Egg Carton Very Hungry Caterpillar

I'm certainly not the first to turn an egg carton into the Very Hungry Caterpillar, but I used a technique to paint it that I haven't seen before. I'm such a huge fan of Eric Carle and I love how my caterpillar turned out! 

Egg Carton Very Hungry Caterpillar


  • egg carton (paper, not foam)
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint - 2+ shades of green, 2+ shades of red, yellow, violet 
  • plastic wrap
  • tacky glue


Start by cutting apart your egg carton so that you have a 6-humped caterpillar. I checked both a 12- and 18-egg carton to see if one would be better than the other, but they were the same for this brand. Cutting is the most difficult part of this project by far. Adults should do this step ahead of time for young children. 

Use the egg carton lid to cut out two antennae, two oval eyes, and a round nose. 

Use a single shade of green and a single shade of red to paint a base coat on the caterpillar. The goal is to completely cover the egg carton so the color and writing don't show through. 

Paint the antennae violet, the eyes yellow, and the nose green. Let the paint dry completely. 

Add green pupils to the eyes and set them aside to dry. 

Use a piece of plastic wrap to cover the red head completely to protect it while you paint the body. On a second piece of plastic wrap, dot the different shades of green onto the plastic wrap, then use it to smoosh paint against the green parts of the egg carton. You'll get mottled color that mimics the look of Eric Carle's painted tissue paper.   

Let the mottled green paint dry, then wrap the green with plastic wrap to protect it. Add multiple shades of red paint to another piece of plastic wrap and dab it on the head. 

When the paint is completely dry, glue the antennae, eyes, and nose in place. 

This was so much fun to make! I have it sitting with my Very Hungry Caterpillar pencil, which totally makes me want to create more things inspired by Eric Carle. Soon, I hope!


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