Craft a Church Tithing Bank for Kids

Catholic ABC’s Week: 20
Letter of the week: O
Theme: Offering
Saint of the Week: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Craft: Church “Piggy Bank”

Materials Needed to Complete This Craft:
  • Small Milk Carton (or whipping cream carton, or Whoppers carton, or goldfish carton, or… you get the idea!)
  • Paint (I suggest washable tempera paint)
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Coffee Filters
  • Colored Paper
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Scissors

This week, I thought it would be great if O were for Offering! I wanted to make some kind of bank my children could put change in and then take to church to add to the collection basket, and I came up with this craft that actually looks like a church! This was so much fun to make it left me wishing I had piles of tiny milk cartons to make a whole village! (As you can see from these pictures, this worked in nicely with some neighborhood crafts we’ve been doing, but I only post our “Catholic” stuff here). 😉

Milk cartons made into church shaped tithing banks

The How-To:
Rinsing out your milk carton goes without saying. Start by having your kids scribble different colors on a coffee filter, then flick it with some water to make the colors spread. Set it to the side to dry. (This will become your stained glass windows).

Paint next to plain milk cartons

Next, have them paint their milk carton. We used white because our church in real life is white- plus I thought it would help the bright stained glass windows to “pop”. We used foam brushes, which are great for little hands.


Painting Milk Carton With Primer


Now put your milk carton to the side to dry and have your kids select bright sections of the coffee filter for their stained glass windows. (If your coffee filter isn’t dry enough to work with yet, a 2 second blast from your hair dryer will fix that). I cut out a template for Lydia (age 4) and had her trace around it to cut out her own windows. Julian is only 2- I pretty much cut his out for him. You can attach the windows with a glue stick. Cut out and glue on a “roof” and a door from colored paper. Last, lay your church on it’s back so you can glue on a “steeple” fashioned with pipe cleaners. I actually stuck ours on with a hot glue gun because I’m awesome and impatient like that. 😉 (The front of your church is the side of the milk carton you did NOT open). 

Milk Carton Church
Finished Milk Carton Crafts
Finished Milk Carton Crafts

How is this a piggy bank? Easy! Just open it up like you’re going to drink some milk, put your money in and close it back up. Take your church bank to mass on Sunday and empty the contents into the collection basket each week. I guarantee your kids will love this!

I was really pleased with the turn out of the stained glass windows! It was my favorite part of the whole craft!

Post continues after this brief information about the Catholic ABCs Curriculum

Catholic ABCs Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten

Catholic ABCs Curriculum

Catholic ABCs is a hand-on curriculum full of crafts, printables, worksheets, saints, learning, and more for preschoolers and kindergartners. There are over 2,000 pages that you can use for multiple school years! (This is also a great supplement for 1st and 2nd graders.)

(Lydia actually painted her windows with watercolor paints)
Windows of Milk Carton Church Banks


Windows of Milk Carton Church Banks


Windows of Milk Carton Church Banks

Finished Milk Carton Church Banks

Grab Bag Ideas for the Letter O: (be sure to check out the Classroom Script for directions on using the grab bag.) Ostrich, Octopus, Orange, Olive, Oven (from dollhouse), Oatmeal, Owl, Oak tree leaf, Oval, Onion, Octagon, Our Lady Statue.

For More Resources, including free printable ABC scripture cards and a matching set of Catholic Saint crafts for preschoolers, check out the Catholic ABC’s Offical Resource Page.

Catholic ABCs Curriculum



  1. Chrismated in Coffeeland says

    Oh this will be great for church school to make for Lent!

    Always fun ideas here!

  2. Jenni Price Illustration says

    Well these are just so cute and I bet my kids would love them! I also like your stained glass effect!

  3. I can't believe I just stumbled upon your blog as a link to a fashion blog ( which I love ) I am new Catholic convert just this past Easter. I have been asked to teach CCD to sixth graders next year. I want to do it, but I am scared to death. I know they are kids that don't want to be there, so I want to make it enjoyable for them. I haven't had time to look all through your blog, but do you have suggestions. Funny how the Holy Spirit Works!

  4. Amazing_Grace says

    These banks are so cute!!!! 🙂

  5. Kathleen's Catholic says

    Your tithing banks are adorable. Love the idea.

    Several years ago, a missionary visited our CCD classes and spoke to the children about supporting children in underdeveloped countries. She said, "Found money is missionary money." Of course, she also talked about sharing their allowances.

    The kids happily collected loose change for her cause and found ways to earn a dollar here and there.

    Wouldn't it be great if CCD teachers would use these banks as a craft to help in such a lesson for the children? 🙂

  6. This is so clever! I'm planning on doing your Catholic ABC's with my little people this summer. This is great for Lent too though.

  7. I love this one too! I wish I lived closer so I could give you some of the 30 milk cartons I throw away daily! lol I will definitely be repurposing a few of them with my kids (and myself too probably lol)

  8. Melinda Loustalot says

    I LOVE your blog! Just wish it had been around 10 years ago when I started hs'ing my big kids! But I've still got 1 pre-schooler left, so I'm loving it!

    Anywho, I was searching for the "O" installment of Catholic pre-school and had some trouble, finally found it and noticed it didn't have the pre-school label (I had been using the label to search through the posts.)

    God Bless you and the work you do,

  9. Melinda Loustalot says

    Love this craft!

    Just FYI — Catholic toolbox links to the "Noah" lesson plan — sorry to be picky, I was a proofer in a previous life!

  10. How do you get the paint to stick to the wax carton?

    • We used acrylic paint. Sometimes the really washable stuff they make for kids doesn’t stick to stuff so well.