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Repurposing egg cartons

drawer organizerIf you’ve started to think about coloring Easter eggs, or even if your family just goes through a lot of eggs, here are a few ideas for ways to repurpose those egg cartons before you recycle them.

Before you repurpose them, I recommend washing them with soap and water and, especially if they’ll be in contact with food or items you use for preparing food, sanitizing them with an eco-friendly sanitizer (we like Seventh Generation’s disinfecting spray). If you’re using paper cartons, I’d recommend only using ones that appear clean and using a spray cleaner and/or disinfectant to clean them before use.

If you don’t like the look of the egg cartons, simply cover them with fabric, contact paper or spraypaint (note: I would not recommend using spraypaint if you’re using the cartons to store anything that comes in contact with food).


Egg cartons can be used for organizing your desk, hardware, kitchen, jewelry, toys, golf balls, crafts, Christmas decorations, etc. The bottoms are ideal for organizing small items, while the top can be used to store larger items.

In my office, for example, I’ve used the bottom to organize my pushpins, paper clips, binder clips, batteries and erasers, and the top to hold larger items like Post-It notes, a staple remover, hole punch and some pens. In my kitchen, I just use the top portion as a drawer organizer for my spoons and spatulas.

artist's paletteAnother idea: use them while traveling to organize small items in your suitcase, using a rubber band to secure the container.


I’ve also used egg cartons for my son’s crafts. An egg carton makes a wonderful artist’s palette, and you can use the top to hold paintbrushes or for mixing colors.

If you’re using a styrofoam or plastic egg carton, you can wash and reuse them again and again. With paper cartons, just wipe out any excess paint and let them dry before using them again.

You could also use an egg carton to store little pieces while you’re working on crafts, to hold small round items that you’re painting or as a drying rack.

Seed Starters

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely starting to think about what to plant in my garden this year, and egg cartons are a wonderful way to get those little seeds started.

seedlingsAll you need to do to get started is fill them up about 3/4 of the way with potting soil and vermiculite, poke holes in the bottom to allow drainage and plant your seeds. With a clear plastic egg carton, you can close the top to create a miniature greenhouse for your seeds. If you use a paper carton, you can simply cut the egg carton apart when your seedlings are ready to plant and plant the seedling right in the container.

Other uses

You can also use egg cartons as ice cube trays (I would not advise using paper cartons for this) or cut them up and use them as packing material when shipping fragile items. And, of course, there are a number of crafts and games you can do with kids involving egg cartons.

This post is linked to The Greenbacks Gal.

What else do you use egg cartons for?

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2 Responses to Repurposing egg cartons

  1. Denielle Backstrom

    I love the painting idea! And I just happened to have a paper egg carton in my refrigerator for coloring Easter eggs! Thanks, eryn!

  2. You’re welcome! I’ve started saving egg cartons for our budding artist.

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