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After all that holiday baking and eggnog-making, you may find yourself with an excess of empty egg cartons. Don't trash them – there are all sorts of ways you can use egg cartons around the house!

egg cartonWhat uses can you think of for this egg carton? Photo: Corbis

Gather up those excess egg cartons this Christmas and -- instead of trashing them -- reuse them with these resourceful tricks.

If you're sending a fragile item in the mail, use egg cartons to help cushion the item. Put the cartons flat side down in the bottom of the box so the egg cup side is facing up. Wrap the item as you normally would and stash it in the box. Use addition cartons to form a protective cushion all the way around.

1. Store small fragile tree ornaments. The individual compartments -- which were made to cushion fragile items -- are too small for most Christmas balls but suitable for smaller ornaments. Plus, the cartons stack easily on top of each other for storage.

2. Ship holiday gifts. Why buy bubble wrap or packing peanuts? Save up your egg cartons and use them to cushion packages for friends and relatives instead.

3. Start a cozy fire. Fill cardboard egg cartons with dryer lint, and then pour melted wax over the lint (use leftover candle pieces for the melted wax). Then tear apart the sections and use for fire starters in your fireplace (These are also great when you're camping.)

Egg cartons are perfect for storing spring bulbs and golf balls.Egg cartons are perfect for storing spring bulbs and golf balls. Photos: Getty Images (2)

4. Store spring bulbs. Styrofoam egg cartons provide the perfect dry, warm, individual compartments for keeping spring bulbs, such as tulips, stored away until spring. Store the egg cartons in a cool, dark place that's not too humid and not too dry.

5. Store golf balls. Keep your golf balls all in one place but easy to sort by brand.

6. Separate paint colors. For crafts, use an egg carton as a paint palette. Squirt the colors into the egg cups and use the flat top section as a mixing palette.

7. Plant seedlings.
In the springtime when you want to start seeds inside, fill the egg cups with potting soil, put in your seeds and stick the whole thing in a sunny spot.

earrings, nuts, bolts, washersOrganize small items that are easy to lose -- things like earrings, screws, bolts, and other fasteners -- in egg cartons. Photos: (Left) AP (Right) Getty Images

8. Organize the workshop. Tiny bolts, nuts and other fasteners always seem to pile up, and you're always looking for a convenient place to stash them. Egg cartons help keep your flat washers separate from your square washers, so that everything is accessible right when you need it.

9. Store earrings. Egg carton compartments are perfect for keeping pairs of earrings together. Save one compartment just for those elusive earring backings and you'll never have to dig around for them again.

10. Make extra ice. Too many guests and not enough ice trays? Skip a trip to the store by using empty egg cartons as ice cube trays in a pinch..

Now it's your turn -- tell us your brilliant idea for reusing egg cartons and we just might feature your trick in an upcoming article on DIY Life!




  • Christy

    I have a dog that is a chewer and when I give him a dog toy his focus is pure destruction, so I stopped buying him dog toys as it cost too much to buy an 8 dollar kong and have it destroyed. I buy eggs in 5 dozen amounts from Costco so I had the gray egg trays and started to give them to my dog so he could tear them up. He loves them. He will take a piece, lay down and slowly shred the egg carton piece into small pieces.

    Reply
  • ThomS

    I would be a little concerned about letting a dog rip cartons apart. It reinforces a bad habit and I'd be afraid that pieces would get stuck in his throat. Also, you don't know what these cartons are made of. I wouldn't, but if it works for you, good luck with it.


  • camen

    I make my own home made fresh herb spices, grind them and put into egg cartons and freeze them and take them out when they are hard and put into a plastic bag. you can also make you own jello jigglers with them. Put cooked rice and freeze to make rice balls.

    Reply
  • Mary E. Sayler

    I have used empty egg cartons as seed starters, easy to remove. In the classroom I used the paper ones as art projects. They make wonderful caterpillars when studying Butterflys. Cut the cartons in half the long way for big caterpillars and cut big ones in half for the caterpillar in THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR. Use pipe cleaners for the antenneas. Poster paint takes care of the colors for whatever type of caterpillar you are studying.

    Reply
  • Lisa

    Mostly I wanted to comment on the last suggestion...using the carton to make ice cubes. Bad idea. "Egg cartons shouldn't be re-used as used egg cartons may contain bacteria including Salmonella and may pose a health risk." I got that same quote from several sources. Now, imagine drinking a beverage with ice cubes made in one of those used egg cartons! YUCK! Here is another quote...
    "Do not re-use one-time-use packaging. Plastic wrap, meat trays, convenience food dishes, and egg cartons are likely to foster bacteria from the food that was originally in them. They are hard to clean and dry, and reusing them will contaminate your hands or the food that you put in them."
    Reading these comments is scary! Making jello in them? I hope you stop after reading this, and researching it on your own.
    I will keep using them for nonfood, or not body uses (no storing earrings), but make sure to wash my hands well.
    Most of those "unusual ideas" have been around as long as there have been egg cartons. I just unpacked my Christmas tree ornaments from an egg carton.

    Reply
  • Lisa



    Mostly I wanted to comment on the last suggestion...using the carton
    to make ice cubes. Bad idea. "Egg cartons shouldn't be re-used as
    used egg cartons may contain bacteria including Salmonella and may
    pose a health risk." I got that same quote from several sources.
    Now, imagine drinking a beverage with ice cubes made in one of those
    used egg cartons! YUCK! Here is another quote...
    "Do not re-use one-time-use packaging. Plastic wrap, meat trays,
    convenience food dishes, and egg cartons are likely to foster bacteria
    from the food that was originally in them. They are hard to clean and
    dry, and reusing them will contaminate your hands or the food that you
    put in them."
    Reading these comments is scary! Making jello in them? I hope you
    stop after reading this, and researching it on your own.
    I will keep using them for nonfood, or not body uses (no storing
    earrings), but make sure to wash my hands well.
    Most of those "unusual ideas" have been around as long as there have
    been egg cartons. I just unpacked my Christmas tree ornaments from an
    egg carton.
    (Sorry if this posts more than once. I got a confirmation, but the comment wasn't there, so tried again.)

    Reply
  • Lisa



    Mostly I wanted to comment on the last suggestion...using the carton
    to make ice cubes. Bad idea. "Egg cartons shouldn't be re-used as
    used egg cartons may contain bacteria including Salmonella and may
    pose a health risk." I got that same quote from several sources.
    Now, imagine drinking a beverage with ice cubes made in one of those
    used egg cartons! YUCK! Here is another quote...
    "Do not re-use one-time-use packaging. Plastic wrap, meat trays,
    convenience food dishes, and egg cartons are likely to foster bacteria
    from the food that was originally in them. They are hard to clean and
    dry, and reusing them will contaminate your hands or the food that you
    put in them."
    Reading these comments is scary! Making jello in them? I hope you
    stop after reading this, and researching it on your own.
    I will keep using them for nonfood, or not body uses (no storing
    earrings), but make sure to wash my hands well.
    Most of those "unusual ideas" have been around as long as there have
    been egg cartons. I just unpacked my Christmas tree ornaments from an
    egg carton.

    Reply
  • Richard

    Egg cartons are also very good sound dampeners. I've seen them nailed to the ceiling and back wall of a Police pistol range. Also if you are a band and/or choir director you can install them over standard fiberglass insulation betwen the studs of your garage walls to keep the practice music inside without bothering the neighbors.

    Their shape is actually like cups that trap the sound waves and muffle them through the raised shape on the other side. Paper cartons are the best as plastic ones tend to split in two when you nail them to the walls.

    Reply
  • Huxter

    in the sense of winter survival in a small dwelling, in worst -case scenario, the bottoms can be attached or stapled to walls, open side facing wall. they will provide significant insulation in a situation in a small shelter or room where body heat can help warm the area after the "egg-carton insulation" has helped block the cold that's seeping in unnoticed.
    may sound far-fetched, and, you may wonder who the hell would have enough empty egg cartons to do it-------but, nevertheless---it DOES work. also, the tops can be cut and used to seal any wind leaks, cracks, windows, etc.

    Reply
  • Mary

    I've cut up/shredded the paper egg cartons, soaked the pieces in water, and using a blender dedicated to crafts, blended the pieces and water to create paper pulp for moulding shapes or covering household bowls, trays, etc. (lined with plastic wrap) which when dry, can be papier-mached, painted, decoupaged or whatever else your creative mind can think up.

    Reply
  • 10 Comments / 1 Pages
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