How to Make Packing Peanuts

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Packing peanuts are essential to anyone who regularly packs, ships or transports delicate items. However, store-bought peanuts can sometimes stick to things and many are not biodegradable. The good news – you’re not stuck with this one familiar, albeit less-than-ideal, variety. In fact, you can actually make your own non-stick, environmentally friendly peanuts with just a little effort and some common household ingredients.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bag of frozen corn
  • Potato masher or fork
  • Bowls
  • Water
  • Slotted spoon or strainer
  • Cookie sheet
  • Wax paper
  • Cheesecloth
  • Measuring spoons

Let your frozen bag of corn thaw until it’s nice and soft. You can either leave it sitting out overnight or put it in the microwave for a few minutes. You’ll want it soft, but not completely cooked.

Take a potato masher or fork to the corn and mash it until it looks like baby food. Alternatively you can toss the corn into a blender or food processor until it’s completely mashed. Place your corn in a large bowl, making sure to get out everything. Pour water into the bowl until the corn is completely covered and place it in a cool, dry spot for at least 24 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the corn pieces from the bowl to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. You can also run the mixture through a strainer as long as you remember to reserve the liquid. The liquid from the corn should sit for at least 15-20 minutes.

Run the water mixture through a piece of cheesecloth, which will trap the starch from the corn inside. Leave your mixture sitting in the cheesecloth overnight so it will dry. You can place an empty bowl underneath the cheesecloth to trap any liquid that might still remain.

Measure out one tablespoon of your cornstarch powder and mix it with teaspoon of a water in a small cup. As you mix the starch and water it will start to turn into a paste. Place your entire cup into a microwave on high for 15 seconds. When you remove the mixture you’ll have a small cornstarch packing peanut. Repeat the process to make as many peanuts as you need.

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