Before I start writing about our recent fun with making egg carton flowers I will digress...
A few days ago I came a cross Sarah Lazarovic Buyerarchy of Needs and love it. I may need to post it somewhere very visible in the house as a reminder for those moments when the consumption culture, the quick-fix dilemma or the seductiveness of instant gratification make a forceful appearance... again.
As I said: I love this, with one exception: "Make" should come with an * or a footnote. Too often making requires materials that are either or both: more expensive than buying and/or as unethically produced. And making often asks for materials that you only use a small amount of and tools that only make a briefly appearance (insert a gadget or two here that you enthusiastically bought but that doesn't or didn't get much of the action it was intended for). So it would make me happy if more making was based on the Buyerarchy pyramid, too: grounding your making in using what you have, borrowing (tools ...), swapping (or bartering) and thrifting. That's why we have been trying to build our crafts and making around recycling, upcycling and thrifted materials, basic art supplies (that we know will be used up), versatile or borrowed tools (that we are certain will get a lot of action or that we can share with others).
But now back to the promised egg carton craft:
Egg cartons are one of our recent, favourite recycled art projects! Just beautiful for this --well, any-- time of year and perfect as it uses minimal supplies to create. Egg carton flowers are one of those art projects that can be done by a whole range of ages together and can be added to over many afternoon sessions of creating - perfect for right now!
All you need is
- Eggcartons (one=12 flowers is enough to start!) – (Small problem here: we're weaning ourselves off eggs, but I am sure we can find someone to collect a few for us.)
- Paint (we used acryclic paint and some old finger paint that we had lying around, but watercolours would work, too they just wouldn't be as vibrant) + brushes or fingers ;)
- Scissors + holepunch (optional)
- A wreath or whatover will become the surface for your flowers (a cardboard wreath works well or just some sticks)
- Glue (hot glue is the easiest but white glue should do if you have more patience than me)
So: We began by removing the lid from the egg carton(s) and painting the bottom half (i.e. the part that used to hold the eggs) with vibrant colours on the inside and the outside. This was more fun and less hard to handle than cutting up the egg carton into sections or flower shapes first and we were able to get really messy with the colours, squirting lots of paints in and on and mixing them on the medium itself (definitely still my little guy's favourite part).
When the paint has fully dried --for us it was days alfer as we found ourselves with time to continue-- we cut up the egg carton and tried all sorts of shapes for the flowers using scissors (nail scissors were great for curves) and a single hole punch. I will let the pics speak...
You can see that some egg "cups" were turned inside out to achive a flatter, bigger flower effect. We also created different middle sections for each --some were leftover pompoms from long ago crafting days, others were coiled up bits of egg carton as well as the pylon-like pieces from the egg cartons--. We used hot glue to attach the middle pieces and some additional petals. We then hot-glued the flowers onto a boxwood wreath that I had made for Christmas (we're lucky to have prolific boxwood in the yard!). The wreath hangs on our front door now and makes me smile every time I walk in.
For the other project --single flowers with a stem, as a spontaneous add-on mini bouquet for a (grand)mother's day day gift-- we hot glued the flowers onto sticks we had collected earlier.
I now want to make an enormous egg carton flower bouquet. Wish me luck that my crafting team isn't tired of this yet.