Egg Carton Crab Craft for Kids

egg carton crab craft for kids

The Spruce / Megan Graney

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Yield: 1 crab
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Recycling is not only earth-friendly, it’s budget- and craft-friendly, too. Empty jars and bottles can become flower vases, old magazines can be turned into papier-mache, and egg cartons can be transformed into the cutest crawling aquatic creatures.

This friendly little crab crawled out from under an empty egg carton that is also decorated with a few brushes of paint and some googly eyes. While little ones will have fun attaching fuzzy crab claws to bring their critter to life, they'll need some help with cutting through the egg carton and using hot glue. No matter where you place him once he's done, this crab will bring a smile to everyone's face.

Supplies for crab
The Spruce / Megan Graney

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Paint brush
  • Craft glue or hot glue
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Fishing line or string to hang


  • 1 Empty egg carton
  • 8 to 10 Pipe cleaners
  • 1 pair Googly eyes
  • Acrylic paint


  1. Cut Out an Egg Cup

    Carefully cut one cup away from the empty egg carton.

    Cut Out an Egg Cup
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  2. Trim the Egg Cup

    Cut away any excess paper from the cup to create a circular base.

    Trim the Egg Cup
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  3. Paint the Egg Cup

    1. Paint the egg cup evenly inside and out in the color of your choice, such as brick red, summery peach, or inky blue.
    2. Let the egg cup dry. This is the crab's body.
    Paint the Egg Cup
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  4. Cut the Pipe Cleaners

    While the paint dries, cut your pipe cleaners to size.

    1. Cut eight pieces about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches long for the legs.
    2. Cut two pieces that are each 4 inches to 6 inches long for the claws. (You'll bend the wire to shape the claws in Step 6.)
    3. Cut two shorter lengths of a 1/2 inch for the bugging-out eyes.
    Cut the Pipe Cleaners
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  5. Attach the Legs

    Glue four legs evenly spaced to each side of the underside of the painted egg cup.


    If you’re using hot glue instead of craft glue, make sure there's an adult available to hold the glue gun. The hot metal tip of the glue gun is too hot for little hands.

    egg carton crab craft
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  6. Make the Claws

    Bend the longer lengths of pipe cleaners into pinchers.

    1. About three-quarters of the way up, fold the wire back onto itself, then twist to secure to create a Y-shaped wire.
    2. Curl the bottom of the length into grabby claws.
    Make the Claws
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  7. Create the Eyes

    1. Dab a bit of hot glue onto the end of each of the shortest of the pipe cleaners and attach the glued end to a googly eye.
    2. Adhere the googly eyes to the body with another dot of glue each.
    Create the Eyes
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  8. Attach the Claws

    Using a generous amount of glue, stick the claws to the underside of the crab body. These should be placed at the front of the creature, nearest the eyes.

    Hold Your Claws

    You may need to prop the claws up while the glue sets.

    Attach the Claws
    The Spruce / Megan Graney
  9. Display Your Crab

    Add your crabby creation to a sandbox or attach a loop of fishing line or string to hang him up as decoration in an ocean-themed room.

    Crab Craft finished
    The Spruce / Megan Graney