Egg carton gnome craft
In this post, I will show you how to make a cute mini gnome from egg trays. You can decorate your home for Christmas with this easy and cheap egg carton craft idea.
When you search on Google for cheap crafts, you will see a lot of egg carton craft projects for kids, and only a few for adults. I’ve decided to show you another way to use egg trays for adult crafts.
So here is an egg carton craft for Christmas: THE MINI GNOMES. They are full of cuteness and the Scandinavian holiday spirit.
Gnome decor was trendy in the past years, and I think it will also be the upcoming years (if not, well, they are adorable as hell, and I would still keep them for years. My son will love them, I’m sure about that.). So I’ve decided to create my version with an egg tray recycle project.
It is inexpensive, sweet, and you can make them with your children. Add them to your mantel, the tiered holiday tray, as table place card holders for the Holiday dinner, make a dozen, and hang them on your Christmas tree, wherever you wish.
Tools and supplies for the egg carton gnomes:
For this craft, you will need a few basic supplies and tools. If you are an avid crafter like me, you will already have most of them in your craft box, drawer, cabinet, or room.
- egg carton,
- scissors and/or a craft knife (I like to use both),
- acrylic paint (you can also use tempera) – two colors,
- a brush,
- white/grey yarn (or faux fur),
- one light pink pom-pom (*NOTE after the list) – small size,
- a hot glue gun + glue sticks,
- stuffing (optional – toy stuffing, rice, beads, small stones, fabric scraps, etc.)
- felt for legs and arms (optional),
- comb (optional).
*NOTE: If you have white pom-poms at home and pastels or chalk, you can color the pom-pom with it as I did. You can even add a dash of red to make it cuter. I wouldn’t recommend painting the pom-pom with tempera or acrylic paint; it becomes rough and hard after drying.
DIY gnome instructions:
STEP #1: Carefully cut out one cone from the center; this will be his hat. Then separate two cups from the side for the body.
STEP #2: Cutaway any excess paper, you need clean edges. Make one cup slightly smaller than the other, because you will have to insert one in the other.
STEP #3: Insert and glue the two body parts.
STEP #4: Start painting. I recommend using two different colors. I painted the body and the hat the same dark red color and added a knit-like pattern to the hat. You can also use more than two, add pattern or texture with paint, or with the hot glue gun (before painting). Wait until it is completely dry before moving to the next step.
STEP #5: Make the beard. Cut one, long piece of yarn (~4-5″); this will provide the beard’s base. Attach multiple strands to it. I’ve added 10 threads (double after attaching). If you’re looking for a fluffier look, separate the threads and comb it carefully with a hair comb or a cat brush. You can skip this step by using fake fur (cut it to the desired length and shape). Cut it into a V or U shape.
STEP #6: Glue on the beard at the inside top of the body. Make sure that the smaller piece (the one you’ve inserted) is looking forward (the beard will cover the suiting).
STEP #7: Stuff the body. Add rocks, beads, rice, or other heavier stuffing if you want them to be more stable. You don’t have to stuff it if you’re going to use them as Christmas tree ornaments.
STEP #8: Attach the hat to the body. Make sure that hides the beard’s base and covers the body. Do not use too much hot glue, and be careful while sticking it. Excess and bulking glue will make it ugly.
STEP #10: Paint the pom-pom lightly with the pastel or chalk. Roll it between your hands to make it more of an oval and pinch it on one side to make it thinner. Add glue inside the edges of the body and hat and poke in the nose. Glue another pom-pom on the cap.
BONUS STEP: Embellish your gnome. I’ve made a yarn pom-pom for the hat (you can add pre-made ones like the nose) and cut out a bean shape for the legs. You can further add other decors: snowflakes, glitter, arms, ribbon, etc.
What other crafts can you do with egg cartons?
Cardboard egg cartons are very versatile. You can use them as organizers, paint trays, and a lot of fun egg carton crafts. Here are a couple of other egg carton tray craft ideas:
Egg carton crafts for kids:
- all sorts of animals,
- Easter crafts (small Easter baskets, candy holders, chicken, and bunny decoration),
- Christmas crafts (tree ornaments, figurines – snowman, reindeer, Santa Claus, elves, mini Christmas tree, advent calendar, etc.),
- colorful flowers.
Egg carton crafts for adults:
- holiday decoration,
- seed starters,
- compost fill,
- flowers and plants (roses, succulents),
- light string covers,
These are just a few ideas for more egg carton uses, check out this article by The Decorated Cookie.
How do you cut egg cartons for crafts?
The best tool to cut egg cartons is sharp scissors. For more precision and places you cant access with a scissor, you can also use a craft knife. A blunt tool will rip and tear the cardboard and ruin the pieces.
You have to be careful while you are cutting up the egg tray. Decide which parts you want to use for your craft, cut the pieces with the scissor, and trim away any excess paper.
You can also draw the path where you want to cut (use a pencil or a light-colored marker, unless you plan to paint the parts to dark colors).
How do you Paint egg cartons?
Painting egg trays are very easy, and you can use various paints.
Paints you can use for egg carton crafts:
- acrylic paint,
- spray paint.
You may also need to mix the tempera or the acrylic paint with a little water, don’t add to much, thin paint won’t cover well and you may need to add several layers.
- cheapest paint,
- multiple coats of paint for good coverage,
- suitable for adding shadows and patterns,
- it may leave traces of paint on hands when touched.
- good coverage with a single layer,
- reasonably priced,
- non toxic,
- suitable for adding shadows and patterns,
- they come with fun effects: matte, pearl, glitter, mettalic, neon, glow in the dark.
- the fastest paint method,
- good coverage,
- you can bulk paint items,
- it is pricy,
- most of them are toxic,
- don’t use it in a closed room.
HOW DO YOU DECORATE AN EGG CARTON?
The simplest method to decorate egg trays is painting. You can also draw patterns or add texture with a hot glue gun before painting, to create fun designs.
No matter if you want to use the egg tray as a whole (for example as an organizer) or cut-up for crafts, you can glue on them all sorts of fun craft supplies like:
- googly eyes for animals,
- flat back gems and rhinestones,
- pipe cleaners (e.g., animal limbs),
- vintage or new buttons,
- felt or foam sheets,
- beads and glitter,
- yarn and thread,
Are egg cartons safe for crafts?
I was quite surprised when I found out that used egg cartons are not always safe for crafts, especially for kids.
The eggshells may carry Salmonella and transferred to the egg carton. Elderly and kids are more susceptible to Salmonella, so it is best to avoid using leftover cardboard egg trays for arts and crafts.
Now, you may ask, then why did I make this post and craft in the first place. Well, you can make a lot of fun crafts with egg cartons as an adult and with your child. And you can buy new egg cartons on Amazon, eBay, or other online stores, which are safe for use.
You may take the risk of using an old tray; I just wanted to let you know and keep a clear conscience.
Final thoughts about egg carton crafts:
As you could see, egg carton crafts are effortless and inexpensive. YOu can turn them into fun crafts for holidays and everyday use. This adorable DIY gnome is the perfect example. You can finish it in one afternoon, and you don’t even have to be a skillful crafter.
You can easily incorporate them into your Christmas decoration as Christmas tree ornaments, cute table place cardholders, stocking stuffers, window sill decor, etc.
Grab a few supplies and tools and start crafting!
I hope you liked this easy egg tray Christmas craft. Do you decorate your home with gnome decor for the holidays? How would you use these mini gnomes?
Leave a comment!