Family fun day paper crafts-milk carton barn.

“Every time you sit down to eat…thank a farmer.”


Hey everyone. Only two more paper crafts for the summer are left. I can’t believe how fast the summer is going. This craft is a little more complicated but you can simplify it by not adding little barn doors or a hay loft window.


Supplies needed-

Little empty milk carton. You know, the ones the school hands out to our kids everyday.



Construction paper or card stock

Wooden squares- (sale them by the bag at most hobby stores)

Red, White, and green paint


Clay (optional)

Little plastic animals


I got this idea from an old barn that used to be in the field across Our Little Red House.

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When I was up north, every time I would glance out the front window, there was that old barn staring back at me. It was such a beautiful site. It was barely standing and falling apart so it was eventually taken down and the wood was re-purposed. Before working on this craft project maybe you can visit a farm or check out some books on barns. This will help to give you ideas on the layout of the little barns you will be making yourself.


First step in this craft is collecting twigs.


If you do not have access to a forest area then maybe a city park or a nice neighbors backyard. Your kids will have so much fun walking around picking up little twigs for their barns. When my kids were little we would explore the woods up north collecting all kinds of things to make art with. Who I’m I kidding, we still do this…now we are just big kids at heart walking around collecting little nature treasures to create with.


Sometimes if we are really lucky and super quiet we will come across families of deer or elk.


Like a little surprise waiting behind a tree or way off in the distance.


Those are the moments I treasure when I think about all the hard work of rebuilding that little red house. It was in the middle of nowhere so that made things a little hard,but we did it. The kids  were right there with us, painting, tiling, building a well house. It all became part of their home school lessons on life and just being creative.


I loved those moments when we would head out to explore the woods up there. Then we head back to the little red house, and I would pull out my basket of art supplies and we would sit at the table with a big bowl of popcorn and make art together. Usually with some old VHS tape playing on our television set in the background.


Once you have collected your own twigs you will need a little milk carton. Make sure to clean it well and let it dry before you start gluing twigs to it. You don’t want some nasty sour smelling barn to play with later. Maybe that would be a little too realistic.


After your carton has dried, cut out a square in the front. This will be a way to get in and out of your barn. Next, take your twigs and cut them down to even sizes. Then start gluing them all around your barn.


To make a loft area, you will need poster board or a recycled cereal box for cardboard.


Just draw out a large rectangle and fold six times, this will be the barn roof. I painted mine green. Depending on the barn you are making there are so many types of roof styles you could make. Adding Spanish moss to the top might be nice too.


The little loft area is also made from card stock, with a tiny square cut out for an opening.

Add an extra inch to the ends to fold over and glue onto top of milk carton. The roof can be laid over the carton and glued in place.


I purchased a big bag of wooden squares and rectangle pieces at the craft store. I used two rectangles to make the barn door. I painted them first, then glued a little strand of ribbon to the unpainted side to glue into the side of the cut out area on the front of the barn door. This is the complicated part. You can skip this part if it is too much and just leave the opening the way it is.


After your barn is covered with twigs, add animals. This cow and pig are little clay animals I made myself. Self hardening clay is perfect for kids to make their own animals with and they can even make little people.



Hope you all enjoy this craft with your little ones. Remember to include everyone when creating. It doesn’t matter what level or age…just have fun creating away. Even toddlers can walk around collecting twigs with you.


Special note:

Pretend play is so important for children. Now days it is hard to find toys from the past. It also seems to be taboo with some pretend toys. That one I do not get. Anyway, I had to use ABA therapy to teach my kids how to pretend play. What comes natural to some children, others struggle with. I would spend hours as a little girl playing away with my Fisher price little people. Later, when I had kids of my own, these were the toys I would search out to buy for them .


It is frightening to me how much technology is taking over the play skills of our children. Gone are the days of Playdoh, crayons, or playing in the dirt and just being a silly little kid. Those items are still out there, but more and more people are choosing little screens to do the playing for their children.

This craft project is a great way to get out there in nature, stretch those legs and spend time with each other as a family. Turn this into a fun lesson about the different kinds of animals.

It’s perfect for developing speech because there are all kinds of opportunities to ask questions with pretend play. So get out that big bucket of plastic animals and design the perfect farm, with one adorable little barn of course.



Hey, here’s another idea…design that farm  in a red wagon filled with dirt and plant real seeds. That way your kids will have plants to take care of and water every time they go out to play. They can pull it around with them where ever they go.


Special thanks all those farmers out there. Thank you for all the work you do to keep people on this planet fed.

Happy family crafting everyone. Have a great weekend, from all of us at Our Little Red House.

DSC_7080.JPGOur Little Red House Copyright 2019 ©

23 Comments Add yours

  1. What a cute idea! I’ll have to remember this for when my granddaughter, Phi, comes to visit. She loves doing craft projects with her Mimi and she’s such a nature child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laura. You can get a bag of plastic farm animals just about anywhere and there is always plenty of dirt out there to play with. Have fun, and take pictures, I love to see your miniature farm.


  2. These are adorable! How do you think of these creative ideas. I love barns 🙂 Maybe because I grew up on a farm and we had one 🙂 It was a “tobacco” barn. We loved playing in it, bouncing balls off the side of it, and just plain using it for our “fort” The town grew up around our farm so we had the biggest fort of all the neighbours 🙂 it was also a castle, a house, AND on Halloween a haunted house 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Margaret. How fun. I love your barn, I would have hung out in that barn with all the kids too. I bet it was a perfect fort and castle. I bet Halloween was fun too. I am looking forward to the Fall and we aren’t even over summer yet. I love Fall leaves, and pumpkins are so cute.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, pumpkins are cute and fun to eat and carve hehehe. I use to love summer but pefer the spring and fall more now. Funny how our “loves” change over the course of our lives 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too, I love the Spring, it’s also one of my favorites.


  3. John says:

    Very beautiful little barn you made!😊 I can believe it´s some hours work for me to do the same, look easy when I see your picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John. It is a lot of detail work but they are nice displayed up on a shelf. I like to put little lights in them. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a cute idea! We are trying to involve our daughter in more pretend play and outside play rather than electronic play. Especially this time of year, we can’t help but want to be outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the perfect time to be out exploring. I can’t believe all the pretty flowers I keep seeing on everyone’s post. When my kids were little and I needed to cook dinner for them I would have a video for them to watch, so I used electronics now and then as well, but I tried to do the best I could with exposing them to other things too. We had a big back yard at our old house, with huge trees and lots of mud. My kids loved playing in mud…they were such a mess at the end of the day. Another fun activity is to hang an old white sheet (buy one second hand) outside and fill plastic spray bottles with colored water. Use food coloring for the water. Then give the kids the bottles to create a giant work of art on the sheet spraying different colors all over it. I think your daughter would love that outside activity. It is so hot here in Arizona that we hang our clothes outside to dry as much as possible.


  5. I know ladies she is so creative! I love her blog! Great job once again! Have a great day and stay cool! Its very hot here it has been!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, It is getting warmer everyday out here but today I woke up to a nice summer breeze early in the morning. I love days like this. Have a great day as well.


  6. Dandelion B says:

    i remember pretend play as a little girl. and my nana and dad making things like this barn with me to play with my barbies and little people with. In our house the 2 youngest sadly played pretend much less then the older two. we tried but the allure of the shining electronics around them ( friends, older, siblings, uncle and even us) trumped the toy room ( i made sure when I bought this home and had 2 children there was a room that I could fill with toys and art centers!,)
    I often wonder if my grand children will enjoy things I make with and for them! this summer my nieces are with me often and they love making things, but they also love their video games and phones

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to compete with those bright colors and animated sounds of electronics. It is nice trying though. I love that you have a special room filled with art supplies and toys. We call that room the playroom when the kids were little, it’s actually out in our Arizona room which is too hot to be in during the summer months. There are three huge glass windows that overlook the pool and garden area. The room is very bright during the summer.


  7. V says:

    That turned out so well! Honestly, I’d craft more if I thought it would turn out that nicely!!! It looks so great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you V, do try it, even if the first one comes out really silly, it’s still a lot of fun. Believe me, I have had plenty of nailed it moments. Every time I try something new, I always tell my family “Okay, this is my practice one” and what happens happens.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. V says:

        Haha! I’m pretty sure I’d need a lot of practice ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love that you’re upcycling AND making such a cute craft! This is awesome 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, just saw this so sorry it has taken awhile to reply. Hope you get a chance to make one of these.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You used to have some cute and easy Christmas ornaments made from milk bottles but now I can’t seem to find them on your website anymore. Did you take them down? Was going to use them for a Christmas Craft activity at my local hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was having some problems so I took some off but I will be doing more crafts for the new Christmas season coming up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Look forward to seeing your new crafts. I was looking for an easy, cheap craft activity using recycled products that can be wiped down due to OHS and hygiene reasons which I could make with the patients at my local hospital which is why I thought of your milk bottle heart ornaments.


      2. S. Marsh C has some pretty heart ornaments she made, they would be easy to work with children too.


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