How to Make Crafts with Packing Peanuts


Most people just throw packing peanuts away with no regard for how they can be used later. You and your child can make the following two crafts with packing peanuts. Not only will you be teaching your child about recycling, but she will also have something really cool to share with friends.

Things You'll Need

  • White packing peanuts
  • Sun template, provided below
  • Poster board
  • Orange and yellow tempera paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue stick
  • Sewing needle, size 1
  • Yarn
  • Tempera paint, various colors

Packing Peanuts Sun Craft

  • Print the sun template provided here. Print one for each child doing the craft. You can choose to enlarge the picture with a copier (125 percent or so), if you want the sun to be bigger.

  • Cut the template out. Glue it to a piece of poster board. Cut the template out again. Now the sun has a strong backing to support the packing peanuts used in the next couple of steps.

  • Paint the packing peanuts. Use yellow paint for the pieces that will go in the circle. Use orange paint for the pieces that will be the sun rays. Allow the peanuts to dry for at least 10 minutes before moving on to the next step.

  • Glue the peanuts to the sun in the appropriate places. Let dry.

  • If you want your child to make a whole scene on the poster board, do not cut out the template after you glue it to the poster board. If you cut the template, you can probably cut out two templates or more from a single piece of poster board.

Packing Peanuts Necklace

  • Paint packing peanuts with various colors of tempera paint. Use the largest and strongest peanuts from the bunch for this project. You can even add details to each peanut, if they are large enough. Let dry.

  • Measure a length of yarn around your neck to a size that can be slipped over your neck comfortably. Now add a half-inch to this length and cut the yarn. There will be no clasp on this necklace.

  • Thread the yarn through a size 1 sewing needle (the thickest available), and tie a knot at the end of the needle. You should have one long length of yarn to work with.

  • Push the needle through the center of a packing peanut and guide the peanut to the end of the yarn to the point where there is a half-inch of yarn left. Keep stringing the packing peanuts until there is a half inch left on each side of the yarn. Tie a knot at both ends of the yarn. The necklace is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply at least two coats of paint to the packing peanuts to get darker colors.
  • An adult should help younger children with stringing peanuts to avoid finger pokes.

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  • Photo Credit Flickr, Denise Oliveri
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