Popcorn As Packaging Material - Yummy and Decomposable





Introduction: Popcorn As Packaging Material - Yummy and Decomposable

Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

Runner Up in the
Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

What if you want to send something that is easily breakable and you don't have packaging peanuts at home (and don't want to use ordinary toilet or kitchen paper)?

Make your own packaging "peanuts" aka popcorn.

It's perfect for packing and it's easily decomposable after use (or edible), and usually there should be always popcorn at home :-)

What you need:

- Popcorn maker, which uses hot air for popping up

- popcorn

- a bowl

- a kitchen towel

that's it

- of course something you want so send away (for example a flower vase filled with your friends favorite candies)

- (you might also put in a small package with popcorn flavors like cinnamon and sugar or pepper, salt and paprika)

Step 1: Popping the Corn

1. Measure the max. amount of corn

2. Put it into the popcorn maker, and use your towel to cover the bowl (otherwise your popcorn might jump everywhere).

3. Press the button.

4. Wait for the hot air and let it pop...

Step 2: Pop More Corn

1. Pop, pop, pop

2. If necessary burst another batch.

Step 3: Pack It and Send It

1. Cover the bottom of your cardboard carton with some paper.

2. Fill in a small layer of popped corn.

3. Place your present.

4. Cover it with a nice card, close the package and send it to a nice person :-)



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Please be positive and constructive.




Its cool but not worthy of winning a contest.

The best thing about this is it helps stop the huge amount of styrofoam that we are dumping into landfills in the form of packing peanuts. Now that delivery times even across the nation are very short I don't think anyone need worry about rodents, other animals, or anything else. Great instructable! I will be using this every time I would have used packing peanuts.

I would think that the biggest problem with using this method of packing would be that small animals would be interested in examining your box during transit. It would become messy if the box arrived with a corner chewed off or worse yet, with a stow-away inside.

Back in the '60's here in the U.S. popcorn popped with acid was used for packing material as you show, however it was found that children would scavenge through discarded packing material and become quite ill. The product was swiftly banned for such use. Just a point of history, not accusing you of child abuse. ☺


Hi, thank you for this information. I didn't even know that you could pop the corn seeds in acid. But I really could imagine that this preparation method made children sick. I think my popcorn behaves more like the packaging chips made of corn that children can also use to build and craft with.

The method was quickly abandoned as I recall (this some 50 years ago), information was fast- tracked to suppliers because of the liability concerns.

As kids we did the popcorn string thing as Xmas decorations too, but was kinda soggy and too stale to eat when taken down after New Years. ☺

Awesome idea. Do you know the cost difference, per volume, between this and other packing materials? Adding this might open some eyes to using eco conscious alternatives.


Thank you. Unfortunately I don't have a cost difference, but I guess it will be more expensive than buying corn chips or plastic packaging chips from companies which are specialized on this topic. I thought by doing this more the private home or maybe a small clay burning manufacture which could use the heat of the oven (and some kind of stirring ventilation) to create the packaging material at the moment of need. It is easier to store corn grains than popcorn aka packaging flips. :-)