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By Tiffany Threadgould
Here’s a great Halloween trick to try this year – transform an empty cardboard container into a handy jack-o’-lantern tote. Check your kitchen for containers that are just about empty. We found a salt container, oatmeal cylinder, and ice cream carton, and reused them all! Next, grab some old magazines, your favorite form of decoupage paste, and you’re ready to go. Your new tote will definitely win the prize for the best-dressed food container.

Materials

Cylinder-shaped cardboard container, such as a carton of salt, oatmeal, or ice cream
Scissors
Magazine pages
Mod Podge or 3 tbsps each of white glue and water
Paintbrush
Paper hole punch
Grommet tool and 2 grommets
, optional
26″ cord or shoelace for the handle
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Directions

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Step 1: Start with a clean, empty container. Cut up pieces of orange magazine pages and glue them onto the container. Cover the whole container. We made orange stripes on ours to resemble the lines on a pumpkin. Then find black pieces from the magazine and create your jack-o’-lantern face.
Step 2: Now you’re ready to decoupage. Use either Mod Podge or make a paste by mixing equal parts glue and water in a plastic container. Paint a thin, even coat of the glue/water mixture onto the cardboard container. Let the container dry.
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Step 3: Punch two holes in the container directly across from each other and 1″ from the top. For an extra-fancy tote, add grommets to these holes.
Step 4: Insert the cord handle into the punched holes. The ends of the cord should be on the inside of the container. Tie off each end in a double knot. Your new tote is ready for a night of treats.
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About the author:
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Tiffany Threadgould is a design junkie who gives scrap materials a second life. She’s the founder of RePlayGround, where you can find her book, ReMake It! (Sterling Publishing), a series of do-it-yourself recycling kits, as well as online instructions for projects that you can make yourself. She’s also the head of design at TerraCycle, where she designs new products from loads of different wastestreams. Tiffany thinks that garbage has feelings too and sometimes can be found talking to her pile of junk at her design studio in Brooklyn, NY.
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