egg carton

After they’ve finished keeping your eggs safe, most egg cartons get relegated to the recycle bin. (Please, not the trash!) As a weekly essential in many refrigerators, that’s a lot of disposed egg cartons. Put your leftover egg cartons to good re-use with these five nifty (and crafty!) ideas.

Organizer

Perfect for tucking into a desk or kitchen drawer, egg cartons are just the right size to corral small items. Fill the cups in an egg carton with those teeny desk necessities that always go astray—paper clips, rubber bands, staples and erasers. Dress up your egg carton with a coat of paint and you can even place it on your desk instead of stashing it in a drawer.

You can also use egg cartons to hold all of those other junkie items that never seem to have a place like batteries, hardware and other odds and ends.

Seed Starter

Give your seedlings a head start for success by starting them off in empty eggshells held in a leftover egg carton. Simply save your empty eggshells as you use them. Once you have an egg carton full, fill each eggshell with soil. Place one seed in each eggshell using tweezers, water regularly and watch your baby seedlings grow!

Bird Feeder

It’s nothing fancy, but the birds won’t care. Create a bird feeder with just an egg carton and string. Secure one strand of string on either end of your egg carton. Then, tie the strings to a tree branch, so the egg carton is in the air, but remains level. Fill it up with birdseed and watch your feathered friends flock to your backyard.

For a more elaborate egg carton bird feeder, check out these instructions from the National Wildlife Federation.

Paint Palette

Are the kids (or you) feeling artistic today? Before the paint starts flying, use an egg carton to hold small amounts of a variety of paint colors. It’s an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean up paint palette! Don’t forget to leave a couple of spots in the egg carton empty for color mixing.

Decoration Storage

Cushion small, fragile holiday ornaments by storing them in leftover egg cartons. Your ornaments will stay snug and secure (especially with an additional layer of tissue paper or two) until the holidays come around again.

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Image: AdamSelwood