thrifty thursdays: egg cartons

Ok, so school systems and child care centers have begun avoiding recycling egg cartons because of salmonella issues, but how many years and years and years have folks recycled these great containers without getting ill?!  If you’re concerned about food poisoning, this post is not for you, but if you like to live on the wild side (and are sick about organization) then read on!

There is something satisfying and calming about the symmetry and simplicity of egg cartons.  They are perfect for storage, art projects, and gardening.  Gardening?  Yes!  Read on.  . .

1.  Storage:  What a great way to sort beads and seeds.  Art room, work shop or garden shed, egg cartons are great for sorting and storing those little things that are hard to grab and separate.

2. Art projects:    My most favorite activity with children in the spring was making caterpillars out of egg cartons.  Cut the cartons in half, turn over, and let the kids paint green.  Stick some wiggly eyes on the front one, twist some pipe cleaners, and you’ve got a great bug!

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3.  Starting seeds:  Two years ago, I was eating breakfast at a local cafe.  When I went out to my car, I happen to look into their recycling bin.  Lo and behold, egg crates with 8 rows of 8.  Yahoo!  I came home and saved them until late February.   I started all my seeds in those cartons, and here’s what I learned:  1.  they can get too moist and fall apart  or 2. they can dry out quickly if not kept moist.   The next go round, I put them in shallow pans and kept some water in the pan so they could wick the water up.  If the top got damp, I sprayed, rather than poured, water.

4.  Gift giving:  If you are creative and crafty or just love Pinterest, you can use these cartons as beautiful gift giving boxes.  Ribbon, paint, collage, stencils, stamps–I’ve seen some beautiful ideas for gifting small objects.

5.   Mini muffin or cupcake holders–oh yes!  Trying to transport those goodies to a school bake sale or to a friend’s party?!  Egg cartons will keep them from sticking together and keep them looking just right.

6.  Modern lamp shades–Cut egg cartons into individual cups or into strips of cups. Paint or decorate or leave plain.  Glue to lamp shade and voila!

And, if all else fails, and you are not feeling crafty, creative or organized–you can always compost (paper/cardboard only, please!).

5 thoughts on “thrifty thursdays: egg cartons

  1. If folks are worried about salmonella–egg cartons wash well, top rack dishwasher–they can be sprayed first with white vinegar, a mild antiseptic and grease cutter-

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