After Easter is always a great time to use up those egg cartons that you've been using to store all those brightly colored eggs. Instead of throwing them in a landfill, you can use them to add color and whimsy to your household.

With so many different ideas to use up your egg cartons, you'll be anxious to keep saving them throughout the year.

1. Egg Crate Bouquet

Take your egg carton and cut out around the egg holding cups. You can even cut out the inverse cups in between the eggs for smaller blossoms. Have your child paint and color the "flowers." Place a pipe cleaner into the bottom of each one and curve the tip on the inside so it looks like the center of a flower. Arrange them and place them inside a decorated coffee can or vase. (You can even spray each one with your favorite perfume to add scent.)

2. Butterfly Magnets

Take the lid of the egg carton and cut it in two, vertically. Color the inside of the carton and draw a butterfly shape around the inverted parts. Take a pipe cleaner and wrap it around the body of the butterfly. Twist the ends at the top so they look like antennas. Glue a magnet on the back. Place on your refrigerator and enjoy.

3. Egg Crate Fairy Lights

Cut out the inverted part of the egg crate (the parts that stick up in between the egg cradling cups). Make the edges shaped like a flower. Take the "flowers" and cut a small "x" in the bottom of each one. Place the bulb from a string of twinkly lights in the "x." Light and hang. You can also paint them for a more colorful string of lights, or leave them looking recycled and natural. There is also a more adult, and classy style of egg carton lighting that you can learn about. I love this idea for an older teen girl's room or (I admit) my bedroom.

4. Seed Sprouter

Take good soil and place inside each cup of egg carton. (I'd separate the cups if you're planning on placing the seeds in the ground later with the cup in place.) Place a seed inside each part of soil and moisten. Place in a sunny window and watch the seeds sprout. Your children can learn how seeds grow and get excited to see the change from day to day. When it's time to plant, you can set the whole cup in the ground, since it will disintegrate.

5. Caterpillar Crawlers

Cut out a strip of egg cups from the carton, making certain to keep them attached. Place them, cup side down, on a covered surface. Paint them using a washable paint. (You can use one color or have fun making a rainbow caterpillar, with each hump painted a different shade.) Allow them to dry. Glue on googly eyes on the front. Poke two small holes on the "head" and stick out pipe cleaners for antennas. Use more pipe cleaners to make "feet" on each section.

6. Recycled Wreath

Cut out egg cups in the shape of flowers. Paint them in your favorite color. After they have dried, cut a small hole in the bottom and stick a pipe cleaner through. Curl the end, or wrap a large bead so it stays on. Wrap the "flowers" around a styrofoam wreath. Hang on your front door for a recycled spring decoration.

7. Egg Carton Dump Truck

With so many flower-themed egg carton crafts, I wanted to include the boys who just love trucks. Here's a great tutorial on how to make an egg-carton dump truck.

8. Egg Carton Bug Mobile

You can make a recycled gift for your next baby shower with this adorable egg carton bug mobile.

9. Heart Art

Have your child make an adorable heart wall art that you can frame and admire all year long.

10. Bird Feeder

Take the cut out cups from the egg carton, and string them upside down, like a bell. Cover the outside of the bell with peanut butter and dipped in birdseed. Hang outside and watch the birds flock over. You can even stack the cups, with knotted string in between each one, so more birds can feed. Check out more bird crafts you can make with your child.

It's always rewarding making crafts using things you already have. Egg cartons are a fun way to introduce your child to reusing, and inspire them to think outside of the box.

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