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11 Practical Ways to Reuse Egg Cartons

One of the coolest aspects of frugality is finding clever ways to reuse and repurpose items that would normally be thrown away. 

Doing this is not only good for your wallet, but also great for our planet. 

A couple of things to know before you reuse your egg cartons.

Cardboard egg trays are recyclable and biodegradable. A few of the ideas below are specifically for cardboard egg cartons, as they are very environmentally friendly.

If you purchase styrofoam egg trays, keep in mind that they will not compost.

So without further ado, here are the 11 practical uses for egg cartons.

1. Grow seedlings

This is one of the popular ways I have seen cardboard egg cartons reused. 

They are the perfect size for sprouting seeds, and the carton will eventually decompose when you plant the seedling in a bigger pot.

You can find a step-by-step guide to growing seedings in egg cartons here.

2. Organize jewelry, sewing supplies, and tools

Egg cartons make great organizers for items such as necklaces and earrings, or to keep similar tools like screws, nuts, and bolts together. 

I’ve also seen the 6-count egg cartons used to make portable sewing kits. 

3. DIY fire starters

If you’re into camping or just looking to get a nice bonfire going in the backyard for cheap, cardboard egg cartons make a great holder for fire starters. 

I LOVE this one, because you get to reuse multiple things that would normally be throw away. 

This DIY project uses just a few items you probably have laying around your home:

  • A cardboard egg carton
  • Dryer lint
  • Old candles (or crayons)
  • A tin can

You can learn all the steps for making egg cartons fire starters here.

4. Store Christmas Ornaments

Styrofoam egg cartons are fantastic for storing your smaller, more fragile Christmas ornaments. 

The cartons can be stacked on top of each other and will keep your Christmas décor safe all year long. 

5. Use as packaging materials

If you’re shipping fragile items, styrofoam egg cartons make great, affordable packaging materials. 

18-count egg cartons can be placed at the bottom of a box and egg cartons cups packed around the fragile items to prevent moving during transportation. 

You can watch this video to see exactly how to do this.

6. Make a mancala game

Mancala was one of my favorite games to play growing up. It is very simple and helped teach me how to count!

If you’ve never heard of this game, you can read a step-by-step guide for how to play here.

As you can see, 12-count egg cartons are a similar shape to the original Mancala game.

You can gather pebbles, marbles, or other small items you have on hand to make a mancala game for FREE!

7. Paint trays

This is how I primarily use my empty styrofoam egg cartons. They make great no-mess paint palettes. 

You simply fill each egg cup with different colors of paint and toss when you’re done. Or you can rinse out the styrofoam egg cartons to use again later!

8. Gift to a loved one

If you’re into crafting, then this idea is for you!

You can paint and decorate the egg cartons, add chocolate eggs or other small gifts/candy, and give to someone special.

9. Holder for golf balls

Not only do egg cartons make the perfect holder for golf balls, they are also great containers to sell golf balls in.

10. Container to sell items at a yard sale/flea market

If you sell fragile or small items like jewelry, egg cartons are a very practical way to organize and price your items.

They also are portable, so they can be easily transported to flea markets and other places to sell.

11. Donate

Finally, there are many places that will take donations of empty egg cartons if you don’t want to reuse them.

  • Farms that sell eggs
  • Elementary teachers (for crafts)
  • Preschool or daycares
  • Friends/family who have chickens
  • Food pantries
  • Pet stores
  • Grocery stores
Be sure to call or email any of the types of places above to confirm that they will take egg cartons.

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