Sunday, March 15, 2009

Egg Carton Waste Baskets

This weekend I decided to do a little craft project for myself... Sometimes I feel like I use all my crafting energy (and time!) on making things for others. It's nice to do something for me once in a while... Anyways, I finally got around to making Egg Carton Waste Baskets for my house. This is a project that I found in a craft book from the 70's that I have unfortunately lost. If I ever find the book or figure out what it is called, I will be sure to note it here. I originally made these useful and recycled receptacles with a little girl that I was doing a craft class with a few summers back. I immediately fell in love with them. They are easy to make with kids of most ages, simple, and useful. So I have decided to post some step-by-step instructions for them here!

  • 7 egg cartons (you want them to be relatively clean. Don't use ones that have had eggs break in them!)
  • Pipe cleaners --> 3 or 4 should be enough
  • 9" aluminum pie plate (gently used (and cleaned) pie plates work great)
  • A plastic shopping bag to use as a liner
  • Scissors (that you don't mind cutting pipe cleaners with)
  • Hole Punch
  1. Take your egg cartons and carefully remove the tops to all of them by gently tearing along the seam that connects the top to the bottom. Discard the tops of the cartons.
  2. Take one of the bottoms and punch 3 holes down each side so that the holes are tucked in the little nooks between egg cups and evenly spaced. Continue doing this to all the egg carton bottoms. The photo below depicts the hole placement.
  3. Set egg carton bottoms aside. Now take your pipe cleaners and cut them all up into roughly 3" long pieces. Set aside.
  4. Now take two of your egg carton bottoms and place them side-by-side and right-side-up. Your punched holes should line up. Start at the holes at one end. Take one of your pipe cleaner cuts and push both ends through the two side-by-side holes that are now lined up.
  5. Flip both cartons over. Take the two pipe cleaner ends that are sticking through and twist them together. Bend them and tuck the sharp ends in to create a fuzzy looking nub.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the two cartons are tied together. Now take another carton and tie it to the bunch. Keep repeating this until all 7 egg carton bottoms have been tied together side-by-side.
7. Stand the bunch upright with the inside of the egg cartons facing you. Nuzzle the aluminum pie plate in the lowest layer of egg nooks and curl the the egg cartons around it so that the pie plate is acting as the bottom of your waste basket.
8. Now tie the first egg carton bottom to the last.
9. Line your new receptacle with a plastic shopping bag.

Now you have an awesome new waste basket! I like to use mine for paper recycling! If you're feeling really fancy, you can paint the egg cartons before assembly with acrylic paint. Let the egg cartons dry completely before you tie them together though, the carton material gets a little soggy when it's wet with paint.

Enjoy the rest of your week!


  1. great for VBS craft and I remember making this years ago

  2. Great idea. Just wanted to let you know I pinned this to Pinterest to spread your word there.

  3. When I was a child in the 70s, my mother made me an Easter basket like this one, one year. I think I was 3 years old at the time? Money was tight, but she was super creative! Just use pastel-colored styrofoam egg cartons instead of the grey-ish recycled paper ones, add a pipe-cleaner handle and voila - Easter Basket!

  4. memories are good for me too . would hang with my Donny Osmond fan friend listen to his music and make these crafts .

  5. I learned to this when I was 6 or 7, this is a great reminder thnx, thats 40+ yrs ago

  6. We learned how to do these in grade school, been saving cartinos to make with my grands...ty for the instructions... It had been so long I had forgotten all the steps...