I am not a crafty person. I cannot sew, draw, crochet, knit, paint, or even take good pictures. Art is not my friend. But you know what is my friend? Finding creative ways to use stuff around my house. For instance…
My family eats a fair amount eggs, at least a dozen per week (for a family of 3, I guess that’s a lot). While we’re really good about recycling the cardboard egg cartons (Styrofoam is not recyclable where we live and also, the brands that come in Styrofoam are pretty expensive given the organic label and some other factors. If I had endless money, I’d probably purchase these regularly. But I digress…), there are times I look at our egg cartons and wonder if there’s any other use for them.
After all, paper towel rolls can be turned into telescopes or weird looking dolls. Baby food jars can be turned into storage containers for screws, buttons, and even craft beads. When cassette tapes were popular (please tell me I’m not the only one old enough to remember those), I had friends that used baby wipes boxes to store them in their cars. And my favorite, saving shoe boxes for all kinds of loose ends and school projects (like dioramas. Those were fun. I kind of want to make one now). But the lowly egg carton always gets recycled or thrown in the garbage, never to be repurposed.
So let’s change that.
Here are 3 ways to use an egg carton that doesn’t involve throwing it into the recycling bin:
- Flower bouquet. I received these flowers as a Mother’s Day present from my daughter a few years ago. To create them, cut out the little individual pockets that each egg is stored in. Poke a hole in the bottom and thread a pipe cleaner through the hole; the carton becomes the “flower” and the pipe cleaner the stem. Then paint, color or decorate the “flower”, glue or tape tissue paper to the stem, stick in a vase with some marbles (purchased at the dollar store or craft store) and viola! A beautiful bouquet that never needs water.
- Portable ice cream toppings bar. Want to be a hit at every potluck ever? Then do this. When you’re asked to sign up, offer a dessert. Bring a carton or two of ice cream and some toppings (marshmallows, sprinkles, chocolate chips, crumbled cookies…any dry topping will do. Even cut up fruit!). Fill the egg cartons with the toppings and put them on the buffet table with little serving spoons, one for each topping. If you want to be extra nice, you can make individual toppings bars for each guest (if there aren’t too many). This is great for kids’ birthday parties, too. No fighting!
- Paint palettes. This works great for kids’ crafts. You know how, when your kid wants to paint, especially with a friend or as a party craft, you kind of cringe because you know how messy it can get with the kids sharing paint across the table (plus the arguments of “she’s using too much red” or “he won’t share”)? To cut down on the mess (and the fighting), repurpose egg cartons into mini paint palettes. Fill each mini palette with the same colors and distribute one to each kid. It’s kind of like the cupcake effect—by giving each kid just one, with all of them identical, there’s no fighting over who has more. And less paint drips and splatters all over your floor.
It makes me feel good that I can bring new life to the egg carton. And it can feel as important as it’s repurposed friends.
Readers, do you have any other uses for an egg carton? Please share in the comments!