10 things to make with egg boxes

A big red bus, a spotty dog mask, a hairband and a bunch of dizzy daffodils are just a few of the crafts you could choose to make from an egg box

It seems a shame to throw away your egg boxes, doesn't it? And once you've seen the wonderful things you could make, you'll never want to waste one again.

When your kids are bored, stick an egg box in front of them and let them spend an hour (or two) having fun cutting, painting, sticking and turning it into a masterpiece, with our ten brilliant egg-box craft instructions.

There's a big red bus, a pirate's treasure chest and dizzy daffodils, which are easy enough for younger crafters to get stuck into. Letting your kids get crafty could even give you a couple of hours' peace. Just set them up with a bigger project like our spotty dog mask or Cleo the crab's rock pool and they'll be quiet for ages.

So get collecting egg boxes and take your pick from our 10 things to do with egg boxes craft ideas for kids.

1. Egg-box ball game craft

A fun game for one to four players where you have to bounce a ball into the holes and tot up the scores.

Egg-box game equipment

1 egg box; yellow, blue and pink paint; 1 black marker pen; 1 ball.

How to make an egg-box game

Paint the egg box yellow, inside and out and leave it to dry. Decorate the inside of the egg box. We painted the egg dimples blue and pink, then numbered them from one to 12 using a black marker pen. When the paint is dry the game is ready to play. Take it in turns to bounce a ball into the numbered holes and keep the scores. The player with the highest score wins.

2. Egg-box big red bus craft

The wheels on the bus are made from milk-bottle tops and your little ones will love painting this egg-box vehicle its lovely bright colour.

Egg-box bus equipment

1 egg box; red and black paint, 2 plastic milk-bottle tops; white card; silver card; 2 small yellow pom poms; coloured felt pens.

How to make an egg-box bus

Paint the outside of the egg box red and the milk-bottle tops black then leave them to dry. Turn the egg box on its side and decorate it using small rectangles of silver card for the windows and rectangles of white card for the bus's side and number sign (you can write or draw whatever you like on the white bits using coloured pens). Stick on the milk-bottle tops for the bus's wheels and the pom poms for the lights and the big red bus is ready to go.

3. Egg-box cress heads craft

Haven't our terrible twins got messy hair? Let's cut it all off and have egg and cress sarnies.

Egg-box cress heads equipment

1 egg box (we used a 4-egg box); scissors; pink paint; 2 pairs of googly eyes; black and red felt pens; cotton wool balls; cress seeds; water.

How to make egg-box cress heads

Cut the lid off an egg box and save it for another craft (like our egg box fruit bowl). Paint the egg box pink inside and out, then leave it to dry. Decorate the outside of the egg box with googly eyes and coloured felt pens so it looks like the faces of two terrible twins. Pack the egg-box dimples with cotton wool then sprinkle on some cress seeds and water. Place the cress heads on a window-sill and keep them well watered (so the cotton wool is always damp) and watch while the twins' cress hair grows in a week or two.

4. Egg-box dizzy daffodils craft

These funny-faced flowers are nice and easy for younger kids to make.

Egg-box daffodils equipment

1 egg box; scissors; yellow and orange paint; yellow card; 3 pairs of googly eyes; red and black felt pen; 3 green pipe cleaners; glue; Sellotape.

How to make egg-box daffodils

Cut three egg box dimples, paint them yellow and orange, then leave them to dry. Decorate them with the googly eyes and draw a mouth on each of the faces using the felt pens. Cut out 18 petals from the yellow card and stick 6 petals to the back of each funny-faced daffodil. Stick the flowers on the end of the pipe cleaners and your dizzy daffodils will look blooming marvellous.

5. Egg-box flower headband craft

Jazz up a plain headband with a pretty rose made from an egg box.

Egg-box headband equipment

1 egg box; 1 headband; scissors; pink paint; glue dots; yellow embroidery thread.

How to make an egg-box rose headband

Use the lid of an egg box to make the four petals and carefully cut off the curved corners, following the natural line so each petal looks the same shape. Use the bottom of the egg box to make the centre of the rose by cutting out one egg box dimple. Paint the dimple and the flower's petals pink, then leave them to dry. Assemble the rose using glue dots to hold everything in place. Make the rose's stemen using a few short strands of embroidery thread and stick them in the centre of the rose with a glue dot. Stick the rose to the headband using another glue dot and your pretty headpiece is ready to wear.

6. Egg-box fruit bowl craft

Kids will love getting their hands messy with this decoupage fruit bowl and papier mache banana.

Egg-box fruit bowl equipment

1 egg box (we used a 6-egg box); scissors; decoupage paper strips; decoupage glue; newspaper; Sellotape; yellow paint; paint brush; brown and black felt pens.

How to make an egg-box fruit bowl

Cut the lid off the egg box and decorate it using the decoupage paper and glue, then leave it to dry.

To make the banana, cut out two egg-box columns, take a few newspaper pages, twist and fold them in half then push the egg-box columns onto each end of the twisted newspaper and Sellotape everything in place. Build up three layers of papier mache over the banana and when it's dry paint it yellow. Draw on a few details using the black and brown felt pens, then place the banana in the fruit bowl. You could also make apples by painting a couple of polystyrene balls red and your bowl of fruit will look tempting enough to eat (although you might have to remind the kids it's not really edible).

7. Egg-box pirate's treasure chest craft

Ahoy there! This bejewelled treasure chest is a gem of a craft for kids as it's fun and easy to make, too.

Egg-box treasure chest equipment

1 egg box (we used a 6-egg box); red, brown and gold paint; paintbrush; black felt pen; black and gold card; scissors; glue stick; gems; treasure.

How to make an egg-box treasure chest

Paint the inside of an egg box red, the outside brown and let it dry. Paint on the treasure chest's gold bands and gold lock and when the paint is dry, draw on a keyhole using a black felt pen. Make the skull and crossbones plaque by cutting out black and gold card bone and skull shapes and arrange them on an oval-shaped piece of gold card. Decorate the chest with the plaque and the gems, then stuff it with all your treasure.

8. Egg-box rock pool craft

Cleo the crab loves her new rock pool home made from egg boxes.

Egg-box rock pool equipment

2 or 3 egg boxes (we used 12-egg boxes); cardboard; scissors; glue stick; newspaper strips; decoupage glue; black, white, brown and green paint; paintbrush; 4 red pipe cleaners; 4 green pipe cleaners; cling film; sky blue tissue paper; red tissue paper; a pair of googly eyes.

How to make an egg-box rock pool

Start by cutting out a rock pool-shaped cardboard board any size you like, then cut out the egg-box dimples from each of the egg boxes. Arrange the dimples all the way around the board to make the rocky rock-pool sides, glue them in place, then build up three layers of papier mache over the entire rock pool and let it dry.

Paint the pool white and the rocks black and whilst the paint is still wet, stipple on white, brown and green paint on the rocks to create a rocky effect, then let the paint dry. Decoupage two layers of sky blue tissue paper over the pool and let it dry. Cut out a pool-shaped piece of clingfilm and glue it over the pool to make it look like real water. Twist the green pipe cleaners together and glue them to the side of the pool for the seaweed.

To make Cleo the crab, decoupage two egg-cup dimples using red tissue paper and let them dry. Cut two inch-long pieces of red pipe cleaner and stick a googly eye on each length. Take the rest of the pipe cleaner, fold over each end twice to create the pincers, then glue the pincers and eyes to the bottom of an egg-box dimple and glue the other dimple on top for Cleo the crab's body. Next glue three pipe cleaners to the bottom of Cleo's body and bend them so they look like her legs. Pop Cleo the crab in the rock pool, her new home.

9. Egg-box snappy monster puppet craft

Your kids will love playing with Mac the monster puppet, who can really snap his mouth open and closed.

Egg-box monster puppet equipment

1 egg box (we used a 4-egg box); purple tissue paper strips; decoupage glue; black paint; 1 large and 2 small rubber bands; Biro pen; white and red foam sheets; black felt pen; scissors; a pair of googly eyes; pink wool.

How to make an egg-box monster puppet

Paint the inside of the box black and let it dry. Decoupage the outside of the box using purple tissue paper and don't worry if the tissue creases up - the messier the better, then let it dry. Decorate Mac the monster by cutting out and sticking on white foam teeth and claws, a red foam tongue and googly eyes.

You can turn Mac the monster into a snapping puppet by punching a hole in the top of the egg box lid and another hole in the bottom of the egg box. Thread a large rubber band through the top and bottom holes and tie it at each end, so that when you open the egg box, the rubber band helps Mac the monster's mouth snap shut again. Next, Sellotape the small rubber bands on top of Mac the monster's head, then hold him in one hand, slide your index and middle fingers into each of the rubber band holders to help the monster puppet open and close his mouth. Glue the pink wool on to Mac the monster's head and he's ready to entertain the crowds.

10. Egg-box spotty dog craft

Can you believe this cute doggy mask is made from an old egg box?

Egg-box mask equipment

1 egg box; scissors; white, black and red paint; paintbrush; black felt pen; glue stick; ribbon; Sellotape.

How to make an egg-box mask

Cut up an egg box so you have a section that resembles a mask, with two cardboard dimples for the eyes and a cardboard column in the middle for the nose. Pierce a hole in the bottom of each dimple so you can see through them when you wear the mask. Paint the entire mask white and when it's dry, paint on the black spots and nose. You can add on any extra details using a black felt pen, like the dog's whisker pores. Use the egg box lid to cut out the dog's floppy ears and tongue, paint them and leave them to dry. Assemble the mask by sticking on the ears and tongue, then Sellotape the ribbon onto each side of the mask.

Have you turned an egg box into an exciting craft? Send a picture of it in to us at goodtoknow@ipcmedia.com with the headline 'egg-box craft' and a brief description of how to make it, and we'll add the best egg-box crafts in here.

Designs created by Jennifer Shepherd for goodtoknow.co.uk.

For crafts materials such as paint, glue, gems, tissue paper, card, ribbon etc. visit Baker Ross, a family-run craft business who are the leading suppliers of arts and crafts to schools and other organisations across the UK and abroad, based in Walthamstow, London.

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Freelance writer