Creative Egg Carton Crafts
Posted on: January 31st 2018
When you’re creating culinary masterpieces in the form of omelets, hors d’oeuvres, baked goods or bread dough, odds are you’re only thinking about cracking those eggs and cooking up some enjoyment for your friends and family. Eggs are an essential part of our diets and dishes, whether we’re serving them sunny side up for breakfast, whisking them into a delectable dessert, emulsifying them into eggnog or savoring a hardboiled snack. We even use eggs in foods we don’t think about, like pasta and organic ice cream.
Digest this: the average American eats about 267 eggs each year — that’s at least 22 dozen-egg cartons per person, meaning a family of four might purchase 90 cartons annually. Talk about an obsession with eggs! But after you’ve cracked the contents and tossed the shells, what happens to the cartons the eggs came in?
Eggs typically come in cartons of Styrofoam or recycled paper, and most of us throw these containers away when they’re empty without taking the time to think about recycling. With each of us using 22 or more cartons every year, we generate a hefty amount of waste with our egg casings, contributing to more than 250 billion tons of garbage in our landfills annually. But with a little effort, care and creativity, we could recycle or re-use more than 70 percent of that waste — why not start with our egg cartons?
Besides traditional recycling, you have a host of unusual options for repurposing your egg cartons to avoid unwanted waste. Pack them around fragile items for padding when you move or ship materials. Incorporate them into compost piles to give your garden extra nutrients. Use them to organize items like nuts and bolts, nails and Christmas ornaments. You can even keep them to use golf ball holders. Egg cartons offer so many opportunities for special uses — if you have kids, the possibilities are endlessly fun.
From kindergarteners to teens in high school science fairs, your children can get creative with egg carton crafts. Create critters of all shapes and sizes, make holiday trinkets and household items, organize artistic arrangements of cardboard flowers, sculpt cardboard structures and build school projects — we bet you never knew how much cardboard can do! Put your hands to use, your minds in motion and your cartons to re-use by trying out these 10 egg carton crafts for kids.
Egg Carton Crafts for Youngsters
Do you have little ones tugging on your sleeves? If you’ve got a pack of preschoolers under your direction, a classroom of elementary schoolers or a couple of crazy kids of your own, you need to keep them occupied and unlock their creative capabilities while they’re young — what better way to do it than through crafting? If you have a few leftover egg cartons handy, you don’t need to stress about supplies, either.
Craft critters, vehicles and projects in fun, fresh ways your little ones will love. The best part? They can play with them afterward! From eager early learners through elementary aged kids, your youngsters will adore these recycled egg carton crafts.
- Carton Color Sorting
Are you trying to teach your little learners to recognize colors or to start counting? You can create an easy, interactive learning game in an unusual, exciting way with your old egg cartons. Invest your kids’ help in painting and preparing together, and then dive into playing and making progress.
What You’ll Need: Seven egg cartons, scissors, kid-safe paint, paintbrushes and colorful pom-poms
How to Make: Start your crafting endeavors by separating the bottoms of the cartons from the tops. Cut along the crease where the carton folds and set the lids aside to recycle, keeping the bottom portions where the eggs go and setting them up in a line to start painting. If you’d like, lay down some newspaper before you paint to protect your surface, then grab your brushes and get to work. Using one color for each carton, paint red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink containers.
After the paint dries, your kids will be all set to choose colors and count. Use your pom-poms to match colors and make small number sequences as your kids place them in the cups of the carton where the eggs once went. Who knew learning could be so creative?
- Creepy, Crawly Carton Critters
Do your little ones like critters that creep and crawl with lots of legs? Egg cartons are ideal for inventing insects of every kind. Build buzzing bees, cute caterpillars, lovely lady bugs and any other creature your creative kids come up with.
What You’ll Need: Egg cartons, scissors, paint, paintbrushes, googly eyes, glue, pom-poms, push pins, pipe cleaners and tissue or construction paper
How to Make: Begin building your bugs’ bodies by cutting off the top of the egg carton and separating the cups from the bottom so you can work with them individually. Depending on the type of insect you’re building, you might use one cup or multiple. Paint the outside of your cups however you’d like your critters to look. For ladybugs, use red paint with big, black polka dots. For bumblebees, use yellow with black stripes. Caterpillars and beetles can be green, yellow, black, brown or any color with any wacky designs you desire!
When your cups are decorated with the colors and patterns your kids create, attach multi-cup bodies together by gluing or stapling the open edges of the cups together. Remember, your bug bodies will be made up of the cups turned upside-down, so don’t worry about paint or staple marks on the inside.
Next, use pushpins to poke holes in the sides of your cups, then weave pipe cleaners through the holes and bend the ends to hold them in place for your legs and antennae. You can even use tissue paper and attach wings for flying insects. Glue on however many googly eyes your little bugs need and watch them come to life.
- Building Blocks
Are you raising little builders and tinkerers? Feed your kids’ creativity and provide them with extra supplies by helping them create their own building blocks out of egg cartons. Not only will they be building new structures for their play and practice, but they’ll be constructing the materials themselves.
What You’ll Need: Multiple egg cartons, paint and paintbrushes, scissors and hot glue gun
How to Make: The shapes and sizes of your blocks are up to you! Keep your cartons whole, cut them in half, make some single-cup blocks or even try unique L shapes. Your blocks will be made up of both the top and bottom of the carton, so when you’ve cut out the shapes you wanted, hot glue the lid to the base to make sure the blocks are solid. Use your paint to decorate the blocks in your kids’ favorite colors. Let the paint dry and start stacking!
- Sound-Making Shakers
Do your kids love to make some noise? Maybe you’re a music educator looking for an encouraging craft or a mom looking for some interactive fun. If you’re excited to introduce your children to rhythm and creativity, try your hand at making and shaking these egg carton DIY maracas.
What You’ll Need: One egg carton, scissors, paint, paintbrushes, dry rice or beans and a hot glue gun
How to Make: Start by cutting along the crease of the carton and separating the top from the bottom. Next, carefully cut out each egg cup and trim along the edges to make them mostly level. Paint the outsides of the cups in different bright colors to keep things fun — you can even mix and match for your shakers. When they’re dry, turn over half of your cups so the open ends face up, then fill them halfway with dried rice or beans. Next, hot-glue the empty cups on top to seal the shakers. Time to shake it up!
- Little Chicks
Looking for a special springtime craft to get your kids in the spirit for new growth? Try crafting these cute little chicks out off egg cartons to give them something to chirp about.
What You’ll Need: Egg cartons, paint and paint brushes, glue, marker, scissors and construction paper
How to Make: Remove the top of the egg carton and carefully cut out your egg cups, trimming the tops for an even edge. Next, choose what color to make your chicks — they can be yellow, pink, purple, green or blue, just like peeps. Have your kids paint the outsides and edges of two egg cups in the colors they pick. When they’re dry, put glue on the rims, turn one cup over on top of the other and attach them.
Now, it’s time to add the faces. Using your construction paper, cut out a small diamond, fold it in half so the points touch and glue the creased edge to the center of your chick body to serve as the mouth. Add two eyes to finish off the features. If you’d like, you can even cut out construction paper feathers to glue to the tops of the chicks’ heads. Enjoy your colorful springtime companions.
- Chinese Dragon
Introduce your kids to the wonders of other cultures by delving into Chinese mythology in your craft creations. Fierce, fire-breathing and festive, this dragon will delight your children and challenge their creative capabilities.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, scissors, paint, paintbrushes, string, googly eyes, glue, glitter, construction paper, pipe cleaners, pushpin and sequins
How to Make: First, cut off the top of your egg carton and set it aside for recycling. Using your scissors, carefully cut out the individual egg cups from the bottom. With red, yellow or orange paint, coat your cups to decorate your dragon in the coolest way possible. When the paint dries, glue on glitter and sequins for a dazzling feel.
Now, it’s time to put the dragon together. Make a small hole in either side of each cup using the pushpin, then thread a piece of string through all the cups to attach them together and make a wiggly, slithery body. Knot at each end to secure. When your body is finished, glue googly eyes on the face of the first cup. You can cut out and attach construction paper teeth and fire for extra fun. For the finishing touches, add horns, whiskers and spikes to your dragon by poking in pipe cleaners. Your kids will love their fearsome creations.
- Under-the-Sea Diorama
Are your kids ocean-lovers, studiers of the sea or underwater artists? Nothing makes for better sea-life-themed fun or school projects than ocean dioramas, and an egg carton makes the optimal setting for all your kids’ deep-water imaginings.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, paint, paintbrushes, scissors, construction paper, felt, foam sheets, shells, sequins, glitter and glue
How to Make: Start by having your kids paint the inside and outside of their egg carton entirely blue. Add some streaks of lighter and darker shades for a multi-dimensional effect. While the paint dries, sprinkle the inside of the carton with glitter to make the water sparkle. Now that you’ve set up your ocean, it’s time to take on the sea life.
Using your construction paper, felt and foam, cut out the shapes of the underwater plants and animals you and your kids want to feature in your ocean scene. Create fish, swaying seaweed, sharks, dolphins, jellyfish and more. Glue your customized cutouts to the top and bottom of your egg carton’s inside to create an ocean floor and an expanse of water, then add seashells and sequins in the egg cups to keep things interesting. Your kids will love showing off their expression of underwater exploration.
- Mischievous Masks
Get ready for Halloween, dress-up adventures and costume parties with this egg-cellent carton mask craft. You and your kids can decorate your disguise in any design you desire to create cool characters and channel the fun!
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, scissors, string, paint, paintbrushes and a hole punch
How to Make: Start by separating the lid of your egg carton from the bottom half. Using your scissors, cut out the egg cups in clusters of two, making sure the pairs remain attached in the middle. Poke your scissor blade through the bottom of each cup and cut out a hole so you can see through your masks. Now it’s time to start painting.
Decorate the goggles to your heart’s content with any color, theme, pattern or design that brings out your kids’ creative sides. Flower patterns and rings around the eye holes add an especially cool effect. When you and the kids are done adding your polka dots, stripes, stars and other character touches, let the goggles dry, then punch holes on either end and thread your string through to create a band. Have your kids try on their goggles, tie the strings to keep them attached and send them off to masquerade!
- Coin Cups
Are your elementary schoolers starting to save spare change and count coins from the tooth fairy or their allowances? Help them get an early start on sorting their finances by crafting a few cups to help them keep track of their coins. No more pennies in the washing machine or in scattered piles on the kitchen counter. Your kids will get a kick out of these carton change cups.
What You’ll Need: One egg carton, scissors, paint and paintbrushes
How to Make: Cut off the top of your egg carton so you’re only working with the bottom half that holds the eggs. Using your scissors, carefully cut out the individual egg cups and trim the edges around the top. Paint your change cups whatever color you want. For an even cooler look, paint the inside and outside different shades.
Once the paint is dry, your go-to coin cup is ready for use. If you like a little flair, decorate your cup with a scrap of lace, fabric or newspaper laid inside the cup beneath the coins. Place it on your kids’ dressers, a table in the hallway or an area everyone will remember to drop their pennies and quarters.
- Fancy Flowers
Are your kids craving a springtime bouquet of their own? You don’t have to worry about picking stems and trailing petals shriveling and falling to the floor. Now, your kids can make their own flower arrangements that won’t fade or make a mess. Use your egg carton cups to create simple, beautiful blooms with your kids.
What You’ll Need: One egg carton, scissors, paint, pom-poms, pipe cleaners, pushpin and glue or a hot glue gun
How to Make: Begin by cutting off the top of the egg carton and recycling it. Once you’re working with just the bottom, use your scissors to separate the egg cups by cutting them out and trimming around the tops to make them jagged, smooth, curved or whatever shape and texture you and your kids like. When all your egg cups are cut out, turn them into flowers by painting the insides and outsides your favorite colors.
Once the paint is dry, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Use your pushpin to carefully poke a hole in the bottom of each flower cup, then thread a pipe cleaner through the hole and bend it inside the cup to keep it secure. Now you have a stem! With your glue or hot glue gun, make a blob of glue at the bottom of the cup around the bent end of the stem, then top it off with a colorful pom-pom in the center of your flower. Now you have a kid-friendly bouquet to decorate your home or classroom!
Holiday Egg Carton Crafts
Looking for a craft to spice up the season for your kids? Whether it’s winter, spring or fall, we have ideas to occupy your little ones’ hands and minds. Try these seven holiday egg carton crafts for kids.
- Scary Spiders
To get in the mood for Halloween, have your kids craft spooky spiders to adorn your houses, windows and candy baskets for trick-or-treating. With their bendy legs, these creepy critters are perfect for playing and attaching to banisters, bookbags and wherever you want them.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, scissors, black paint, paintbrush, black pipe cleaners, black pom-poms, push pin, glue, glitter and googly eyes
How to Make: Separate the top of the carton from the bottom, then cut out the individual egg cups and make the edges even. Paint the outside of your cups black and sprinkle them with glitter to add an extra sparkle to your spiders. When the paint is dry, use a push pin to poke holes in the sides of the cups and thread the black pipe cleaners through to make fuzzy legs, bending them inside at the ends. Glue a black pom-pom to the front of the body for a head and add a bunch of googly eyes for your freaky finishing touch.
- Thanksgiving Turkey
It’s time to celebrate fall and get ready for that Thanksgiving feast. Get your kids excited by helping them craft their own miniature Thanksgiving turkeys to bring the season to life.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, paint, paintbrushes, construction paper, scissors, glue and googly eyes
How to Make: Take off the top of your egg carton, then cut out the individual egg cups and paint them the color of your kids’ choice — your turkeys can be traditionally brown, or more creative colors for added fun. When the paint is dry, glue the cups together at the open edges to make the turkey bodies. Cut out feathers in various colors, turkey beaks and circles for faces from your construction paper — and don’t forget the gobbles! Attach the feathers and faces, then glue on some googly eyes to top off your turkeys.
- Friendly Snowmen
Celebrate the first snow by crafting your own snowmen characters with your kids. This project is perfect for Christmas cards, artwork or plain winter fun.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, scissors, glue, construction paper, pom-poms, pipe cleaners, felt, googly eyes and markers
How to Make: Start by cutting out attached egg cups in strips of three from the bottom of your egg carton — this craft works best with white cartons, but if you don’t have one handy, paint your cartons white instead. Decorate your background of construction paper however you’d like, then glue your triple rows of egg cups to the paper to start on your snowman bodies.
Glue on googly eyes and a construction paper carrot nose for the faces, then use your marker to make buttons down the torsos. Attach pipe cleaners for twig arms and small strips of felt for scarves. For an extra touch, craft tiny earmuffs out of pipe cleaners and pom-poms, then glue them to the snowmen’s heads. Now they’re all set for the winter chill.
- Carton Christmas Tree
Who says you have to cut down a tree to put your presents under this Christmas? If you’re feeling a little ambitious and love large-scale projects, take on this tall order — you may want to save up your egg cartons all year to tackle this project!
What You’ll Need: Green paint, paintbrushes, green construction paper, lots of old egg cartons and glue
How to Make: Start by cutting a giant circle out of green construction paper to serve as the base for your recyclable tree. Make sure to glue your egg cartons shut, then paint them green and let them dry.
Arrange your first layer of egg cartons on the base of green construction paper in a spoke shape with all the edges coming together in the middle. Build up your tree by stacking spoke layers on top of another, gradually decreasing the amount of egg cartons on each layer to give the tree a tiered appearance. Make sure your cartons are in the proper position for each layer, then glue the bottoms of the egg cups so the cartons stay attached. Construct your tree to the tippy top with good cheer.
Nothing says holiday spirit like creating your own inspiring ornaments to decorate the Christmas tree. Spend some quality time with the kids as you craft your own egg carton ornaments to add to all the festivity.
What You’ll Need: Egg cartons, scissors, paint, paint brushes, string, pipe cleaners, glitter and glue
How to Make: Cut along the crease of the egg carton and separate the top from the bottom, then cut out each individual egg cup and even out the edges. You and your kids can paint the outside of the cups in any color and design you like — get creative for Christmas! For an extra holiday touch, sprinkle on some glitter before the paint dries.
Use push pins to make two holes on either side of half the cups, then thread through string or pipe cleaners to create a loop for hanging on the tree. Glue your cups together at the open edges to make ornament balls. Enjoy decorating your Christmas tree together!
- Four-Leaf Clovers
Create your own good luck on St. Patrick’s Day with this fun four-leaf clover craft for kids!
What You’ll Need: Egg cartons, scissors, green paint, paintbrushes, green construction paper and green pipe cleaners
How to Make: Start out with a sheet of green construction paper for the base of your card or art project. Separate the top of the egg carton from the bottom and cut out the individual cups, trimming the edges to even them out. Have your kids paint the outside of the cups green. When they’re dry, arrange them upside-down on the construction paper in the shape of a clover. Then, glue them down and add a pipe cleaner stem. It’s extra luck and extra fun.
- Easter Eggs
Everyone dyes hardboiled eggs to create temporary decorations for your Easter baskets in the springtime, but what about making spring crafts that won’t crack or spoil? Construct your own cardboard eggs with cartons this Easter and enjoy easy decorations.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, scissors, paint, paintbrushes and glue
How to Make: Cut off the top of your egg carton and remove the individual egg cups. Using exciting Easter colors, paint the outsides of the cups in whatever patterns and designs you can imagine — try zig-zags, polka dots, squiggles and stripes. When the paint dries, glue the cups together to make your own eggs, mixing and matching the designs on each half. Arrange them in your Easter baskets or set them along your windowsill to enjoy the spring spirit.
Advanced Egg Carton Crafts
Do you have middle schoolers or high schoolers who need innovative ideas for art projects, science fairs or school presentations? Egg carton crafts aren’t just for little ones — older kids can incorporate them into their creations, as well. Here are three crafts intended for more experienced hands and advanced purposes.
- Seedling Starters
Do your students need to nurture seeds for science projects or experiments with soil? Nothing is better or more convenient for individual seedling starters than the handy help of an egg carton! Each egg cup is the perfect size for packing in soil and nutrients and planting small seeds, especially for experiments that compare the growth of plants given various amounts of water or different types of dirt.
What You’ll Need: One egg carton, scissors, marker, potting soil, seed packets and a spoon
How to Make: Create your tiny plant pots by using your scissors to remove the lid of the egg carton. Once you’re left with just the bottom, it’s up to you whether you want individual egg cup pots, or if you’d rather keep them in clusters. If you do decide to separate the cups, trim the top edges so they’re relatively smooth.
Use your spoon to measure out the appropriate amount of potting soil for each cup, then make a hole in the center with your pinky finger and drop in the seed. Use the marker to label the cups so you know which seed is where, and which will receive variable conditions. Pat the soil over the seed gently, water according to the seed packet directions or the stipulations of your experiment and watch your seedlings grow. When the sprouts get bigger, you can replant your paper egg cups right in the soil of your garden.
Want a straightforward way to bring birds to your garden so you can observe various species? Set up a birdfeeder with this easy egg carton design and watch your winged friends flock to your yard.
What You’ll Need: Egg carton, scissors, hole punch, birdseed and string or rope
How to Make: Start your bird-feeding endeavor by cutting the top off an old egg carton. Make sure there are no holes or cracks for the birdseed to slip through.
Using your handheld hole punch, make holes in each of the four corners of the bottom of the carton and string through sturdy string, twine or rope. Knot the string at the bottoms where it attaches to the egg carton so it won’t slip out, then attach all the strands together in a knot at the top. Fill your carton with birdfeed and hang from a tree branch or your porch to attract all the winged wildlife in the neighborhood.
- Carton Wall Art
Need an innovative idea for an art project or DIY home décor? Use your egg cartons in creative ways to produce perfect mixed media pieces with an enjoyable 3D element.
What You’ll Need: Poster board or canvas, egg cartons, scissors, paint and glue
How to Make: First, remove the top of the egg cartons by cutting along the creases where the cartons bend, then use your scissors to cut out each individual egg cup. Arrange your cups in any design you like on your canvas or poster board, creating solid shapes, abstract images or non-objective patterns.
Paint each cup before gluing to your surface, or attach them all first and color the canvas in an exciting way — try spray paint or splatter painting. Your egg carton creation will look wonderful on your wall, in your child’s classroom or framed and given as a gift.
Start With Sauder
If you’re in the market for empty egg cartons, you might as well enjoy some quality eggs. And if you’re looking for the best eggs to eat before you start your carton crafting adventures with the kids, your search is over. Emphasizing excellence, integrity, freshness and fairness, Sauder Eggs has run on family farms and family values for 60 years. We want your family to join ours, too. Try our eggs today for a taste of tradition you’ll love. To learn more, sign up for our newsletter.