Welcome to your weekly serving of upcycling inspiration! Once a week I’m going to feature an item for which I’ll endeavour to list some upcycling ideas. They might be my own or they might just be little light bulbs of genius that I pinch from someone else.
This week it’s the egg carton in the limelight. What a cleverly designed bit of cardboard! Almost as impressive as the little parcels of goodness that they are meant to protect. I have trouble letting go of egg cartons because they are just so useful.
If you’re lucky enough to keep your own hens then the best and most obvious use is sorted. In fact at peak laying time you’ll probably be begging your friends and family for egg carton donations! Apart from re-using them over and over again for their intended purpose, here’s what else you can do.
1. Organise and store all kinds of goodies:
– sewing supplies such as bobbins, safety pins, buttons, thread, small lengths of ribbon;
– small craft supplies;
– christmas ornaments, especially fragile glass baubles;
– decorated Easter eggs (real ones that have been blown);
– jewellery – ideal for kids. Here is a cute jewellery box project for kids, from B-Inspired Mama;
– hair accessories – clips, hair bands and bobby pins;
– a child’s rock collection;
– hardware – nuts, bolts, washers, screws, tacks;
– small plastic toy animals or dolls. This cute one over at LilyBean’s Paperie has been decorated to hold plastic farm animals for a gift.
Not only will the compartments keep small items safe and locatable, the cartons stack for easy storage into boxes, drawers or on shelves. You might like to decorate them first with paint or paper.
2. Plant seeds – fill each compartment with seed raising mix, sow the seeds, and water-in. Once the seedlings are large enough, cut the carton up into individual cells then transfer them to the garden, still in their section of carton. The roots will be protected from damage during the transplantation process and the carton will break down in the soil.
3. Make some play eggs (crochet, fabric, modelling clay, etc) and store them in an old egg carton. Or just keep an empty egg carton in the play kitchen.
4. Use to package mini muffins and other small treats that you’ve made for gifts. Decorate first by painting or covering in pretty or interesting papers.
5. Make a pair of goggles for kids play.
6. Use for kids craft.
7. Create these sweet buttons by Pretty Little Things.
8. Turn into a kids’ paint palette by placing a dollop of paint in each compartment (you might like to leave some empty for mixing colours). The paint will eventually dry up (but not before that masterpiece is produced) and the palette can be used again. Or allow your child to colour the carton with any left-over paint, once the other artwork is complete, and turn it into a storage container.
9. Make a colour sorting game for toddlers or preschoolers. Or an egg carton counting game.
10. Use as a favour bag at a childrens’ birthday party.
Check out these pics on Flickr for some more ideas!