How to reuse / recycle empty crisp packets

Last month, Pam wanted to know what she could do with empty crisp packets.

There is no way to recycle them in the UK at the moment, so you all put your creative minds to the task.

Here’s what you came up with:

Christmas decorations

While browsing the internet I came across a suggestion to file into your ‘next Christmas’ ideas bank! You could collect crisps bags throughout the year and make your own foil Christmas decorations. They look just the same as the ones you buy in the pound shops but without sweatshop labour or the packaging!


Gift wrap

Want some sparkly wrapping paper for small gifts? Turn crisp bags inside out, give them a clean and use to wrap tiny gifts such as make up, kids toys or a couple of handmade biscuits.

Get crafting

Suella is full of creative ideas. She suggests “Washed and cut into sheets they can be cut layered, stitched and slightly heated with a hairdryer for interesting ornaments or cat toys. Added to a fabric backing, they can be appliqued, marked with a sharp biro, placed under or onto  sheer fabric with other colourful snippets, like Ferrero Roche and sweetie foils and packaging. Stitched over the resulting piece of fabric can make an interesting book cover. More stitching and cutting can make a corsage.

Stitched over an old scarf they make a unique  garment. Wear it as a scarf or make cuffs, pockets, plackets or even collars. Decorate an old denim jacket or anything else that might need spicing up.

Funky keyrings

Pam from Plastic is Trash gave me the headsup on this tutorial for making shrinkies. Anyone of a certain age will remember the craze!




Make your own crisps!

Georgina recommends ditching the packaging and making your own crisps! She says “I like kale ones best and various recipes for these can be found on the net. You can make them in the oven or in a dehydrator. If you use the oven you can make other things at the same time to reduce energy and financial costs. When they are made, store them in small reusable tubs or reusable plastic ziploc bags.”

Mrs Green’s edit: If you want to stick with potato, apparently you can make potato chips in a microwave in six minutes! Find the recipe here.


In the garden

Sarah suggests cutting into strips and attaching to canes to use as bird scarers in the garden.


Megan loves crisp packets turned inside out to create a shiny backdrop for her scrapbooking!

Make a bag

If you’re a serious crisp eater or have friends who like to indulge, here are complete instructions for making your own bag from woven crisp packets! Don’t they look amazing?


If all that weaving sounds like too much trouble, Vicky from Vicky Myers Creations, found this tutorial for a more straight forward design.


I know, by the time you’ve used the freebies that the charities insist on shoving through your door and your repurposing old cds you probably have MORE than enough coasters cluttering up your home, but you have to admit it – these look kinda cute! Here’s the tutorial:


Wear your trash

For the fashionistas among you, why not take inspiration from fashion student Rebekah Kirkland who rustled up this creation. It only took her two months to make!


What about you – what do you do with all those empty crisp bags?

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. Ilovecats on December 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

    OMG – I remember those shrinkies – I used to love making them. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  2. matty on January 6, 2015 at 8:35 am

    I don’t think I’ll be doing any of that soon 😀 I think my wife will probably have a go though – she’s always making stuff out of things people throw away. I hope I don’t get a coaster for my birthday 😀 😀

    • Rachelle Strauss on January 8, 2015 at 10:00 am

      You never know Matty – you might look fetching in one of those dresses 😀

  3. Rod Barker on February 4, 2017 at 4:33 am

    As I remember some science program bosting the efficacy of their new infrared (IR) telescope and that the dish was lined with metalised film exactly the same as used to make crisp packets.
    So I cut one open washed the grease off and as a quick test held it close to the side of my face and shure enough I could feel my own body heat coming back. Not many things work with long wave IR except high tec stuff using gold.
    Uses. stick em together into a car windscreen size sunshine reflector, should we ever see the sun again cooler car worth a try. Put behind plants propogating on window shelves so they grow straight up etc etc.
    Dont pig out on crisps though the salt will do you no good at all!!!

    • Rachelle Strauss on February 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Hi Rod, I like the idea of making a windscreen reflector – I’m guessing crisp packets are pretty similar material to the screenshields you buy! I’m sure one of our creative community will soon rustle up one of those!

  4. Samuel Allsopp on March 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    One idea I had was as many crisp packets use foil on the inside, that this would make good insulatory material, in the vein of a thermos, which has silvering on the inside.
    If you’ve got a cold wall in your house, then perhaps sticking them to the back of a plasterboard and putting that up before you plaster could be a good usage. NOTE : I have no solid foundation of evidence for whether this would work.

  5. Jo on September 3, 2017 at 5:09 am

    I use crisp packets pasted to the wall behind radiators to reflect the heat back imto the room. They work better than the foil pads that we paid for!

    • Jay on March 3, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Hi Jo, please can you tell me how you do this – make them into a sheer first? Layer up? Does the plastic not melt? Thank you

  6. #LitterWatch2017: Week 0 – Off the Ground on August 11, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    […] Crisp Packet: These are made from polypropylene and cannot be recycled in the UK at present. Based on what I’ve seen while collecting litter, they are practically indestructible. Zero Waste Week has some suggestions for how you can re-use them. […]

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