Ideas for Re-Using Plastic Packaging

By Noreen Doll.

Many gifts this year will come packaged in plastic and most of it is either recycled or thrown in the trash.

Here are some great ideas for recycling the plastic.

Carefully cut away the curved parts and save all the flat plastic pieces. These edges are razor sharp, so handle very carefully.

Crafty Journal - Re-use Plastic Packaging

The flat pieces you are left with won’t take a lot of room to store, and there are many ways these pieces can be re-used.

You can use a black Sharpie to mark where you want to cut, and then remove any marks with alcohol.

* You can cut this plastic to make windows in boxes, cards, and gift bags.

* If you make duct tape wallets, the plastic is perfect for an I.D. card window.

* It also makes excellent templates for crafting. Since you can see through the clear plastic, it allows you to place your template exactly where you want it.

The black helps you see the edges of the template.

* It can also be embossed using a die cutting machine.

* Try sandwiching a photo between 2 pieces of plastic for ornaments or jewelry.

* Pieces that can’t be reused for anything else might be usable for holding messy substances such as glue or paint, and then can be tossed when your project is finished.

* Mark it with your own custom marks for measuring items that you need to be constantly measuring. Since you can see through it you will know exactly where you want to mark.

* Enclose it between 2 pieces of fabric or cardboard for stiffness or sturdiness.

* Use it as a window in a photo frame.

*Creative Jewish Mom suggests one can make stencils with them by cutting out designs with an x-acto knife!

As you begin using some of these ideas, you will think of more ideas for re-using plastic packaging. Now you won’t have to throw so much of it away.

©Noreen Doll

Crafty Journal

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  1. I love these clever ways to recycle product packaging. Especially with this kind of plastic, it seems like there’s more package than product! Also its transparent quality gives it a lot of uses you can’t get with other materials.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. great tips :)

  3. I had no idea there were so many uses for leftover plastic product packaging. I was feeling pretty good about the fact that we try to recycle all the plastic we can, but this takes it to a whole new level. Thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll definitely put some of them to use!


  4. Great idea!! Pinning to my Every Day is Earth Day board!!
    Stopping by from I should be mopping the floor!!

  5. That is super cool! I was wondering what in world once if I could ever use those for something!! LOL Stopping by from I Should Be Mopping The Floor Blog Hop! I would love your visit today at my blog as well

  6. Awesome post, thanks for sharing! I love finding ways to reuse things!

  7. What a great idea! I am a recycler, but haven’t done quite this well with it. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing at A New Creation.

  8. Wow…this is ingenious! and a great way to save the planet! Thank you for sharing! Came to visit you from A Humble Creation Party, have a beautiful week! Lizy

  9. Great idea!! Pinning to my Every Day is Earth Day board!!
    Stopping by from I should be mopping the floor!!

  10. I just saved an unusual piece of plastic packaging I didn’t know what to do with it. Now I have some ideas.

  11. Great idea for reusing! Thanks for sharing.
    I’m visiting you today from C.R.A.F.T. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog, leave a comment, too!
    ~ Megin

  12. These are all great ideas! I’m visiting from Keeping it Simple– hope you’ll stop by and say hello sometime! Also, not to sound like a commercial, but Iwanted to mention that I’m also a writer at Crafting a Green World.. I would love if you linked up to our Green Crafts Showcase. This project would be PERFECT and I would love to feature you :)

  13. Great ideas! I will be looking differently at the plastic packaging now!

  14. Wow, I feel like I have tossed out an awful lot of useful pieces of plastic. I love getting ideas on ways to recycle.The amount of trash todays products can generate just in packaging alone is staggering. Thanks so much for the great ideas.

  15. Amen! It’s very difficult for me to throw away so much perfectly usable stuff – hence the recycling projects!


  16. The amount of packaging on most items is crazy! Some great ideas :)

  17. Saw this on Not just a housewife, am a recycler, loved the idea!!

  18. Great ideas for being resourceful! You go girl!!
    hugs xx

  19. Great idea to reuse and recycle!


  20. Dropped by from Made By Me Wednesdays – what a really great idea :)

  21. Dropped by from Made By Me Wednesdays – what a great idea :)

  22. Haha, great ideas. When I started reading I thought to myself, “I should tell her you can also use them to make cute little windows in a greeting card and put fun candies inside.” But apparently you are so way far ahead of me and have no need for my ideas that apparently are so like 2 years ago. Haha. Thanks for the post!

  23. What I clever idea! I’m guilty of throwing out the plastic, I think I’ll be changing my ways.
    Thanks for sharing at Fluster’s Creative Muster Party!

    Fluster Buster

  24. That’s a great way to re-use! Fun and pretty too.

  25. Stopping over from Wow Me Wednesday and loving your ideas!!
    ~Mrs. Lopez

  26. This looks great. I would love for you to visit me at My Dream Canvas. I am also currently hosting a giveaway from the famous tabletop and giftware brand Mikasa. You can enter to win some pretty dishes :)

  27. I hold on to things for a long, long time before I can actually use it somewhere but it’s strange that these plastic pieces always saw the face of trash bin in my house. Never thought of such awesome ideas :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  28. Bravo on such a great idea! My Witch’s hat is off to you.

  29. As a crafty-hoarder type person I always hated to throw all those nice clear pieces away. I have some saved. Thanks for the ideas, but mostly for the reassurance that others agree with me – it’s best to recycle things like this!

  30. I was just thinking these would be perfect for some of my felt food that needs a stiff liner. Thanks.

  31. Great idea for reusing! I’d love for you to post on my What Are You Doing Wednesdays Blog Hop!

  32. Oh thank you so so much for sharing this. Several years ago I bought a huge system of clear plastic templates with sizes printed on them. i had watched the system for a couple of years but couldn’t afford it until it went on clearance and at $75 it was still pricey but I use it to design EVERY LAYOUT I do….I have often wished for more of the smaller sizes….NOW thanks to YOU I will be able to make additional ones!!!!

    oh…you have a new follower via bloglovin :-)

  33. How cool! You can make yourself another complete set if you want to.


  34. Such interesting ways and so many ways to use the packaging! I am becoming new follower!

  35. I would have never thought of all these great ideas!


  36. Very cute idea. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly

  37. What a great idea…so creative!

  38. Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing:) I found you threw the hop.

  39. Can’t stand to be wasteful and therefore these are GREAT ideas. enJOYed your smart thinking.

  40. What a terrific idea, saving these little jewels. Thanks for the suggested uses, too! Great post. :-)

  41. What a fabulous idea! So many uses for things we discard if we just look closer and use our brains! Thanks for sharing this great idea with us at TTF!

    Linda & Diann

  42. Great ideas! I always wondered if there was a way these plastics could be used. ~M.

  43. Thanks so much for this, I’ll be saving more too….also could add to your post that one can make stencils with them by cutting out designs with an x-acto! Thanks for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  44. Clever ideas here! Thanks for sharing this.

  45. Very clever! Thanks.

  46. What great ideas for repurposing plastic packaging. I especially like the idea of using it for templates for fussy cutting fabrics.

  47. Awesome idea, I always try to save the plastic that’s more flexible too.

  48. What a great i! I’m big on recycling myself and I am always looking for ways to re-use items. Thanks so much for sharing at Transformed Tuesday.

    Peggy~PJH Designs

  49. Fantastic Idea. I read an article a while back about how we simply don’t give plastic the respect it deserves. It is an incredible material but we throw it away by the truck load. We re-use certain kinds of “good” plastic (like the thick soft stuff that sheets get packages in) in some crafts but hadn’t thought to re-use the stuff from a packet of paperclips. Just awesome. Now, what can we make with windows?!

  50. Great ideas!! Thank you for participating at SHOW-licious Craft Showcase!!


  51. Wow, great way to upcycle!

  52. Great re-use tips! I hate throwing stuff away. It is so wasteful.

  53. Oooh, I love this! I’ve got a mound of it in my conservatory as my recycling wont take it!!! I have used it to do stained glass painting on in the past for window ornaments too! Thanks for the ideas!x

  54. Great ideas! I had never thought of saving the plastic but I will now! Thanks so much for sharing at the Rock N Share party. Hope to see you again this week! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

  55. I have used them for picture frames, and to hold business cards and crafty collages… Great idea to reduce these. You are bringing some ideas onto the table I had not thought of before… Thank you so much for sharing with us! Have a great day, Rose

  56. Awesome ideas!! And more awesome ideas in the comments too! This was most viewed. Yay! We hope you’ll stop by again!

  57. Brilliant, just brilliant. Especially the template. I’m off to raid my recycling bin.

  58. Hey, Noreen. Thanks for sharing!! Best wishes to you and your daughter. Linda

  59. Great idea!

  60. Great idea! Thanks for sharing. PS Hope to see you again soon!

  61. I love DIY projects like this. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial with Saturday Spotlight. Hope to see you at this weeks party!

    Angels Homestead

  62. What a creative upcycle! Awesome… Thank you for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell last week.. stop on by and share again today! I hope you have wonderful weekend! xoxo~ Ruthie

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