Reuse egg cartons
Egg cartons are sturdy containers. If you’re used to throwing them away, save one or two and put them to use in your home, use them for gifts or donate them.
Money can be placed in an empty egg carton (you can reuse plastic Easter eggs, too). You can use an egg carton to wrap other gifts, such as soft headbands or hair ties. One reader, Denise from Illinois, shares: “Give a year of socks to kids!
January: White socks for starting the year fresh
February: Valentine’s or red socks
March: St. Patty’s or green socks
April: Easter or spring pastel socks
May: Flowered socks
June: Any summery color
July: Red, white & blue or starred socks
August: Low cuff crew socks (ankle)
September: Find socks with buses, apples or rulers/pencils or sew a school-themed button to the cuffs
October: Halloween socks
November: Thanksgiving socks or plain brown socks
December: Holiday socks
Roll up each pair tightly and stuff into a section of the empty egg carton “gift box” to make a perfect dozen. Buy the socks on clearance after each holiday and then give the gift the following year.”
With some dryer lint, leftover candle wax and an egg carton, you can make fire starters. B.C. from North Carolina shares: “I have a paper egg carton where I keep dryer lint balls and a couple of cotton plugs from over-the-counter medication bottles. I melt wax and pour it over the lint or cotton. These make great fire starters for home or when camping.” You can add candle fragrances found at craft stores, too.
Use an egg carton to hold a palette of paint colors for kids.
Use egg cartons to organize small items such as golf balls, jewelry, craft supplies, baby socks, seeds, rubber bands, small pushpins or paper clips, nuts and bolts, screws, etc. Stack cartons on a shelf or slide one into a drawer. Use them to hold small game pieces and toys such as dice, Legos or Barbie accessories, too. To make a homemade mancala game, visit: www.sinasohn.com/crafts/mancala.htm. Or add an egg carton to the laundry room to hold loose change found in pockets.
Egg cartons make great molds for homemade chalk or crayons. Another reader, Carolyn from Georgia, shares: “Homemade egg-shaped sidewalk chalk is fun and easy to make. Begin by separating the halves of a plastic egg. Liberally coat the insides with petroleum jelly, adding extra near the seam, and then set both halves upright in an empty egg carton. In a disposable cup, use a plastic spoon to mix together 1/4 cup of plaster of Paris, 2 tablespoons of cold water and about 2 tablespoons of powdered tempera paint. Spoon the plaster into the egg halves, filling them both almost to the top, and let them set for a few minutes until the mixture reaches a mud-like consistency. Then snap the plastic egg back together and briskly shake it to combine the mixture. Repeat for each color of chalk. Let the chalk eggs set overnight before removing them from the molds, wedging the tip of a table knife between the chalk and the plastic (a parent’s job) to help loosen it, if needed. The chalk eggs can be stored in an egg carton or clean plastic eggs.” For photos and instructions on how to make recycled crayons and their own take on making chalk, visit www.homemadesimple.com/en-US/Crafts/Pages/diy-egg-shaped-chalk-and-crayons.aspx.