Repurposing Used Packing Peanuts into Arts and Crafts
Packing peanuts, also known as foam peanuts or styrofoam peanuts, are those lightweight white pieces of foam that are used as cushioning material when shipping packages. Once the package arrives, the packing peanuts are usually discarded. However, these peanuts can easily be repurposed into various arts and crafts projects. As an avid crafter, I’ve found some creative ways to give used packing peanuts a new life.
Gathering Used Packing Peanuts
The first step is collecting enough used packing peanuts for your projects. Here are some tips:
Ask friends and family to save their packing peanuts for you when they receive packages. Offer to pick them up.
Check with local shipping stores to see if they’ll set aside used peanuts they accumulate.
Look for “free packing peanuts” listings on Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, etc. People often give them away.
Carefully dumpster dive behind shipping stores, if permitted, to salvage clean peanuts.
Once you’ve gathered enough, give them a quick rinse and leave out to air dry before using in crafts.
Crafts Using Entire Packing Peanuts
Using the whole peanut foam shape allows for quick and easy crafts. Some ideas:
Paint peanuts with acrylic paint in holiday colors and metallic sheens. Add glued-on mini pompoms, glitter, and googly eyes to make fun designs.
Hot glue peanuts together into round ball shapes. Wrap yarn around for hanging. Decorate with paint, glitter, fabric scraps, etc.
Table Scatter Confetti
Dye white peanuts in bright colors using food coloring or spray paint.
Cut shapes like stars, hearts, circles out of colorful foamed plastic sheets and glue onto peanuts.
Glitter, sequins, and deco beads can be glued on too for sparkle.
Flower Arrangement Fillers
- Mix a few colored peanuts in with fresh flower arrangements to add whimsy. The foam pieces float nicely in the vase water.
Crafts Using Pieces of Packing Peanuts
With some snipping and cutting, you can use bits of packing peanuts for other kinds of crafts. Here are some project ideas:
Shape peanuts pieces into tiles using cookie cutters or a sharp craft knife.
Arrange and glue tile pieces into mosaics on wood, posterboard, or canvas. Add grout between pieces for an authentic look.
Modeling Clay Textures
Mix small peanut bits into air dry clay or polymer clay to create interesting, bumpy textures.
Press pieces into wet clay surfaces to get a dot texture effect.
The tiny scale of peanut foam bits is perfect for miniature DIY dollhouse furniture stuffing and cushions.
Make rugs, pet beds, tiny pillows and more! Just glue and trim to size.
Safety Tips When Working with Packing Peanuts
When crafting with repurposed packing peanuts, keep these safety guidelines in mind:
Supervise children closely to prevent accidental choking hazards. These small pieces can pose a risk to little ones if handled improperly.
Avoid inhaling foam dust by wearing a protective face mask when cutting or sanding peanuts. Work in a well-ventilated area.
Check for hidden sharp objects like staples or splinters before using peanuts. Discard any unsafe pieces.
With prudence and care, repurposed packing peanuts can bring whimsical charm and uniqueness to all kinds of arts and crafts creations. Let your imagination run wild!
I hope these ideas have inspired you to give used packing peanuts a second chance rather than throwing them in the trash. With a bit of creativity, they can be transformed into delightful handmade decorations, art projects,model scenery and more. The next time you get a big shipment, set those foam pieces aside for your craft stash. Repurposing is rewarding for both the wallet and the planet!