19 Reasons NOT to Just Throw Away Egg Cartons

egg cartons

People always (mainly my husband) make fun of me when they see the stack of egg cartons piled up high in my dining room. My response is always…”I am waiting for a really good opportunity to use them…one will come!” And one always does. There is constantly a use for these egg cartons that my family buys on a weekly basis. We make sure to buy the cardboard kind, but some of the other versions are good for the following projects as well!

Here are 19 ways to recycle these priceless egg cartons!

1. Seed starter containers. They are perfect for this because when you’re ready to transplant them into the ground, you can just rip off the bottom and plant directly into the ground. Note: They may take a bit longer to break down than peat pots, so make sure to rip off as much of the bottom as you can without hurting the roots.

2. Recycle the individual holders into flowers for someone special. Here is my tutorial on how to do this. It’s perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, Birthdays, etc.

VDay Bouquet


3. Ask a local farm if they are in need of egg cartons for their farm fresh eggs. Many of them sell the eggs and with them go the cartons, so they may be very happy you asked. :-)

4.  Storage for your nature walk contents. If you are anything like us, we LOVE to go on nature walks during the spring, summer, and fall. My kids always collect TONS of treasures that they stuff in their pockets. This is a perfect way to collect all of those treasures.

5. Make a caterpillar. Spring is coming and caterpillars will begin the process of metamorphosis. Teach your child all about the life cycle of the butterfly while creating a beautiful caterpillar out of an egg carton. Then visit a local butterfly house to see what those caterpillars become!


6. Use it as a holder for screws and other hardware in the garage. I am always looking for ways to organize this part of our lives. Enough said. :-)

7. Make some Animal Noses. These design-your-own animal noses from Baby Jungle are just adorable.

8. Ask a local preschool if they would like them so that they can use them for crafts. A lot of times, preschools need a large number of each item because of the number of children. These cash strapped programs are usually very happy to receive them!

9. Secret Spy Glasses. These are the bomb! My kids SO enjoyed having these on. It was like they turned into secret spies for real! They’re really easy to make, just cut out two egg holders (my kids faces were small enough to keep them attached in the middle), then staple ear holders (made out of cardstock) to each side and fit them around the kids’ ears.


10. A card holder when playing cards with kids. I LOVE this idea. My kids love playing cards, but their little hands have SUCH a hard time holding all of the cards and keeping them shielded from the eyes of the other players. This is an easy solution to that problem.

11. Fire Starters for Campfires. Follow the instructions here. This is such a great idea and I am definitely using it this summer for our camping trips!

12. Use the cartons to store beads or other crafts in. C will often get out her whole bead collection and want to make a necklace. This is a nice way to get her to sort them before she starts. She puts one type in each holder. Then, it is much easier to make a pattern!


13. Organize small ornaments. Works great for Christmas ornaments or egg ornaments for Easter. I also have ornaments for the kids’ trees that I store in these. They are much easier to sort through than just wrapping everything in paper towels or tissue paper.

14. Make a spring wreath. This wreath is absolutely adorable and I am definitely making it for spring this year! What a great craft project for the kids… (and mom)!

15. A cake pop stand. Occasionally I will make cake pops for the kids for their school parties, or just because it is fun to be creative. Every time I do, I get to the stage where I dip them in chocolate and then rush around to find a place to stand them up so they can dry. Not anymore! Turn the egg carton upside down and stick a cake pop in each egg holder for them to dry. A perfect drying rack! Here is a good example!

16. A holder for hair clips and hair ties. If you have a little girl and are anything like us, you find hair clips or hair ties all over your house! Try using an egg carton (decorated of course) to keep them all together.

17. A painter’s palette. C and G LOVE to paint. We usually use a paper plate to put all of the paint colors on, but at some point during the experience, the colors all seem to run together. An egg carton looks perfect for keeping the colors all separate and it makes for easy clean up too!


18. Snowman Craft. Cut out the egg holders in sections of three and paint them white. Then decorate them like a snowman. Paint a face on it, use a ripped piece of fabric for a scarf, some buttons, and make a hat! An adorable winter craft for your little one!

19. Compost. Just tear them up and add them to your compost bin! They may take a bit to break down, but they will eventually and you can then feel good about what you are putting on your garden!

I linked up today at Tuesday Greens. Make sure you head on over to check out some more green posts! There is some great stuff over there:)


About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. Great ideas! :-)

  2. I am going to try to save some for seed starters this year :) I really probably need a “light” to shine on the plants while it is too cold outside during the though, right? Can you tell I am a newish gardener?
    Heather S. recently posted…Mason Jar Note Cards {Tutorial}My Profile

    • YAY for new gardeners! I am certainly not the expert at all, but I pick something every year to concentrate on learning a whole lot about. That is how I started!

  3. Love these ideas especially the spy glasses…my boys would love those. We go through a lot of eggs and compost which I never knew we could compost those. Thanks for the tips!
    Trina Peruski O’Boyle recently posted…Baby Food 101 – ApricotsMy Profile

  4. Great list of activities to do! We will have to hang out to our cartons some more in order to explore these activities and crafts. Thanks for linking up at Tuesday Greens!
    Becky recently posted…Ranger Rick Treehouse App ReviewMy Profile

  5. Oh my goodness! The cake pop stand is a terrific idea!!!!
    Shannon@MishmashMama recently posted…Sorting out the Facts: Homemade Laundry Soap (Part 1)My Profile

  6. I’m not a crafty type, but I did save a few cartons and some dryer lint. When the hurricane came last fall and we were out of power for a few days, we gathered up all of the candle ends, melted them together, crammed the lint into the egg cups, and poured hot wax into them. When the wax cooled, we ripped the egg cartons apart then bundled each one in some tissue paper (along with torn up bits of the carton lid) then tied the tissue with natural raffia. Now we have a whole shopping bag of firestarters for our backyard firepit and to take on our camping trips. I think that was my one craft for the year!
    Sarah Wagner {USA Love List} recently posted…Naturally, American-Made: Tom’s of Maine. Enter to win a Year’s Supply of Toothpaste!My Profile

  7. We always save our egg cartons. Use them to start our wood stove, with dryer lint and sometimes a little wax. Also, use them for starting vegetables in the Spring too!

  8. Thanks for the shout out to the “pop” stand. Egg cartons are so handy and this is a great comprehensive list! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Carolyn says:

    I can use some egg cartons, we have 4 free range chickens. They all lay eggs. We sell the eggs for $2.00 a dozen. email me JewelryClass@aol.com

  10. Thank you! I live on a tiny Caribbean island with a trash problem– not really interested in contributing to the nastiness. Thanks for helping me keep my egg cartons out of the landfill.
    Breana recently posted…Missing Friends Back HomeMy Profile

  11. I love this article. Brilliant ideas to re-use and recycle egg cartons. I have shared this on all my social media. I am on the Gold Coast in Australia and I have a pile of egg cartons I have been keeping for a useful cause. If you want them and live nearby, please call me on 0409 895 055 and they are all yours!
    Aldwyn Altuney recently posted…Show celebrates 80 years since Pavarotti bornMy Profile


  1. […] Make sure to check out my other “upcycling” post: 19 Reasons NOT to Just Throw Away Egg Cartons […]

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