How to Build an Igloo Out of Milk Jugs

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You can make your own igloo out of milk jugs.
You can make your own igloo out of milk jugs. (Image: igloo image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com)

Inuits and Eskimos make igloos as temporary or permanent shelters out of packed snow. Creating a real igloo is time-consuming and takes precision to ensure the finished structure is effective. If you want to create one with children to teach them about igloos, you can use plastic milk jugs as your building material instead of snow. Milk jug igloos are a creative way to reuse the plastic cartons.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Water
  • 1-gal. milk jugs, 160
  • Yardstick
  • Hot glue

Use soap and water to thoroughly clean the insides of 155 to 160 plastic 1-gal. milk jugs. Clean them thoroughly and allow them to dry completely. It may take two or more washings to thoroughly clean the jugs. You want to remove all of the milk residue to avoid a sour milk smell from the jugs.

Place a yardstick on the ground where you want the entrance of your igloo to be and use it as guide to begin your igloo. Place one milk jug on its side at one end of the yard stick. Place 22 more milk jugs. Create an arc as you go so that the last milk jug reaches the other end of the yard stick with the tops pointing inward. Use a bit of hot glue between each milk jug to attach them together.

Place a second row of milk jugs on top of the first in the same manner you used in the prior step. This time, stagger the second row on top of the first, using 22 milk jugs, instead of 23. Use hot glue to attach them to one another as well was the row below. Repeat this step to create a third and fourth layer, using one less jug on each layer.

Place a fifth row of milk jugs on top of the fourth row, using one less milk jug. Stagger the milk jugs as you did before. However, when you reach the entrance of the igloo, pick the yardstick up and place it over top of the opening. Continue the arc of milk jugs for the fifth row over top of the yard stick to create a complete circle, hot gluing as you go. Remove the yardstick.

Place a sixth, seventh and eighth row, staggering the milk jugs and hot gluing them in place, using one less milk jug on each row. After the eighth row is complete, you should have a completed domed igloo.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are doing this craft with a classroom of children, have the students bring in empty cartons to limit the number you have to collect yourself.
  • Depending on the spacing you use with your milk jugs, you may have to adjust the number of jugs used and the number of rows created.

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