Published 12 August 2018 ● Last Updated on 18 May 2020

Are you among those of us who think packaging is art? The bright colors, the catchy motifs, the fancy fonts… I, for one, am often attracted to so many options as I walk down the aisles of supermarkets!

Upcycling is a great way of turning the purchases into keepsakes…. And as a bonus, I keep the packaging away from the landfill / recycler for a little longer, avoid buying a new item (if the upcycling serves something useful!), and give myself some brownie points for working up an eco-friendly craft.  That’s why this milk carton craft had me so excited when I first came across it – I love the one-of-a-kind accessory I ended up with in under 20 minutes. Here’s how you too can convert a Tetra Pak into a kitsch coin/card pouch : you are sure to attract eyeballs when you use it!

What you need:

  1. A 1 litre Tetra Pak carton – rinsed and dried [I used Farmhouse brand]
  2. Scissors, ruler, pencil
  3. Paper clips – 3-5 should be enough
  4. A printout of this template  /Courtesy

upcycle tetra pack DIY

#1 Get the carton ready

First off, open up the carton as neatly as you can. The tidiest and easiest way to manage this is to look for the join on the sides of the carton – and tear along this edge. You may need to use a scissor for the bottom of the carton. Once the folds are open, wipe the inner carton surface to take out any milk/juice residue. upcycle tetra pak

# 2 Get the template ready

Cut the template design on the printout – don’t forget to remove the circle. Tape the two sides together, as seen in the pictures below:

upcycle tetra pak

# 3 Secure and trace the template

Align the circles of the template and the carton; then use paper clips to pin them up. Now trace the template on the carton – first mark the outline, then the guiding lines. When done, take the template off and use a ruler to create the template’s gridlock pattern on the carton.

upcycle tetra pack DIY

#4 Cut and scour

Once you have the gridlock pattern on the carton, you can cut the template out. Then scour over the gridlock lines (you can use a letter opener, or a spoilt pen, or a blunt stick) because these gridlines will next need to be folded over.

upcycle tetra pak

#5 Fold and assemble

The parallel lines that you have scoured (on the central portion of the template) need to simply be folded inwards. The fanning outlines (on the sides of the template) need to get an accordion fold – i.e. alternating inward and outward. The picture below should make this clear:

upcycle tetra pack DIY

#6 Ta-da!

The folds will easily create a pouch. Enlarge the circular hole (which the Tetra Pak cap pushes through)  if needed.

tetra pak upcycle milk carton


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