11 Ideas for Leftover Egg Cartons

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Does your household go through about a carton of eggs in a single week? When most families are finished using their egg cartons, for the most part, they’re just thrown out. Sound familiar? If that’s the case, you’re throwing away 52 egg cartons a year, and that’s just for one family! But did you realize there are several clever ways that you could be using your egg cartons instead of having them pile up in a landfill somewhere? Check out these 11 ideas for leftover egg cartons!

Right now there is a shortage of eggs, mainly due to the loss of egg-laying chicken hens from the Avian Flu. We’re being told that the chicken population is making a comeback and supplies should be increasing this year. I sure hope so.

And don’t forget your neighbors who raise chickens, they may want your egg cartons. Refrigerator Egg Holder BPA Free

Empty Egg Cartons

11 Ideas for Leftover Egg Cartons

1. Seed Starter

A lot of my readers may already be aware of this first idea but it’s still a good one to mention. If you’re wanting to get an early jump on the spring planting season, using egg cartons to plant your seedlings is a great option. An egg carton is just the right size to place on your windowsill so that your plants can receive plenty of sunlight.   6 Eye-opening Reasons To Stock Up On Garden Seeds NOW!

All it takes is some quality potting soil, the seeds or young plants, and possibly a little fertilizer. If the seedling needs to have drained soil, put the egg carton on a plate or small cookie sheet to catch any excess water.

If you want to get your young kids involved in planting and watching things grow, even your toddlers may get excited watching the plants come to life in their playroom.

This is where I buy all of my seeds,  SeedsNow!

2. Ice Tray 

Are you throwing a party and need a lot of ice? Besides using your own ice cube trays, you can also consider using several egg cartons to freeze water to make enough ice for everyone’s drinks. I would only use this ice to keep items cold in an ice cooler, but that’s up to you.

Another fun idea is to put a drop or two of egg coloring in each egg slot so the ice cubes have a variety of different colors.

3. Christmas Ornament Organizer

If your household is anything like mine once was, every year I would go to pull out my Christmas decorations, there would be one or two ornaments that didn’t survive the storing process. Once I discovered that egg cartons could store all my smaller Christmas tree decorations, broken ornaments shattered into a million pieces became a thing of the past. Try this idea out for yourself!

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If you really want to get creative, save some dryer lint to put in the bottom of each slot so the ornaments have even more padding to protect them.  

4. Organize Tiny Toys

Are your kids obsessed with tiny toys like LOL dolls, Shopkins, or Matchbox cars? If so, you know exactly how easy it is for your children to lose those minuscule-sized toys. I’m betting it’s probably a daily reoccurrence for some of you. Not anymore! Leftover egg cartons are the perfect solution for storing and keeping even the tiniest little toys organized.  

5. Small Hardware Organizer

Speaking of organizing, leftover egg cartons are wonderful for storing nuts, bolts, screws, nails, and any other small hardware you can think of. It’s also easy to transport your hardware to wherever the next project in your home may be. 17 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient

6. Jewelry Organizer

You can even store your jewelry in egg cartons, from earrings, rings, necklaces, and other small valuable trinkets. You can label the outside of the cartons so you know what each slot holds. These cartons are pretty easy to stack too, so if you have limited storage space you can place one on top of another to save space.

7. Paint Tray

This next idea is perfect for teachers of younger students or homeschooling moms that want to do a painting project with their children. As it turns out, leftover egg cartons make for perfect paint trays. They’re just the right size and have all the compartments necessary for all of their colors. 

8. Arts and Crafts

Do you consider yourself a creative person or simply enjoy doing fun crafts at home with your children? If so, here’s one more reason to start saving your empty egg cartons. There are tons of craft ideas that you can find on the internet that use leftover egg cartons. Some of them turn out fantastic, so be sure to take a peek at a few of them!

A few other ideas for egg carton crafts include making an egg carton wreath, bird feeders, an egg carton caterpillar, ladybugs, dragons, egg carton masks, pom poms, googly eyes, and whatever else comes to mind!

Some things you’ll need for your craft adventures are sharp scissors, good-quality glue, some pipe cleaners, cardboard backing, and a set of good detailed instructions on how to proceed. Having the right materials, and tools makes the recipe for success.

9. Shipping/Packing Material

Are you currently moving and needing shipping material to keep your fragile items from getting broken? If you don’t have any packaging peanuts, egg cartons are a great material to use to make sure everything arrives at your new place all in one piece. These cartons have the right texture and come in multiple sizes so with a sufficient number, you should be able to pack those fragile items with confidence.

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10. Sewing Kit

Egg cartons can also be used to keep all of your sewing supplies neat and tidy. It might sound weird that an egg carton can work as a sewing kit recycling bin, but it works perfectly! It can also be used to store small things like buttons, various-sized needles, different colored sequins, snaps, and thimbles.

11. Composting

Do you have a compost pile in your backyard? If so, pieces of paper egg cartons are a great item to add to your pile. If you notice that your soil is too wet, simply lay out your dry pieces of egg carton to help soak up the moisture. And if your soil is too dry, simply soak your pieces of paper egg cartons in water and scatter them throughout your compost pile.

While you’re in your backyard and need good fire starters for that fire pit, the paper egg cartons can come in handy there too.  

What can egg trays be used for?

  • Protection: Use egg trays to protect delicate items such as eggs, fragile glassware, and ceramics during transport or storage.
  • Organization: Egg trays can also be used to store and organize items such as jewelry, craft supplies, office supplies, or hardware.
  • Gardening: Egg trays make great starting pots for seedlings and young plants, providing easy drainage and convenient portability.
  • Crafts: Creative crafters can use egg trays to create a wide range of art projects, from 3D sculptures to mosaics and more!

Do egg cartons work for DIY insulation?

Yes, egg cartons can be used for insulation. Egg cartons are a low-cost and eco-friendly option for insulating walls and ceiling gaps in homes. They provide excellent thermal protection, while also providing some soundproofing qualities. Egg cartons can be cut to size and placed in walls or around windows to create an effective air barrier, keeping warm air indoors during winter and cool air indoors during summer.

They very well may NOT conform to building codes for home construction, so you may be limited in the applications where they can be used. If you have a shed, outhouse, animal outbuilding, or other application where codes don’t come into play, these egg cartons might prove to be a cost-effective insulation solution.

Final Word

As you can see, there are many ways to put your leftover egg cartons to good use. From getting a jump start on spring with seed starters to helping organize your holiday decorations, it’s clear that egg cartons have more potential than most people think! Old egg cartons can be turned into so many different things.

So, don’t just throw them out, save them for your next project and get creative with what you can do with them. You might be surprised by the results! Can you think of any other useful ways to use up your leftover egg cartons? I would love it if you would leave a comment down below! May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Egg Carton AdobeStock_348671255 By Kenishirotie, White and Brown Eggs AdobeStock_463989833 By Natalya

20 thoughts on “11 Ideas for Leftover Egg Cartons

  • January 20, 2023 at 7:27 am

    I knew a Native American man who did wonderful beading on braintanned leather for pouches and such. He was using some individual pockets cut from egg cartons to put the beads in to pick up with the needle. He said his Mom had cut them out for him when he first started as a boy. They were the very same ones she made for him, maybe fifty plus years old!

    • January 20, 2023 at 7:56 am

      Hi Jan, I love this!!! Thanks for sharing this story, I love Native American beading on leather goods, they are a treasure. Fifty year old egg cartons, love this! Linda

  • January 20, 2023 at 7:30 am

    I’ve got a bunch of the cardboard egg cartons saved up to turn into fire-starters. You fill them part way with lint, cotton balls, or even sawdust, then top it off with candle wax (which soaks into the filler.) When you need to use one, tear off a section and it will light easily and help start your campfire.

    And for years I’ve used them in computer repairs, putting screws into separate sections as I dig deeper into the equipment so I know exactly which screws came from which level of the gear. This makes reassembly a breeze.

    I also keep a couple empty cartons in the kitchen so I have a place to cool my freshly hard boiled eggs before putting them in the fridge.

    Thanks for these articles Linda!

    • January 20, 2023 at 7:58 am

      Hi DMWalsh, this is so fun to hear how everyone uses egg cartons! I never thought to place the hard-boiled eggs in the carton to cool. Thank you for sharing the recipe on how to make the firestarters. I have heard about them, this will help so many people, thank you! Linda

      • January 20, 2023 at 8:17 am

        Yeah, I put the hard boiled eggs sideways on top of the cups so there is space for the air to move underneath them. That reduces the number of eggs per carton for cooling, but the space allows things to cool more efficiently. Once the eggs are closer to room temperature then I put them into the carton the normal way and into the fridge.

        The last time I didn’t wait for the eggs to cool, the shelf above the eggs got 10°F warmer before the fridge cooling caught up. Why yes, I do have remote thermometers in my fridge – doesn’t everyone? 😉

        • January 20, 2023 at 8:57 am

          HI DMWalsh, oh my gosh, I wait until the eggs are cooled down but I do not own a refrigerator thermometer, I never thought to get one. Great tip! Linda

    • January 22, 2023 at 2:21 pm

      I end up with stacked cartons, so many. You just gave me an idea.
      The yucky grease from cooking is put into a recycled glass jar.
      The amount of disposed grease is just the right amount to fill in the 12 compartments of egg cartons…and then just discard when full….Thanks

      • January 22, 2023 at 3:59 pm

        Hi JayJay, this is a great idea! Why didn’t I think of this??? A great solution for grease! Linda

  • January 20, 2023 at 7:34 am

    The article and comments are right on target this morning
    Things become less disposable when times get hard don’t they ?

    • January 20, 2023 at 8:00 am

      Hi Matt, is that the truth!! Reuse, recycle, and repair things. When it doubt learn how to fix it, whatever breaks! Linda

  • January 20, 2023 at 7:41 am

    I have made fire starters with the paper egg cartons by tearing the cups apart and putting a little dryer lint in each cup and pouring a little melted candle wax on top. They burn for a long time and work great in starting a fire!

    • January 20, 2023 at 8:08 am

      Hi Anne, thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s a great storage item for staring fires when we need to. Linda

  • January 20, 2023 at 10:23 am

    I use the egg cartons, straight, as firestarters. I don’t put anything in them as they catch fire just fine.

    • January 20, 2023 at 11:10 am

      Hi Robbie, well this is even easier, no lint or wax! Whatever works is awesome! Linda

  • January 20, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Adding sawdust to the melted wax makes them last even longer. You don’t have to tear the egg carton apart; just cut one section out at time to start your fire.

    • January 20, 2023 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Cecelia, oh, that’s a good one, sawdust. I remember reading about this as well. Thank you for this tip!! Linda

  • January 21, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    It looks as if the picture of the egg carton you have at the beginning only has 10 eggs in it. I have only seen ones with 6 or 12. Yes, don’t forget to send them to the recycler also!

    • January 21, 2023 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Bill, I just noticed that now as well! Boy, I wonder if we will be buying ten eggs in the future instead of 12 eggs. I only buy 5 dozen at a time because our family is so large. Linda

  • January 21, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    Ha, started to send this yesterday but the power went out! (And again tonight… and another storm coming tomorrow night…)

    Anyway, I do use egg cartons for some of the Christmas ornaments–and I’ll bet those couple of cartons are about 40 years old, still going strong! I also use egg cartons for the strings of mini-lights, wrapped around the carton–the carton’s bumps keep the cords from sliding off, and a slit or hole in the end(s) will allow the plug(s) to be pushed inside to secure them.

    An egg carton makes a pretty good “board” for the ancient game of mancala–use pebbles, beans, etc., for the pieces. My first graders loved the game, and all went home with an egg carton board!

    • January 22, 2023 at 9:44 am

      HI Rhonda, oh my gosh, the things we can do with egg cartons! Love the string lights and ornament idea! My one daughter would play for hours with an egg carton, a spoon, and some marbles. I need to look into that game you are talking about! Thank you! Linda


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