After our family’s resolve to eat healthier a few months back, we quickly began devouring our way through dozens of egg cartons. I just knew there was an awesome craft waiting to be made from those empty molded paper pulp containers, and one day not long ago, inspiration finally struck! I’m truly excited to share with you the grand finale of our repurpose-friendly Fourth of July crafts: a giant American flag made of egg cartons.
Though large, the finished piece is surprisingly lightweight, and given that I already had all my needed materials on hand, it was very inexpensive to create. I plan on displaying it on our mantel until after the holiday, and then, I think it will become a permanent fixture in my little boy’s room as a vibrant, vintage-inspired piece of wall art.
What you need:
• Approximately 13 egg cartons, paper pulp style (Sample shown was made using 11 dozen-sized cartons, plus three half-dozen cartons)
• Foam core board, 32 inches x 40 inches
• Plain red wrapping paper
• 50 assorted large white buttons
• Red, white and blue spray paint
• Heavy-duty scissors and/or box cutter
• Spray adhesive
• Tacky craft glue
• Hot glue gun
How to create:
1. Use scissors and/or a box cutter to cut all egg cartons in half along jointed side, separating tops from bottoms. Cut all bottoms (egg cups) in half lengthwise to create strips of egg cups.
2. Using photos of sample and American flag (fig. 1) for reference, arrange pieces of egg cartons so that blue square and red stripes will be made of tops (cut lids in half lengthwise for stripes and as needed); and white stripes are made of carton bottoms. Cut extra “filler” pieces of carton to fill in gaps as needed for full coverage. NOTE: American flags consist of 13 stripes with red stripes at top and bottom edges. There are six full stripes below the blue square, with a white strip butting up against bottom of blue square.
3. Use heavy-duty scissors and/or a box cutter to trim foam core base down to size so that no excess extends out from behind perimeter of carton pieces. NOTE: Sample shown measures approximately 31-1/2 inches x 26 inches.
4. Having determined which carton pieces will be red, white or blue, spray paint each group with two light coats. Let dry. NOTE: Paper pulp material will soak up a lot of paint and dry quickly. Any package labeling and printing will show through the paint, but don’t fret – this will give your flag unique graphic texture!
5. Trim a piece of plain red wrapping paper to size so that it extends beyond edges of foam core base by about 3 inches on all sides. Use spray adhesive to adhere red paper to front of foam core board, folding excess to back side and securing with tacky craft glue. NOTE: If desired, cover back with paper as well.
6. Use hot glue gun to attach all pieces of painted egg cartons in place onto papered side of foam core board.
7. Use tacky craft glue or a hot glue gun to adhere 50 large white buttons into place on flag’s blue square.
For more summer project inspiration, be sure to check out our collection of CraftAble downloads.