Monday, July 16, 2012

How to Upcycle Used Envelopes into Non Toxic Desiccant Packs

A while back I was looking for a non-toxic desiccant to pack in my soap storage bins. After a bit of research I found that I already had all the materials that I needed in order to make them myself.  If you live in a very humid environment like I do and need to store moisture sensitive items, you might find this to be a useful project.

Here is what you need to make them 1) a used Tyvek USPS Priority Mail envelope.  These are a soft water resistant plastic envelope that feels more like a silky smooth fabric.  Often soft items like clothing are shipped in them.  These are fairly common to receive in the mail if you do much online purchasing, but it you don't have any, you can easily ask for some on freecycle.  Using new envelopes would be a breaking federal law.  2) non toxic glue and 3) Bentonite Clay which I always have in stock.

First I made a non toxic glue using a modified recipe from Pure Pixie

1/2 cup water
2 T corn syrup
1 t white vinegar
2 T cornstarch 

Mix together water, corn syrup and vinegar until boiling and stir while boiling.  Slowly whisk in the corn starch and boil for 1 minute.  Add to 4 oz jar and let stand overnight.  This makes a thick paste that is spreadable with a pain brush.  

The next step is to cut out squares for your desiccant packs.  It is best to make them big enough so that you can easily fit a spoon into the opening.  1.5 inch or 2 inch square is perfect.  Then glue together 3 sides.  Set the packs aside to dry for a few hours.  Then add about a teaspoon of clay to each pack.   

Nexd add glue along the open edge of the pack with a paint brush.  Be careful to not get Bentonite clay onto the glue area, or you will not get a clean seal.  Let the packs dry out over a few hours.  As soon as they are dry they are ready to use.  

Into the soap storage bins they go...

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