A lovely eco-friendly crafted Christmas tree kindly provided to GreenKiddie by Anna Southgate.
She calls it “our baby-friendly tree”, and it is! Well done, Anne! We can see here her lovely son’s handprints, making up some of the branches, so we need to thank him, too! How cute and creative is that!
Anna Southgate is a first time mum who decided not to go back to work after having her son. She tried to be environmentally responsible in the things she buys and does. She sais: “I’m sure I don’t get it right every time but I’m doing my bit!”
December 1, 2009
Making your own soy aromatherapy candles is a fun, eco-friendly way to spend an afternoon. You play with wax, scent and colour for a while, and voila! You have beautiful eco-friendly Christmas candles! You can keep some for yourself, and give the rest to friends and family as a Xmas present.
Soy candles have been emerging as a viable alternative to the standard wax choices. Soy candles are made out of 100% natural soy wax without any additives. Candles made of soy wax will have a wonderful aroma without having to add any type of fragrance. Experienced soy candle makers can mix the soy wax in several ways that will give the natural scent a bit of a difference thus giving the scent a fainter or more powerful aroma.
Beeswax is another popular candle making wax. While it may be a little more expensive, it offers many wonder benefits. It has a natural sweet aroma, a beautiful natural colour, and burns, brighter, longer and cleaner than many other candles. When a beeswax candle is burning it fills the room with a gentle, fragrant honey odour while removing airborne irritants such as dust, pollen and moulds.
To make candles you need wicks. Candle wicks come in many materials and can be purchased with tabs on the end so they are easier to use when making candles. When buying a wick you need something that will burn cleanly. Many people prefer cotton or hemp wicks. Others say that the wick material is dependent on the type of wax you will be using.
The last item needed to make candles is a candle holder. After you have the wax, wick and candle holder, you have all the essentials of the basic candle recipe.
So let’s get started. Here is a 5-steps guide of how to make Christmas candles.
- First, heat the wax until melted. Beeswax needs to be melted in a double double-saucepan.
- Let the wax cool to about 140F, then add your essential oil blend of your choice. Best Christmas Essences are cinnamon, orange and pine. Stir to blend in the oils.
- Now Pour the wax into your chosen containers – use heat-prove containers like glass ones. It’s better to pre-heat the containers a bit in the oven.
- Slowly pour the wax into your containers. Try not to splash – you want a slow, even pour to avoid creating air pockets. Leave to cool.
- Trim the wick to 1/4″ (0.5cm.)
Here we go – you’ve done your perfect Christmas scented candles. And which is most important – they are eco-friendly.
November 21, 2009
Does your little monkey love scribbling and crafting with his friends? How about you help him make a lovely eco decorated pencil holder, which he could give as a present to a friend? Making a pencil holder could be very easy and great fun, and more importantly – using eco ingredients makes it safe for your kid and Earth-friendly.
We will be making the pencil holder using playdough, which we will then decorate and bake a bit in the oven to make it hard and steady. So… let’s get started!
What you would need
For the playdough:
1 cup of water
1 cup of plain flour
½ cup of salt
2 tbsps cream of tartar
2 tbsps vegetable oil
For the decoration:
A selection of food colourings –
1/2tbs. turmeric powder (yellow)
A few drops of beetroot juice (pink)
A few drops of carrot juice (orange)
A few drops of blueberries juice (purple-blue)
A few drops of parsley and spinach juice (green)
First we need to make the playdough. You will need a saucepan, and mix in the flour, salt and cream of tartar together. Make a small hole well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and then carefully pour in the water, mixing in to create a smooth consistency. Now add the 2 tablespoons of oil, making sure that all ingredients are consistently combined.
The mixture will then need to be transferred onto a medium heat, during which time it will require constant stirring. It’s now time for mummy to take over the kiddie and make sure the child stays away from the hot-plate. Be careful – if you don’t stir the mixture enough or have the temperature up too high, the dough will burn easily.
You will notice that the dough eventually starts to ‘ball’, although it may be a bit sticky. However, once the dough has contracted from the sides of the pan and balled, you can then remove it from the heat and leave to cool for up to half an hour.
Once the playdough is ready, split it into two halves. Take one half and split it again into five equal batches of dough. Using your palms, make them look like balls – nice and round. You can now add your chosen food colouring to the three little balls, so you can have different-coloured balls – yellow, orange, pink, blue, and green.
Then take the other (uncoloured) half of the playdough. Using a rolling-pin, make it a bit flat, but make sure you don’t press too hard. We will need it to be around 1cm thick. Now mummy can take over the child again and using a knife, cut the dough, aiming for a (as perfect, as possible) square. Help your kid then fold the end, making the square a box-shaped – this is going to be your pencil holder. There is another option – you could make it round instead. Going back to the uncoloured part of the dough, take one small part of it away, and then make the rest of it round like a ball. Then using your fingers, start pressing it, so you make a “hole” in the middle. It will look like a tunnel you can see mummy through. Take the outstanding small bit of the playdough and using the rolling-pin, make it flat and 1cm thick. You can use a small glass to cut a round shape, which will be the bottom of your pencil-holder. Stick it to one side of the “tunnel”, making sure the bottom fits the tunnel size.
Now how about decorating it? – Using the coloured playdough and cookie shapes, make star, flower heart-shaped bits. Stick them to the sides of the pencil holder, but don’t press too hard. You could also use make your own natural paints from beetroot juice or mixing some turmeric powder with a few drops of water. Using your fingers or a brush, either colour the outer side of the pencil holder, or draw something. How about a Christmas tree or a star, so you give is a Christmas twist?
Once decorated according to your taste, give it to mummy to bring it back to the oven and bake it on a very slow power for at around 1 hour. Leave to cool and… voila! – You now have a very special home-made eco pencil holder, which you could give as a present to your friend!
If you have eco Christmas toddlers-crafts ideas, please email them to email@example.com for a chance to be featured on the website along with a link to your website/blog and a short bio.
November 8, 2009
Toddlers love to do crafts, and this is great for their development! Besides, crafting with your kids can be fun for the whole family! With Halloween coming up, get inspired and try some easy Hallowing craft ideas.
PUMPKIN ON A STICK
What You Need
Large White Paper Plate
Black Construction Paper
How to Make It
- Paint the Paper Plate Orange and let dry.
- Cut out a mouth, nose and eyes from Black Construction Paper.
- Once Orange paint has dried, glue the mouth, nose and eyes on to pumpkin plate face.
- Fold one tab forward and one tab back and attach it to the bag.
What You Need
orange and black (or yellow) construction paper
small scraps of green paper
How to Make It
- Simply cut pumpkin shapes from the orange paper, and black triangles, circles and semi-circles or smiling mouth shapes from the black construction paper. Cut stem shapes and leaf shapes from the green paper.
- If your children are old enough to use safety scissors, encourage them to cut their own shapes.
- Sit with the children and show them how the different shapes can be used to make different faces on the pumpkins.
- Hand over the glue sticks and let your kids make you some bright Halloween decorations for your fridge or windows.
What You Need
White school glue
Felt, buttons, pom-poms, etc (all optional)
How to Make it
- Place a piece of waxed paper on a flat surface.
- Squeeze glue from the bottle into the shape of a ghost.
- Place wiggle eyes into the glue.
- If you would like to decorate your ghost, use felt, buttons, pom-poms or whatever you like to add character. We made a simple bow tie from green felt and added mini pom-poms for buttons.
- Set aside in an out-of-reach area to dry overnight. Note: Expect for them to take all night – and possibly a few hours more – to dry completely.
- Once dry the ghosts will look like they blend into the waxed paper. Carefully peel them paper and use them as decorations around the house.
October 1, 2009