The egg carton’s primary purpose is to escort eggs from the chicken coop to your home, where it either gets tossed in the recycling bin, or with the help of some ingenious humans, mutates into bug eyes, seed starters, sorting trays, cat beds, flowers, molds, lights, and creatures of all kinds. Finding a second life for an egg carton has never been a problem, but using it as a canvas to paint portraits and patterns on never occurred to me until I came across the work of Enno de Kroon. His “eggcubist” portraits play with the viewer’s perception, looking strangely deformed because of the peaks and valleys of his unorthodox canvas. They’re also very cool and look deceptively easy to paint. I found focussing on vibrant colours, patterns, and simple shapes worked best for children, and proved easier to execute. They’ll love the results.
- egg cartons
- paint and brushes
To find large egg carton trays, head to a shop which sells eggs and see if they’ll give/sell you a few, or at least let you know who their supplier is. I tracked some down in Kensington Market (Toronto) at a shop specializing in everything chicken. They weren’t exactly eager to part with them even for money, but when I mentioned they were for children they handed over a few.
Have children come up with a simple pattern or shape they can easily repeat. They can make a rough sketch on paper as a guide. Next, decide on some vibrant colours and start painting. Results are unique and impressive, and can easily be displayed on a wall, or used for sorting and storing a variety of objects. Think marbles, beads, earrings, teeny toys…