Did you know the egg carton was invented in 1911 in British Columbia in an attempt to solve a dispute between a farmer and a hotel owner who kept on blaming one another when the farmer's eggs often arrived broken? Probably not. But approximately 100 years later, egg cartons are obvious items in almost every modern house and a significant portion of the trash we generate. Yet, from modern art and high-class lighting sets to beds for cats, seed starters and toys - there are countless of ways egg cartons can be reused and otherwise useful. CultCase has photo-listed 20 of them here, but we know there are more. If you know of any others and have some photographs please do feel free to drop us a line anytime and we may publish them here.
1. Eggcubism Village Party
Completed in December 2008 and titled Village Party this new monumental masterpiece by Dutch artist Enno de Kroon is sized 154 x 209 x 24 cm and made of acrylic and egg cartons. If you are a regular reader at CultCase you may have already stumbled The Art of Junk: 7 Creative Approaches to Trash Reuse and met De Kroon. From his studio at Rotterdam, The Netherlands, De Kroon leads a new wave in reuse art and helps taking cubism into the 21st century. (Re)using ordinary egg crates for canvas De Kroon makes spectacular "two-and-a-half" dimensional paintings in a style he defines as Eggcubism. Above: A frontal view studio shot of Village Party. Below: details (cut by the artist).
According to De Kroon:
"The egg carton works came about out of my previous work where I find the relationship between the viewer and the piece as an object to be of great importance. I've always played with distortions of perspective, which puts the viewer on the wrong foot and makes them conscious of their manner of observing. The way we see things is so conditioned and decides what our minds eventually see in something. The egg cartons had been lying around my studio for some time ready for me to be painted upon, but it took some courage before I could take the plunge. It also took a while to come up with a product I was satisfied with."
No textual explanations had been made available about Village Party so far but, since we asked, De Kroon did provide us with a few words of clarifications about the inspirational roots of it. "Village Party was inspired by open air dinner parties that take place in the village streets of Provence in the south of France." Says De Kroon "it is a mixture of different perspectives one can have of such parties and the special social relations they involve. Someone has described my technique as "exploding" perspective. I don't know about that but they are related to Pieter Breugel works."
According to De Kroon he did not use any real photos of the described village party dinners but he did send us a snapshot of the painting 'Peasants Wedding' by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
Patricia Zapata is a mom, wife, graphic designer, author and an avid blogger at alittlehut.blogspot.com where she shares and explores new ideas and projects. Zapata's paper craft book "Home, Paper, Scissors" will be published in August in 2009. Above: Recycle project no. 11 - egg carton turned into a heart.
3. Mona Lisa
This interesting pixel-like piece is made of cut-out egg cartons and paint. It was first sketched with a pencil and then ("slowly"…) painted. "Took a long time to fully visualize the look of it". We love it! Via niveakpl
This sculpture is named "Not Montenegro, but Dubrovnik in Croatia" and made from egg cartons. via Greenwich Photography
5. Volkswagen Trucks Ad
"Volkswagen Trucks. For every kind of load" is a print advertising campaign by advertising agency from Sao Paulo, Brazil named ALMAPBBDO. Copywriter: Eduardo Andrietta. Art Directors: Marcus Kawamura, Ary Nogueira. Photographer: Hugo Treu. Via publicidad21
6. Lighting sets
This fellow was feeling guilty for buying the blue egg carton "because it contained eggs from caged hens" which he usually does not buy.
And here you can learn how to make your own egg-carton flower fairy lights.
The original intention here was to show local artisans how reusing materials could become a source of income. Yet, this quickly turned into a passion for Salvadorean designer Eugenio Menjivar. Dancer includes three shades made from egg cartons. The shades sit slightly askew, dancing, on a recycled iron base and held in place with recycled iron rods. You can get your own Dancer in three different colors including violet, lime and black. Via apartmenttherapy.com
Egg Carton Flower Pendant Light is a DIY Lighting project. Made from paper pulp egg cartons, this pendant light is promised to give off a soft, beautiful ambient light. Via addicted2decorating.com
7. Cat beds
Flickred by cieraphotography this wild animal looks very much and comfortably asleep where 12 chicken eggs used to reside. We are guessing he is dreaming about the chickens.
After a few days out of the box, Flickr user Kimberly Jennery was already used to finding those three clumped together in the "human bed". The other day she came home and found them all clumped in an egg carton. Goofies indeed.
Please meet Toby, (staring) on his very own egg carton.
And this is Alice who think egg cartons are "irresistible, especially when they're precariously balanced atop the recycle bin".
And this one is another, slightly smaller, wild cat in the same carton. "I assure you that no human intervention was involved in these poses. Last 2 by jiffy from Tomecat.com
This versatile Good Egg footstool by award-winning industrial designer Inna Alesina is handmade from recycled paper pulp egg cartons and colored with water-based fabric dye ("no varnish or lacquer is used"). It can be used upright or on its side for a relaxing rocking motion and is also designed to make a sturdy base for a coffee table. Alesina is an award-winning industrial designer who looks to "keep the spark of invention alive in each of us." Via eco-artware.com
A cool seat made mainly of egg cartons. Not for heavy folks. Via Grynster
10. Seed starters
Egg cartons are perfect as seed starters. Just fill each cup with potting soil and plant some seeds. Cut each cup from the tray and plant it after seedlings sprout. Above: Tomato sprouts
Sowing Coriander and Chives
This one also has a sense for shapes.
Colored egg carton flowers. Via munchkinmay
12. Dozen figs containers
Someone gave Marilyn Blanche's mom - a genius mom - a dozen figs. We digg you Miss Blanche!
13. Concrete slabs
The above shanty shack concrete slabs are made with egg cartons.
An egg carton "detail" poured into a porch slab.
14. Bulletin Boards for office
This may actually work.
15. Toy Cameras
Daniel takes a picture with his creatively reused egg-carton-and-water-bottle camera.
16. Toy Potties and Toilets
Frog eyes egg carton mask
18. Proofing sound
Experts say Egg cartons are not very good as sound proofing devices but this is still one of the most common ways to reuse them. Shown above is journalist Abdourahmane Toure in a studio lined with egg cartons to improve sound quality at Radio Pindjiguiti in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. It might not work so well but admit it looks pretty cool.
Sources: dontbesostubborn, swimvixen2, poligraf
Not exactly made from the classic carton type but this nice dress was once containing eggs, that is for sure.
Flickred by willowpoppy, a "Klutzy, creative, spirited British lass" from California, U.S.A, this is titled "favorite activity".
Have any photos of other cool usages for egg cartons? please let us know.