The most obvious solution to this problem would be to have a designated container to keep all of those coins in, but a piggy bank is too cliché; everyone knows that an elephant bank is what all the cool kids have. Why an elephant, you ask? Because elephants are one of the gentlest creatures on the planet, but they’ve been classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature  due to ivory poaching and extensive clearing of their natural habitat. Sadly for us, Lincoln Park Zoo hasn’t housed elephants since 2010, but thanks to various organizations such as Save Elephant Foundation, you can help preserve this magnificent species! And you can save up those funds in this nifty little coin holder.

You will need:

  • An empty plastic milk jug
  • An Exacto knife
  • A ruler
  • Old newspapers
  • Glue
  • Cereal Box
  • Scissors
  • Beads
  • Rubber band
  • Hole punch
  • Sellotape (or alternate adhesive)
  • Googly eyes

Step 1: Cut off the lower half of the empty milk jug with a ruler and an Exacto knife, and cut the bottleneck off of the top.







Step 2: Mix glue and water into a thin mixture.








Step 3: Tear small pieces of newspaper, soak them in the glue mixture and wrap them around the milk jug.








Step 4: Apply at least 2 layers and let it dry completely.








Step 5: Draw around the edges of the elephant on a piece of cereal box, making one piece larger than the other. Cut them out, and cut a slit in the center of the smaller piece.

Step 6: Tape the smaller piece to the top by taping it on one side to form a flap.








Step 7: Punch a hole in the corner of the smaller cardboard flap. Place a rubber band through a bead and thread it through the hole, pulling it around the elephant’s nose.








Step 8: Tape the larger cardboard piece to the bottom of the elephant to form a base.

Step 9: Add googly eyes for the finishing touch!

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