I find it very hard to throw out egg cartons and toilet rolls.

They’re just the fundamental building blocks for proper old skool home made craft. The kind of awesomely crappy and delightful stuff we all made on rainy afternoons when we were five. How can I let those kinds of opportunities go?

The thing is, when you don’t throw them out they tend to accumulate. I’ve got quite a stash of them now, and it’s really time we started turning them into fun stuff.

The other week Arty had one of his mates over for a play date and we made ants, which got me thinking about using the epic carton stockpile for other insects. The first thing that sprang to mind was caterpillars, and of course, who doesn’t think of Eric Carle when they think of caterpillars? We looked to our copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for inspiration.

mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 1

 

What you’ll need:
  • An egg carton
  • green and red paint
  • paint brushes
  • green tissue paper, cut into small pieces
  • googly eyes (these are totally optional – you can draw eyes on, or make them from little circles of white paper)
  • pipe cleaners
  • double sided tape
  • scissors

 

What to do:
  1. Cut the lid from your egg carton and stick it in the recycling (or, if you’re me, set it aside for another craft project).
  2. Cut the bottom half of your egg carton down the middle lengthwise, and trim any sticky-outie bits. You’ve now got two caterpillar bodies.
  3. Paint the body of your caterpillars with different shades of green, and paint the head red. If you want your caterpillar to look like the one in the book. Arty was not hindered by any such desire, and just painted his however he wanted.mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 3
  4. Once you’ve got a decent undercoat going on, add little strips of green tissue paper, using the paint as a kind of glue. This’ll add texture and further depth of colour to your caterpillar. It’s also a good fine motor challenge for little fingers.mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 5mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 4
  5. Allow to dry (Arty always asks me to use the hairdryer to speed this process up).
  6. Now pierce two small holes in the head of your caterpillar. Use a half pipe cleaner to make antennae, by poking each end through one of those holes from underneath.
  7. Finally, stick on a pair of eyes, and you have a cute little caterpillar!mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 7

 

mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 8

mama finch eric carle inspired egg carton catarpillar 9

I’m thinking that after ants and caterpillars, spiders should be next…