Next to the coffee filter, egg cartons are my favorite recyclable craft item. Rather than compost them, we save them in a stack in our pantry until we have time to craft with them. A few weeks ago I saw a gorgeous egg carton wreath linked on The Crafty Crow. I showed the project to The Boy and he thought it was beautiful.
Last night, after a full day of Etsy crafting, he was itching for mama to do something crafty with him. We set about gathering our egg cartons and deconstructing them. We didn't waste much in this process. The portion that holds the eggs was turned into various flower shapes. Some with rounded petals, others fringed. We cut out some of the pointed in-between pieces for flower centers. We used the flat top and sides of the egg carton to make leaves.
After everything was cut into shapes, I had The Boy sit down with some tempera paint and get busy. I LOVE those beautiful Waldorfy wooden paint boards, but I'm a stickler for frugality and repurposing old objects. We use old cookie sheets as painting boards. The side benefit of the cookie sheets is that they hold water spills beautifully.
Our tempera paint was limited to 5 colors. Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and White. Using small, resealable paint jars, I helped The Boy mix different variations of those colors to create oranges, purples, and lighter cream colors. Per his instructions we worked out a system. He would paint the inside of a flower, and then hand it off to me to paint the outside so his hands wouldn't "get so messy." That didn't work so well - the not getting messy. But tempera paint is great because it cleans up so well with soap and water.
After our flowers dried a bit, I went in with a finer brush and added just a bit of detailing. While I was doing that, Super Hubby was cutting out a large cardboard circle from an old box. The circle was painted a basic dark green and allowed to dry.
Then came the fun part. We carefully chose where to place each egg carton flower along the cardboard frame. The flowers, when dry from the paint were a bit stiff so in some cases we manhandled them a bit. Other times we simply moved them around until we found the proper configuration. I attached them to the frame with my trusty hot glue gun.
The finished wreath is so stinkin' cute! We hung it on the wall near our front door. Because it's made of cardboard and watercolor paint, I don't recommend hanging it outside in the elements. Best to keep it inside where everyone can enjoy it.
We'll be enjoying this all spring!