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Uses for Unpopped Popcorn

Updated February 21, 2017

Some manufacturers use unpopped corn as a filler for heating pads that you warm in your microwave. The reason the corn doesn't pop is that they don't use corn grown for popping, but corn for feeding cattle. While you can't use unpopped popcorn to fill your heating pad, there are other uses for unpopped popcorn.

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Ice Pack

One problem with a traditional ice pack is that it tends to get wet and messy, especially when the pack springs a leak. Ice pack alternatives, such as a bag of frozen peas, do an effective job, but they tend to get mushy. Some recommend using frozen blueberries, but considering the price of blueberries, this isn't an affordable option. Instead of peas or blueberries, fill a plastic freezer bag with unpopped popcorn and place it in the freezer to chill, for about three to five hours. This is an ice bag you can use repeatedly, without the contents getting wet and mushy. It also contours to any part of your body. When you are finished using the popcorn ice bag, put it back in the freezer so it will be ready for next time.


Next time you need a good idea for your business promotion or school fundraiser, fill a glass gar with unpopped popcorn and hold a contest in which players guess how many kernels are in the jar. Of course, the only down side to this is that someone needs to count all those little kernels. Using a smaller jar might be a good idea.


If you're looking for something to fill up the kids' beanbags for a tossing game, use unpopped popcorn. But just like dried beans, don't leave the beanbags carelessly around the house after you are finished playing -- their contents are tempting to any rodents who might visit your home. Store your popcorn bean bags in an old coffee can or plastic container, with a lid.

Craft Projects

Use unpopped corn in your craft projects, as you might use dry pasta or dried beans, to create a picture by artfully arranging the corn kernels on a heavy piece of paper and affixing with glue. Use them as embellishments when creating greeting cards, artist trading cards or scrapbooks.

Un-popped popcorn gives a distinct country look when used in home decorating. Use it at the bottom of a flower vase to prop up your silk flowers. For a kitchen decoration, layer unpopped corn with different types of dried beans in a glass Mason jar.

Future Snack

When popping up your next batch of popcorn, don't throw out the unpopped kernels. Instead, put them in a jar, and when you have accumulated enough unpopped kernels, use them to make a new batch of popcorn. Many will pop the second time around. They will pop faster than kernels that haven't been previously heated, so keep them in a separate jar. If some kernels don't pop on this second try, throw them away.

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About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

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