If you're celebrating the holidays, chances are you're baking. And if you're baking, chances are you've got a few egg cartons kicking around the house.
Well, I'm here to let you know how you can use those egg cartons to your advantage. Specifically, how to keep your kids occupied while you're rushing to pull the cookies out of the oven before they burn, or madly cleaning each and every ceiling fan blade because you don’t want a repeat of last year’s mystery-fluffs-on-the-turkey incident.
Either way, this creative recycling craft - courtesy of my folk artist mother - makes use of readily available materials that you probably already have at your fingertips.
Here's what you need:
In addition to an egg carton, paint (washable tempera or acrylic), scrap paper, hole punch, glue and paintbrush, you'll also need a decent pair of scissors and maybe a pipe cleaner or two.
Now, did you know that there are different kinds of egg cartons? It's true. See for yourself the next time you are in the egg aisle. People around you will think you're checking to make sure the eggs aren't broken but really you'll be unleashing your inner craft goddess.
For this project, it's best to use the ones where the dividers are tall and cone shaped, rather than short and square. But, if you don't have cone shaped cartons, don't panic. Just peek at step 3 below.
Also, my photo shows a gigantic container of paint. Rest assured you only need a small squirt, it's just that I have a habit of buying in bulk.
To get started, cut the cones from your egg carton. Depending on the ages of your kids, this is a step that you might wish to do ahead of time. Maybe while you're watching The Mindy Project at midnight. Or, that might just be me.
Once the cartons are cut, set out the supplies and let your kids get creative.
After they've painted the cones (and are waiting for them to dry), they can punch holes in scrap paper to make tiny little circles (which will become ornaments for the trees).
By the way, I chose green for my trees but honestly, pink, purple, or blue would be just as fantastic. Also, the nice thing about these recycled paper cartons is that the paint soaks in and dries pretty quickly, making this a relatively mess-free activity. However, if you are worried about using gooey paint, then magic markers or paint pens would work fine as an alternative (especially for little hands).
If you want your trees to be taller, stuff a bit of paper towel into the end of one cone and stack it on another, like so.
Once the paint is dry, it's time to decorate. I used colourful dots (from the hole punch) which I glued on with regular white school glue but if you have younger kids, you might wish to use glue sticks instead. I also used some pipe cleaners to make tree toppers and garlands.
And if your kids make enough of these little Christmas trees, you could use them as place card holders on your dinner table.
Now that's what I call multitasking.
Why not make a reindeer to hang out in your Christmas tree forest?