At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Egg Cartons – Imagine the Possibilities

Egg cartons have been a fascination of mine in recent years. They seem like the perfect invention; a snug cup which holds delicate, breakable eggs securely enough to travel miles from farm to table, and they have a solid lid which closes and opens easily without breaking. They simply are useful.

Kids have caught on to this handy container and use them to store favorite collectibles. In our family, many a summer day was spent filling the little cups with pebbles and natural treasures down by our brook. Kids quickly learn that an egg carton houses acorns, rock, marbles, insects and butterflies, small dolls, pennies, feathers, and leaves.  Their treasures were safe in that egg carton. (Mom was less likely to throw out the treasures right away.)

While utilitarian at heart, the recycled cardboard egg carton is an opportunity to repurpose.

With a little imagination and a few simple craft items, kids can create a charming child-friendly homemade Easter egg basket that enchants and delights young and old alike.We’ve made several and each one has its own character. (We save them year after year and store our hand blown eggs in them.)

Photo by Rae Grant

Encouraging imagination in the kids is the secret to making an enchanting Cardboard Egg Carton Easter Basket. I like to use simple projects like this as an opportunity to allow kids to invent and innovate. There is no right or wrong way to decorate an egg carton basket- but imagination and creative use of materials certainly goes very far. One secret to a successful crafting project is to let the kids decorate and design in their own style. No matter what the outcome say something encouraging and sincere. Kids often know when we are making up a compliment. A little parental help is ok but let the project be your child’s invention and decision- making process.

Variety is the spice of all craft and art projects with kids (and adults too). Teaching kids that we don’t have to imitate other projects when we make something will also give them confidence to explore and take chances at the craft table. (The message is clear, we don’t have to always make things that look mass produced.) Once you have your craft table set up with all the materials laid out, let the fun begin.

Taking it all the way:

In addition to decorating the egg carton itself, there are several simple craft projects you could  add that would make this a seasonal crafting occasion! Here are a few simple ideas:

1. Take clean and dried white or brown egg shells and have the kids paint or dye them. They sit nicely in the egg container and can be filled with jellybeans and chocolate eggs for Easter morning.

2. Have the kids use scissors to curl thin strips of recycled paper. Fill the cups with colorful curled paper and set the decorated eggshell halves on top the curled paper.

3. Be sure to place whole dyed eggs in the decorated container as well. You may want to decorate the eggs first as a project, and then decorate the egg container.

Photo by Rae Grant

What You Need to Get Started

Newspaper (for work space)

Clean and empty egg cartons (one per child)

Pastel chalk (multiple colors)

Watercolor or tempera craft paint

Paintbrushes

Homemade paste (click here for the link to Rae’s paste recipe)

Glitter (for the bold and brave)

Recycled cards, books and magazines that have a spring-theme
(pictures of bunnies, nests, flowers, eggs, trees)

  1. Set out newspapers on your work surface.
  2. Set out paints, homemade paste, and glitter in small child-friendly containers.
  3. Allow your child to paint, draw, and collage the inside and outside of the cardboard egg carton as they wish. (Encourage spring themed ideas, flowers, trees, grass, bunnies as possible visual ideas if the child needs suggestions to get started.) Allow paint and glue to dry completely.
  4. Provide clean and dry eggshells halves for painting and decorating. Set upside down on a paper towel to dry.
  5. Add paper grass, or curled paper strips to several of the cups. Fill with painted eggshell halves, dyed eggs, jellybeans, chocolate-foiled eggs, small toys (a set of jacks) a whistle, or figurine.
  6. Enjoy!

TIP: Allow for at least 1/2 hour to make the egg carton basket. Often children will rework an idea to it’s perfection if they have the time to go back and add detail. No hurrying!

Comments

  1. Precious. Absolutely PRECIOUS! Rae, you come up with the best ideas!!

    (I must be bold AND brave because we use glitter a lot. And my whole house sparkles!)
    .-= Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog ..The blooms of March (top referrers and top posts) =-.

  2. How funny you should mention glitter Megan! I happen to love it. It takes so many simple projects up a notch. Yet there are some people who hate glitter. I simply can’t relate! Maybe we’ll just have to have a crafting session sometime!

    Glitter in this project means blending it into the paste and then applying it to the cardboard egg carton AND the pictures with a paintbrush. Remember to add a little water to this paste to thin it out. Don’t forget to work on a paper plate when using glitter. This will help contain the fairy dust to the work table (which of course is covered with newspapers).
    :)

  3. I love this idea… my kids never ever let an egg carton pass by!!! EVER!!! This is a great reminder to me to let them go at it with more than just markers!!! Just lately there has been a surge in highly fashionable egg carton goggles… I should probably blog them – but always forget to post the everyday stuff… So true: My every day may not be your everyday!!!
    .-= se7en´s last blog ..Se7en’s Official Languages… =-.

  4. Rae, I love how you can look at something that most people would throw away and find a new, beautiful, wonderful function for it!

    I was actually wondering what we were going to do for the Easter bunnies gifts (our baskets are all full of growing wheatgrass) but I think this will just fit the bill perfectly :-)

    And I love the idea of egg cartons as treasure boxes for collections, too.

    Fantastic post – thank you!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Egg Cartons – Imagine the Possibilities =-.

  5. another glitter lover here!!

    it is not a self-serve, use any time art supply in our house (but i sure do love pulling it out to add the finishing touch to our projects!!)

    thanks for the great — and simple — project ideas!!

    ~erin
    .-= exhale. return to center.´s last blog ..breathing space :: pausing to prepare =-.

  6. Hi Erin-
    Yes I agree that the glitter should be locked up and supervised! Materials should be presented at the table with a sense of order to the moment. Concentration, that lovely quiet time when everyone is focused on the work at hand and a little wildness at the craft table are acceptable qualities in our home. Did I open up a can of worms saying a little wildness is acceptable?

    Rae

    (love those sneakers in your blog picture!)

  7. Egg cartons….who knew. Thanks for the post.

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