If you buy your eggs in a store, the carton is something you either throw away or furtively search for a way to recycle. However, if you own a hobby farm and produce your own eggs, you have the opposite problem--you need to find a way to have a constant supply of cartons on hand, preferably without too much expense. Making your own egg storage containers from discarded materials is an eco- and budget-friendly option.
Creating the Form
When creating homemade egg cartons, the best way to form the material properly is to use an egg shape as a guide. Since real eggs are a bit risky to use in this way, use toy eggs your moulding guide. If you're using a two-piece egg that opens up, tape it shut before you start.
Moulded egg cartons are easy to make and provide sturdy cushioning, but they require a lot of dense material. The method is as simple as pressing the plastic eggs into a mass of wet, mouldable material to make an impression deep enough to serve as the "seat" for each egg once the material is dry.
For material, use any substance that's easy to mould by hand and will remain somewhat soft when dry. A fibrous, wet dough of shredded paper, water and a little wheat paste or white craft glue works well.
For a carved cartoon, start with a block of material and carve the grooves for the eggs into it. Polystyrene foam is an obvious choice for a more lightweight carton, but you can also use wood for a longer-lasting, decorative carton.
While carving the hole, keep an egg on hand to test the depth; the hole is deep enough when it comes up to the middle of the egg. Carve the holes with a craft knife and spoon (for foam) and an oscillating cutter with a grinding attachment (for firmer materials).
For a cut-out egg carton, start with an old cardboard or paperboard box that's long and wide but not very deep, such as a two-layer chocolate box. Tape the lid closed, then cut out round holes in the lid in which to place the eggs. These should be slightly narrower than the eggs' widest point. With this type of egg carton, insert the eggs small-end down.
- "Papier Mache Art & Design;" Jackie Hall; 2008