When you receive a big package full of packing peanuts, your item may be safely intact but where do you go from there. Do you store a box of packing peanuts in your house for the next time you ship something or do you throw them away? For most households, in the trash they go. I can’t bear to throw anything non-biodegradable or non-recyclable away so I have learned to find home improvement uses for the abundance of Styrofoam peanuts I come about.
Make sure you only use non-biodegradable packing peanuts for these tips. If you are not sure what kind they are just by looking at them stick one under a faucet of running water if it stays intact, it is the polystyrene, non biodegradable peanuts. The biodegradable ones melt when they come in contact with water and are safe to throw away.
Spacers – To protect walls or a cabinets cut packing peanuts in half and place one at each corner of a mirror, frame or a cabinet door. This will cushion the blow from cabinet doors being slammed or protect painted walls.
Hammering – Hammering nails can be painful if you end up just a little off. A packing peanut can help keep your fingers away when you first start hammering a nail. Put a nail right through the middle of a Styrofoam peanut. Then, hammer the nail as you normally would but use the peanut to keep the nail steady and your fingers at the end of the peanut. Once the nail is secure you can pull out the Styrofoam. I find this works on most nails, no matter the head because you can just rip off the foam.
Sharp tools – Unless you are super organized you probably have a tool box full of haphazardly placed tools. To protect your hands from injury when trying to find a tool in your toolbox place one packing peanut on the end of each sharp tool. It will cushion the sharp end so you don’t poke or cut yourself.
Secure a screw – When you have to screw a screw into previous hole first place a packing peanut over the hole and screw the screw into the peanut. This will help the screw fit securely. I find this works best in holes just a bit larger than the screw, not very enlarged holes.
Pet bed – Stuff a pillowcase full with peanuts and sew the end to make an inexpensive bed for your pet. Even if you don’t own a sewing machine you can easily hand sew the end.
Potting soil – Cut some landscape fabric and add Styrofoam peanuts to the middle and secure it with a tie; then place this at the bottom of large planter pot. It will not only help drainage it will also help make those really big planters lighter for when you have to move them. Plus, it makes it very easy to transfer or remove when re-potting.