I just counted. I have 46 egg cartons in our hall closet. Forty six!! Clearly, it’s time to put some of those to use. If you’re an egg carton hoarder like me, here are some ideas to clear out your closet without having to resort to the big blue recycling bin. ~Ali Wilkinson, Online Editor
Pinterest is rife with adorable egg carton crafts. Here are some of our favorites.
Whale. This craft from I Heart Crafty Things is almost too beautiful to play with. But we’re pretty sure your kids will get over that for some imaginative underwater play. To round out the underwater scene, check out this link for other egg carton sea life.
Pirate Ship. Set sail with this easy-to-make pirate ship. The instructions here call for stickers for the mast, but your kids could also draw or paint on a skull and crossbones or whatever else suits their fancy. Bonus: if you have any Fischer Price Little People, they fit perfectly inside.
Helicopter. Is your child obsessed with trains, planes, cars and anything else that moves? If so, indulge in your child’s love of all things vehicle with these minicopters from The Craft Train. Not only are they fun to make, but they will be lots of fun to play with afterwards, too!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Agh, this craft! Love the little turtle heads from Sugar Aunts, and love the imaginative play that can happen afterwards. Maybe round out the craft by making some cardboard pizzas.
Sunflower. Make a whole bouquet of these lovelies from Buggy and Buddy. You can glue these to paper, or try attaching a straw to the back with a dab of hot glue, then placing them in a vase or mason jar for a year-round splash of color (with no watering).
Sort it out. Kids — particularly kids ages 2 to 4 or so — love to sort. And egg cartons make the perfect receptacle for that. Pompoms, marbles, rocks, beans, pasta – any of these will work. Your kids can sort by color, by shape, by size…. Hours of fun. Seriously.
Divvy Up Paint. Those big squeezable containers of finger paint are great fun for the kids. But when given the whole container, they’ll likely empty its contents within minutes. Space out the fun by squeezing out globs of paint into egg containers. The paint will last much longer, and they’ll have just as much fun.
Play Dress-Up. Add to your kids’ dress-up stash with these adorable DIY masks from Picklebums. If your kids don’t like having strings around their faces, you could staple a straw to the side instead for them to hold onto.
Use them as seed planters. Egg cartons are the perfect size for starting those little buds. The best part is when the seedlings are ready to plant, you can just tear one “egg” off and plant it directly in the soil. The carton will naturally decompose.
Donate them. An egg vendor at your local farmers market or CSA farm may take those cartons off your hands (as might a neighbor with chickens!). Some stores – like The Homestead Supply Store – will also take egg cartons. Or check in with your preschool or elementary school to see if they have need of some for craft projects. It’s a nice way to start to teach your kids about giving back.
Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!