After the Holidays: Crafty Reuse for Packing Peanuts

packing peanuts As the holidays start to wind down, I’ve taken a look around my house and realized that I have a lot of left over things that accompany all the gift giving. One of the bigger boxes that was shipped to me was packed with those pesky peanuts. Having no idea what to do with them, I started poking around for some ideas on what to do with my snowy, sticky, new friends.

Since I don’t work in an office, How to Fill an Office with Packing Peanuts seems out. Which is too bad because it looks like an awesome prank!

The next best thing to do with them, if you don’t have an office to pull off the prank, is to use them for what they were made for in the first place – packing! Sentimental Holiday ornaments and decorations can be safe and snug for the next year when you reuse the peanuts as you put away these things.

Use them loose or wrap them in newspaper so they don’t go flying everywhere. Gently nestle the more breakable pieces and feel secure in knowing that they will be safe until you pull them out next year.

The peanuts are also good to use for stuffing more than packing boxes. Use them to stuff decorative pillows and even pet beds!

If you have a green thumb, they are also good to use in the bottom of your plant pots. They can help with drainage and you use less potting soil. This is especially good when you have large pots. Pour the peanuts on the bottom of your pot, filling it between one quarter to one half full, depending on your preference. Then continue to pot your plant with soil on top of the peanuts.

If all else fails, call your local shipper and see if they’ll take the peanuts back. More than likely they’ll say yes. My local shipper was actually quite surprised by this and was more than happy to reuse them.

Have any other ideas? Please share in the comments!

[Image by Darren Hester, under creative commons lisence]

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.


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