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We have chickens!  I love them a lot and they are great egg layers.  So good, in fact, that we have ample eggs to share with our friends.  Some friends are good about returning the cartons.  Some are not so good and our egg to egg carton ratio has been thrown off.  

I looked online to buy some, but shipping to Hawaii is horrendous.  I searched for some DIY designs and found these beauties!  http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2011/06/redesigning-the-egg-carton/ and http://www.redesignrevolution.com/eco-friendly-egg-carton-by-otilia-erdelyi/.  I want to make them and will try to figure out the dimensions, but I need something to use now!

I checked instructables and couldn't find anything that suited me so I thought about it and figured out what would work.  The eggs would need to be separated from each other - shell to shell contact would encourage breakage and held so they wouldn't roll around.  The eggs needed air circulation and I wanted a lightweight package.  I came up with the following:

Each egg is individually nested in a Cardboard Capsule. I made concave nests out of coiled cardboard that could easily adjust to the different shapes and sizes of eggs that our chickens lay and fitted them into a cardboard collar.  The shallower nest, which holds the fatter side of the egg was glued into the collar and serves as the "bottom" of the Capsule.  The deeper nest, which holds the pointy side, is used as a removable cap that fits into the top of the collar.  I attached a pull handle at the top of the "cap" when I discovered that I couldn't get my egg out after I put it in!  Fortunately, I was practicing on a wooden egg so I could just shove everything out without fear of breaking the egg.

Anyway, here is the finished product.  I added a basket, but you can easily toss the capsules into a bag or your purse without worry.  The eggs don't move around when you shake the capsules!!

CAUTION WHEN OPENING THE CAPSULE:  HOLD THE BASE DOWN WHILE YOU UNCAP OTHERWISE YOUR EGG MIGHT GO FLYING.

 
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Step 1: Supplies and Tools

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Needed:
  • Corrugated Cardboard (keeps things cushiony and lightweight).  I dismantled a cardboard mailing box that I had some stuff shipped to me in.
  • Duct Tape.   I had silver, and the dark silver, but I bought Pink and Green because they were pretty!  and they reminded me of my nieces.
  • Glue.  Craft glue, Elmers, Gorilla, Aleene's...
  • Scissors
  • Sturdy Box if you are going to make a basket.

Optional:  Paper cutter, exacto knife

Step 2: STEP ONE: Prepping the Cardboard (optional)

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The box I was using was kind of unwieldy when I opened it up so I used a paper cutter to cut it up.

The maximum size I needed was 3 inches. wide (along the corrugation) and 7 inches long (across the corrugation).  So I made sure I had a few of those cut.    Also cut a few 1/2 inch strips.

You should cut across the corrugation as much as possible and keep the widths as even as possible (cut straight, not at an angle).  After I was done, I had a bunch of cardboard strips with widths ranging from 1/2 inches to 2 inches and those 3 inch wide pieces.

Step 3: Parts of the Cardboard Capsule

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The Cardboard Capsule is made up of three parts:
1.  Base or Bottom Nest (shallow)
2.  Cap or Top Nest (Deeper)
3.  Collar.

Step 4: STEP TWO: Measurements for the Nests

This step is to give you an idea of how concave the nest should be for the pointy end and for the flatter side of an egg, how deep and wide it should be.  You will also get an idea of how much cardboard you will need to  to make each nest.
  • Get the duct tape and cut or rip thin strips a little less than 1/2 inch wide and maybe 1-1/2 inches long.
  • Take the half inch strips of cardboard  and bend them along the waves of the corrugated cardboard.  Coil it tightly.  Tape it when you get to the end.  Don't glue the coils down.  They need to be able to move independently of each other in order to form to the different shapes of the eggs.  
  • Tape another 1/2 inch strip of cardboard to the coil and continue coiling and taping as you need to in order to connect more strips.  Do this until the diameter is about 2 inches.  Tape the end down firmly.  You should be able to press the center and make it look like a little bowl without ti falling apart.
  • Press the fat side of an egg or a fake egg into the coil and bring the sides up to support it.  Measure the height of this nest.  This is the width you will have to end up with when making the shallow nest.
  • Flatten the coil.  Press the pointy side of the egg into the coil and bring the sides up to support it.  Measure the height of this nest.  This is the width you will end up with when making the deeper nest.

Step 5: STEP THREE: Making the Top and Bottom Nests

You will be constructing two coils that start with a 1/2 inch strip of cardboard and gradually widens to the height measurements that you took in Step Two.

You can use the dismantled 1/2 inch coil to start your nests.

Cut or tear thin strips of Duct Tape about 1 -1/2 inch long.  About 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide.

Base or Bottom Nest:  
  • make a coil with the 1/2 inch cardboard until it is about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  • Tape it with a strip of Duct Tape to secure.
  • Cut a strip of cardboard about 5 or 6 inches long that starts at 1/2 inch wide and ends at about 5/8th inch.
  • Tape it where you left off with the prior piece and coil it around and secure with a strip of tape.
  • Flatten out the bottom and check to see if the curvature of of the nest look right.
  • Check it to an egg.
  • Measure the diameter.
  • If all looks good, cut another strip of cardboard about the same length or longer if you have it.
  • Start one end at 5/8th inch and end at 3/4th inch.
  • Tape and coil and Tape.  Flatten and check the curve.
If the curvature looks too steep or too shallow, take of the section of cardboard and trim it or cut a new piece that has a steeper slope and redo and flatten and check.
  • Continue the process until the Nest has a diameter of 2 inches and you are satisfied with the shape of the curve.  Secure with Duct Tape.

Cap or Top Nest:
  • Start the same way as the Base, but your initial 1/2 inch coil should stop when the diameter is less than 1/2 inch.
  • The strips to follow should have a steeper slope than the Base's strips.
  • After every strip, flatten and check the curve.
  • Trim or redo as necessary and work until the diameter is the same as the Base.

Step 6: STEP FOUR: Fitting the Collar

  • Get one of the 3 inch wide cardboard pieces.
  • Bend it along the corrugations to make it flexible.
  • Fit this cardboard around the circumference of the base and notch where the end meets.
  • Cut along the corrugation at the notch.
  • Cut a full piece of duct tape about 3 inches long.
  • Cebter the duct tape lengthwise along one side of the 3 inch piece.  Match the edges and secure the duct tape to the other side.  This is the Collar.
Check for fit.  
  • Get the base and see if it fits snugly in one end of the Collar.  If it is too tight, you can either make another Collar or take an inch off the end of the Base coil.
  • Check the Cap for fit in the same way.  The Cap should be snug but not too tight.  This piece is intended to be removable.


Step 7: STEP FIVE: Gluing the Base into the Collar

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Apply glue to the outside of the Base.

Work it in to one end of the Collar until the edges are flush.

Step 8: STEP SIX: Handle for Cap

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  • Cut about a 3 to 3-1/2 inch length of Duct Tape.
  • Hold it sticky side up.
  • Cut notches about 1/3 of the way in from the side.  They should be a little more than 2 inches apart and you should have about 3/4 inches on the side.
  • Hold the ends of the tape down and fold the middle to the center up to the notches.
  • Filp around.
  • Cut notches across from the notches on the other side.
  • Hold the ends of the tape down and fold the middle to the center up to the notches.
  • This is the handle.
  • With the handle positioned over the flat side of the Cap, attach one of the sticky ends to the side of the cap.  Center the handle and apply the other sticky end to the other side of the cap.

Step 9: STEP SEVEN: Strengthen the Capsule

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(optional:  use colored or decorative duct tape)
  • Cut two lengths of duct tape to wrap around the Collar.
  • Make sure the ends overlap.
  • Cut one length of Duct Tape to fit around the Cap.
  • Trim the width to match the outside of the Cap.
  • Wrap the duct tape around the Cap (and over the ends of the handle)

Step 10: HOW TO PUT AN EGG IN A CAPSULE

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The flexibility of the Base and the Cap allows each to form itself to the shape of each unique egg.

Place an egg into the capsule and put the Cap over it.

Press the Cap gently but firmly down until you feel resistance.

Shake the capsule.   There should be no movement.

If there is, hold the capsule so the Base is not contrained by pressure on the bottom.  Press the Cap gently and firmly.  Continue until there is no movement of the egg.  You may see the bottom of the capsule bulge out a little.

Step 11: STEP EIGHT: Make the Basket (optional)

Find a sturdy box about 6+ inches wide (to fit 3 capsules) and at least 2 inches wide.
See photos for my basket.  Instructions below.
  • I used the box that our Christmas Tree lights came in.
  • I cut it in half.
  • Duct Taped them together at the cut ends.
  • Glued the sides together
  • Taped the bottoms together.
  • Added the handle.
  • Put the egg capsules in.
  • You can also decorate the outside of the box to make it prettier OR cover with Duct Tape to make it stronger!

Make a carrying handle (the same way as the Cap handle)
  • Cut about a length of Duct Tape as wide as your basket plus another six inches.  If you want a longer handle, cut a longer piece of Duct Tape.
  • Hold it sticky side up.
  • Cut notches about 1/3 of the way in from the side.  They should be a handles width apart and you should have about 2 inches on each side.
  • Hold the ends of the tape down (I use my toes, very useful things they are!) and fold the middle to the center up to the notches.
  • Flip around.
  • Cut notches across from the notches on the other side.
  • Hold the ends of the tape down and fold the middle to the center up to the notches.
  • This is the handle.
  • Place the sticky side of one end of the hand at the center of one side of your basket and the other sticky end to the other side of the basket.

Uhhhhh
kamakana132 years ago
If you make me one of those, I'll return all of my cartons.....and give you a couple extra.
handprints (author)  kamakana132 years ago
I will bring to gma's. Thx!!!
rimar20002 years ago
Good idea, thanks for sharing.
hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!