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Eleven creative ways to reuse egg crates

Don't throw out your egg crates. You can save money and the environment by reusing them in a creative way!

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    Eggs sit waiting to be cooked at the Waveland Cafe, in Des Moines, Iowa. Egg crates can be repurposed for a variety of projects, such as a jewelry organizer.
    Charlie Neibergall/AP/File
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I don't know about you, but I eat a ton of eggs. We have leftover crates upon leftover crates, and beyond reusing and recycling, I've started repurposing them in fun ways around my house.

1. Seeding Storage

I actually started all our seeds in egg cartons this year. They're the perfect size for germination. When the seedlings are ready for planting, just cut out the individual cups and plant directly into the ground. Of course, if you plan to try this one, use the paper cups versus the styrofoam ones.

2. Recycled Decor

Beautify your place on the cheap with this egg carton wreath. You'll cut flower shapes from the cups and fashion leaves from the cover. Then paint with bright colors and glue to assemble. Just don't hang this wreath outdoors — the moisture will ruin it.

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3. Jewelry Organization

Here's a cool jewelry organization project that might also make a great gift. Cut an egg carton in half and paint it with spray paint. Then fill with jewelry and other knick-knacks. This tutorial instructs you to cut the top off the carton, but I think it would be nice to keep it on.

4. Veggie Storage

Or store your vegetables in stacked egg cartons. This method will keep spoiled foods from leaking anything onto fresh ones. Bonus: If you have anything — like tomatoes — that need ripening in paper bags, they should mature perfectly in the cartons.

5. Scavenger Hunt

Send your kids on a fun scavenger hunt in the backyard. Print out what you want your child to find, stick it on the egg carton, and then hand it off. They can stick found items inside. The author of this activity provides a printout, but your yard might not contain the same stuff (depending on where you live).

6. Sewing Kit

Stow needles, thread, buttons, and more in this egg carton sewing kit. My favorite part is the personalized design. You can decorate it to suit your unique tastes. Or keep it basic. Whatever you do, don't forget the egg-shaped pin cushion.

7. Paint Palette

This egg crate paint palette is pretty easy to put together. Open the crate, squeeze paint inside, and get creative. You can leave some cups open for mixing of colors. Otherwise, when you're done, just let everything dry and use again the next time you want to make art.

8. Gift Wrap

Skip the pricey gift bags and use an egg carton to wrap instead. You can paint and decorate in whatever colors or prints that match your theme. Works wonderfully for small items like soaps, underwear, jewelry, chocolates, and more.

9. Mosquito Smoker

Don't let mosquitoes ruin your next backyard bash. You can smoke them out for free using an egg carton. Simply light one edge on fire and set somewhere safe to burn (like your grill top). Alternatively, you can try this same thing with one of those coffee to-go containers.

10. Bird Feeder

This quick and easy egg carton bird feeder project will please nature enthusiasts. Remove the lid from your egg carton. Then poke holes in each of the four corners. Thread a string through each hold, then gather together and knot. Fill with bird seed and enjoy.

11. Flower Vase

Create a quick centerpiece for your dinner table with this gorgeous egg crate vase. Line the cups with plastic eggs and add a little water. Smaller blooms work best, and I love how the author of this project used broccoli to add texture to her arrangement.

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