Crafts, Parties

The Perfect Party Favor: A Garbage Truck Made with Recycled Materials

Decorated truck-wide

I am not a huge fan of party favors at birthday parties and often try to find a way to incorporate party activities and party favors into one. This garbage truck craft was the perfect solution for my son’s 3rd birthday.

I got the idea for this garbage truck craft from Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/430938258066104219/ Someone had created a similar garbage truck and I took it one step further in hopes of making the garbage trucks a bit more sturdy using wooden dowels for axles and drink lids for wheels.

Step 1. Collect milk and juice half-gallon containers. Milk containers can be a bit stinky so wash/dry really well. For each child/garbage truck you want to assemble at the party, you will need one half-gallon carton, 4 juice lids, 2 pieces of wood dowel, and one toilet paper roll.

Materials for garbage truck craft

Step 2. Use an Exacto knife or box cutter to cut away the part of the box with the hole/lid and make enough space for a toilet paper tube (approximately 2 inches). Use clear packing tape to flatten “cab” per the pictures below. Measure in one inch at the other end of the carton and cut at an angle up towards the top for the “hopper.”

Cutting the cartons

Step 3. Measure the amount of dowel needed for the axle and then cut enough pieces for all the trucks. I purchased the dowels at the local craft store.

Measuring dowel

Step 4. Drill holes into the lids. Size of the whole will be dependent on the size dowel you use. You want the lid to fit very snug on the dowel so no gluing is required to keep the wheels on.

Drilling holes into lids/wheels

Step 5. Use a screw driver or another pointed tool to make holes for the axles. Size will depend on the size dowel you use for the axles. You wan the hole to be just big enough but not too big.

Cutting hole

Step 7. Gather all the pieces and lay them out for the kids to take what they need and then assemble the trucks.  Insert dowels into the carton and then attach wheels by pushing them onto the dowels. No glue should be needed.

Garbage truck

Step 8. Decorate the trucks! I used tissue paper square, foam stickers, and duct tape for decorations. For little ones, I poured the glue into bowels and had foam paint brushes. I had markers to use to make faces on the toilet paper rolls for drivers. Don’t forget to write names on the bottom of the trucks.

Decorating materials

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Starting up!

Tiger on the garbage truck prowel

I’ve been sharing my son Ben’s obsession with garbage trucks for going on two years now. I am launching this blog to put pen to (virtual) paper and share all the fun experiences we have had along the way and share our opinions about all of the great (and not so great) products out there for all those garbage truck lovers.

Mixed in are some crafty ideas for parents of garbage truck lovers. I’m a crafty lady with limited resources and definitely not a perfectionist so I’ll be sharing my successes and my failures.

In addition to reading my blog, you can follow me on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/GbageTruckLove/