Uses for Discarded Walnut Shells

Updated March 21, 2017

Go green by recycling your old walnut shells. When you finish with your walnuts, don't throw the outside away, but instead save them and use them for something productive. Old walnut shells are particularly fun for younger children as they can get creative with them by making their own crafts.


Get your kids together and make some crafts with your discarded walnut shells. Brainstorm with your kids and create a game for them to play, using the walnut shells as the pieces. Your kids can paint them and decorate them with stickers, glitter and other baubles to personalise them. You can also glue the walnuts to a piece of paper and have your children paint them. Glue eyes on them and short pipe cleaners to make walnut shell bugs. Paint the shell green and add patterns to create a walnut shell turtle.

For Animals

Reptiles love walnut shells. In fact, you can purchase walnut shells at your local pet store to put in your reptile's cage. Easy on the stomach and less harsh than sand, walnut shells are the perfect place for your little guy to make his home. Grind the walnut shells up yourself by placing them in a bag, taking them outside and crushing them with a hammer. They can go directly into your reptile's cage. Make sure you wash them before crushing them.

Dollhouse Furniture

Create dollhouse furniture with your walnut shells. Place a small cushion in the hollow of the walnut shell and cover it with fabric, making a small chair or ottoman for your dollhouse people. You can also create a rowboat out of the walnut shell by painting the outside and using construction paper to glue in small seats. If you'd like, add a sail by attaching a stick to the centre and a triangular piece of construction paper for the sail.

In the Garden

Some gardeners claim that walnut shells help prevent weeds from growing near their prized plants. Walnut shells also work well as mulch, particularly when used in conjunction with other compost material (such as newspaper, pecan shells, crushed corncobs and pine needles). Combine your compost together and crush it using a hammer. High Plains Gardening recommends that 3 inches of mulch be spread over your soil to encourage plant growth.

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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.