How to Make Egg Carton Rose Decorations

Egg carton roses are a great easy craft, and with the added benefit that egg cartons often end up thrown away, it gives a quick craft that’s really cheap to make, but makes a lovely result for simply adding a little touch up on a tired old picture frame, hat or vase. They also look lovely in a display with little LED candles.

A sample of several egg carton roses

What are they?

The cartons already come in many shades and thicknesses, and usually they just end up in the compost or recycling bin which is a shame as they are a free craft resource. In this article we have just one of several projects [these will be featured in a future article] that use nearly of the carton.

Egg cartons are often just brown, grey or white and these are of course lovely colours for use in rustic style decorations. But once they are finished they can be easily painted or sprayed with glitter or acrylic paints to add further visual depth, and depending on their use, beads etc can be added.

The finished roses are placed or glued around picture frames, bases of pillar candles, on large mixed media canvases or as central table decorations etc. Once finished they can even be painted copper or gold then ‘antiqued’ to look like metal. Being flat backed makes attaching them to other flat surfaces very easy and using a glue gun it’s very quick.

A rustic display piece of egg carton roses fitted onto a frame with candle.

What you will need:

Egg cartons (one 12 cup x egg carton usually makes 4 roses).
A water spray mister.
Glue – a hot glue gun is fine, or any fast drying all purpose adhesive.
Clean secateurs, or heavy duty scissors.
Paints, beads and other decorations of choice to finish them

How To:

  1. Remove any labels from the carton lid first. They usually peel off easily.
  2. Spray the insides of the carton with water. This makes it easier to tear without tools.
  3. Tear the carton in half to separate the 12 cups from the carton lid.
  4. Take the top piece and remove the sides, leaving you with a large flat piece. Put aside until later.
  5. Split the base into 12 cups, removing and discarding the central parts (refer to the video for best results). The scissors or secateurs are useful here.
  6. Group the cups into 4 groups of 3 cups, These 4 groups will make the 4 flowers.
  7. Take each cup and hand tear the sides into 4 or 5 petals, (refer above image) pushing them flat gently. If they are too stiff, moisten with the water spray mister.
    Tip: Tear the edges off by hand to make the petals nice and round. This makes it more realistic and gives a softer feel, whereas if you used scissors, the petals would have sharp edges.
  8. Repeat with all cups, so that each has been flattened and torn. Group them into 3’s.
  9. Stack 3 cups while staggering the petals, going from the largest cup to the smallest.
    Tip: This is simply to arrange them in a nice way before gluing. You can shuffle them between groups to arrange them to their best, and hand trim them as needed.
  10. Glue the three cups together, setting the glue in the centre of each. Allow them to dry.
  11. Take the flat piece of the lid from earlier and tear into 4 long strips, about 18cm / 7” long and 2cm / 3/4” wide.
    Tip: They tear pretty neatly usually, and while precision is not essential it is best not to tear in a single pull, since that can warp the tear. It’s best not to use scissors, so as to keep the soft ruffled effect.
  12. Tightly coil the strip longways, and choose the flattest side of the coil to glue to the base. Place the coil (without glue) into the middle of the rose base, then release it and allow it to uncoil slightly.
    Tip: This gives a nice spacing for the rose centre.
  13. Pick up the coil, set some glue underneath and replace the coil to glue in place.
  14. Once the glue has dried, fluff the base petals and coil (if necessary) to make the best result.
  15. Paint or decorate as desired.

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