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Make your own bird feeders

It´s National Bird Feeding Month, so why not write a post on how to make your own bird feeders? I want to show you a few different ideas here today.

Bird feeders and bird baths are ideal to attract birds into your garden. If you want to know more about why you even would want to attract them and other animals to your garden, then you should read Why you should encourage wildlife into your garden or listen to the podcast 🙂

Learn how to make your own bird feeders! Recycling/repurposing DIY bird feeder and bird feeders to make with your kids. All easy to make. Click to find out! #greenlivingtips #greenliving #ecoliving #tjalvasdiy #ecofriendly #birdfeeder #ecogarden #diy

Please note that this page contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and relevant to what I blog about. These commissions will allow me to continue providing value on this blog and my podcast by hopefully covering the cost. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Make your own bird feeder from recycled materials

Without getting too involved, you can make a bird feeder from miscellaneous items found in your garage and around your home. For example, if you have a coat hanger, a pie plate or a dinner plate, and some PVC piping, you can make a lovely feeder. Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

For this DIY lawn and garden craft you’ll need:

  • PVC pipe approximately 4 inches in diameter or larger
  • 2 pie tins or a small plate and saucer or a combination of items (this will be the top and bottom of your feeder)
  • Primer
  • Paint (if you think in the environment then best use acrylic paint or eco-paint)
  • Adhesive
  • Sandpaper
  • Jigsaw
  • Eye bolt or screw-in hook which will be used to hang your feeder. It needs to be the full length of the feeder, so from the top plate through the PVC to the bottom plate.
  • Drill and bit large enough for your eye bolt. If you’re using a ceramic plate for your feeder, you’ll want a tile drill bit to prevent the plate from cracking.
  • Nut
  • Two washers
  • And chain or other material to hang the feeder from like string or yarn

Directions:

The first step is to gather your pieces of equipment. You can use plates, saucers, pie tins or whatever you have on hand. The top component will be to keep the birds and the seeds dry, and will also be used to attach your eyebolt to. The bottom component will be for the birds to perch on and it’s where you will place the birdseed.

In between these two dishes will be your PVC pipe. You may need to cut the pipe to the right height if your eye bolt is too short. Once it is at the right height, cut three small notches in the base of the PVC. This is where the seed will come out to feed the birds. Each one needs to be large enough for the seed to move through.

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Next sand the PVC and prime it. Then paint the PVC in whatever style or design you choose. Drill a hole in the top plate and the bottom plate. Glue the top plate to the PVC and let dry. Slide the eye bolt through the top plate and through the PVC.

Place one washer on either side of your bottom plate and screw in the eye bolt, using your nut to keep the bolt in place. Once you’re sure it all fits together, undo the bolt and fill the PVC with seed. Lastly reattach the bottom plate and your feeder is ready to be hung up.

Make your own bird feeder with your kids

Winter is the time of oranges. Do you have some at home? Then you can turn the skin into a bird feeder!

All you need to make these bird feeders is:

  • 1 orange you used to make juice
  • Or cookie cutters or a muffin tray instead of the orange
  • 1 packet of gelatine
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 cup bird seeds (and some dried berries and crumbled nuts, if you want)
  • String
  • And a wooden stick thicker than your string

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Directions:

Add the gelatine to your water and bring to simmer while stirring until the gelatine is dissolved. Then let it cool down for about 1 minute.

Stir in the bird seeds and add the mix to your orange. If you are using the muffin tray, then slightly oil the tray first and add the mix in. For the cookie cutters lay them out and fill them with the mix. Then press it all together slightly, so it binds properly.

Should you want to use dried berries and nuts, then push them into the bird seeds now.

Use the wooden stick to make holes into the orange halves, either just one or 4. Depending on how you want to hang it up, either with the seeds on top or dangling to the side. With the cookie cutters and the muffin tray: make one hole in each feeder.

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Let it all dry over night. Take it out the next day, attach the string and then you can hang your bird feeders up in different save places in your garden or even on your balcony. When picking a place, make sure dogs and cats cannot reach the bird feeders, nor the birds.

Now the only thing left to do is to sit back and enjoy watching your new bird friends gather around your bird feeders. 🙂

Learn how to make your own bird feeders! Recycling/repurposing DIY bird feeder and bird feeders to make with your kids. All easy to make. Click to find out! #greenlivingtips #greenliving #ecoliving #tjalvasdiy #ecofriendly #birdfeeder #ecogarden #diy

I hope, you have enjoyed finding out how to make your own bird feeders and have found some inspriration. Which one was your favourite or did you make your own? Let me know.

And if you know of someone who would like to make bird feeders, then please share. Thank you!

You might also enjoy reading: 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget, Green living & feeling guilty and  How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

Learn how to make your own bird feeders! Recycling/repurposing DIY bird feeder and bird feeders to make with your kids. All easy to make. Click to find out! #greenlivingtips #greenliving #ecoliving #tjalvasdiy #ecofriendly #birdfeeder #ecogarden #diy
Learn how to make your own bird feeders! Recycling/repurposing DIY bird feeder and bird feeders to make with your kids. All easy to make. Click to find out! #greenlivingtips #greenliving #ecoliving #tjalvasdiy #ecofriendly #birdfeeder #ecogarden #diy
Learn how to make your own bird feeders! Recycling/repurposing DIY bird feeder and bird feeders to make with your kids. All easy to make. Click to find out! #greenlivingtips #greenliving #ecoliving #tjalvasdiy #ecofriendly #birdfeeder #ecogarden #diy
Learn how to make your own bird feeders! Recycling/repurposing DIY bird feeder and bird feeders to make with your kids. All easy to make. Click to find out! #greenlivingtips #greenliving #ecoliving #tjalvasdiy #ecofriendly #birdfeeder #ecogarden #diy

How to easily make your own beeswax candles

I LOVE Christmas, it´s one of my favourite times of the year! Specially as you get to make a lot of things yourself, like decorations, ornaments, cookies… And then the evenings with candles lit all around you and a fire in the colder countries. That´s why I decided to show you today how to easily make beeswax candles yourself 🙂

But, before we get into making some, let me explain to you why you should use beeswax candles instead of paraffin ones.

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

The reason you should choose beeswax candles over their paraffin rivals

Beeswax candles are made by, you guessed it, bees. Bees work to make the honey for the wax. It is all natural. Beeswax candles have many advantages over paraffin candles.

Paraffin is the wax that comprises most of the candles on the market. It is made from vegetable, animal, and petroleum wastes. You’d never know it looking at the candles, but this is what is in them. Most people don’t read the labels on candles anyway.

When you burn these substances, toxic substances have the potential to be given off in the flame. Have you ever seen black smoke coming from a candle flame? It occurs when the candle is getting close to being burned out because there is no more wax to burn. These are the chemicals being released into the air.

Decorative candles of this type do not burn clean. When the wax re-hardens you will see the black residue in the wax. The wax creates a pitting phenomenon in the center of the candle and the wax also drips down the side and ruins the look of the candle.

A little known fact is that the wicks in the center of the candles contain lead. The metal button that holds the wick can also be dangerous. When burning the wick, the lead can be released into the air as well. As we burn candles, we are polluting the air around us. People with respiratory problems shouldn’t burn paraffin candles.

Advantages of beeswax candles

On the other hand, beeswax candles are available. But, they cost more, so many people think: why buy them when there are cheaper better smelling candles on the market?

Beeswax candles are environmentally safe, they burn clean. That means no pollutants are released into the air. The air is actually cleaner because what is given off by the beeswax works to eliminate odors and other pollutants from the air.

If you like the way that your candles look, beeswax candles do not do any pitting when the wax is burned. In fact, the wax burns out towards the end of the candle and doesn’t drip over. It continues to burn until there is nothing left.

Beeswax candles are not scented artificially and give off a smell of sweet honey which I love. The colour of the candle is the natural colour of the wax.

Beeswax candles burn longer than paraffin wax candles. For your money you will get over 100 hours of candle burning pleasure. So, use candles for aromatherapy and setting the mood, but clean the air and freshen your home in the process with beeswax candles.

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Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

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A bit of candle making history

Candle making has a long tradition in Europe. In the City of London there has been for centuries a society called “The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers”, created before 1330. Obviously the first candles have been made over 5.000 years ago, being the only alternative to fire to give light at night… The first known dipped candles have been produced by the Romans about 500 BC.

Hanging wicks and dipping them in wax until the candle is the correct consistency was something we did in art class. Get the family together during the holiday season and teach the kids how to make beeswax candles. We used to make candles as Christmas presents for our teachers, grandparents… My favourite one was in a “snail” shape…

Beeswax candles can be made with beeswax sheets. True beeswax candle makers don’t use these sheets but for homemade candles, beeswax sheets are easy and safe for children to use. The wax is pressed into sheets for use in making different shapes of candles. Any wax left after burning can be molded with more beeswax to create new candles to burn.

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Okay, so now we know the why and a bit of history, let´s get into the DIY part!

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

How to easily make your own beeswax candles

Before making beeswax candles, prepare by getting all of your supplies together and setting up an area to work. To make these candles you will need:

  • beeswax sheets, I get mine from a local supplier, but if you haven´t got the possibility, you can get them and the wicks here
  • scissors or a knife,
  • candle wicks,
  • a cutting board or other hard surface for cutting.

When purchasing the supplies, check to see that the wicks do not contain any lead or other chemicals.

Beeswax usually comes in a light color which is the color of the wax. Adding colour introduces chemicals into the wax that can be burned off in the flame. You can get beeswax candles in different colours, but they may not burn as clean.

First, watch the children when sharp objects are around. Do any cutting that needs to be done and keep the knife pointed away from the body. Work on the kitchen table so the kids can lean as they work.

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How to easily make your own beeswax candles; Instructions:

Lay out a sheet of beeswax. If using colored wax in combinations cut the sheet and add other colored pieces. Lay them close together so they overlap.

Take the wick and place it near the beginning of the wax sheet. Let an inch or so of the wick hang out of the bottom of the candle and two inches out of the top of the beeswax sheet.

Press the wick gently into the beeswax sheet. The wick needs to be secured so that it will not be displaced during rolling. After the wick is firmly in place, it is time to create the candle.

Slowly, roll the beeswax sheet over itself. Keep the rolls tight so no gaps are present in the wax. Continue rolling until the entire sheet is finished or the candle is as wide as you would like it. Larger candles like pillars have one or three wicks depending on width.

Cut the wick at the bottom even with the bottom of the candle. Trim the wick at the top of the candle until it is about half an inch long.

Create beautiful candles in various sizes and shapes. Kids can use their creations as homemade gifts or to decorate the house for the Christmas holiday.

See, it was extremely easy! And now you know how to easily make your own beeswax candles 🙂

You might also enjoy reading: How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids, Eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas, 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget and  How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids

There are so many things you can do with glitter. They add sparkle to just about anything and are the inspiration for a lot of craft ideas, specially now for Christmas. However, you don’t need to go out and buy it. You can easily make your own with products you’ll find in your kitchen. This is as well the more eco-friendly way to use glitter. Glitter you buy is very dangerous for our environment, just as microplastic is. Right, but this post is not about how dangerous glitter is for the environment, but about how to make eco-friendly glitter. So, let´s start:

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids: this is an easy fun-project you can do with your kids! And: you most likely have all the ingredients at home already. Use your glitter to make Christmas decor, cards etc. But you can make it all year round, not only Christmas :) Chemical free and non-toxic!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids

To make your own glitter, you will need some salt, food coloring, a baking tray and baking paper. You will also need the oven. You can buy eco-friendly baking paper now, so it´s not a problem to use. If you don´t have a store close by, you can buy it here.

To make your glitter, you will first need to choose the color you want your glitter to be. This is where you get to be creative. You are no longer restricted to what’s on the shelf at the store. You can experiment with the food coloring to create your own unique colors. Just play with the colors until you create one that you like. We chose green this time, because it is for some Christmas decorations we are going to make. More about this you will be able to read in my next post.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - finished; top view

If you don’t have any food coloring available you can use water-color paints instead. They will work just as well.

When your food coloring is ready, pour about ½ cup of salt into a bowl. If you don’t have salt in the house, you can use sugar instead. Add your food coloring, about one drop at a time, until it’s just the color you want. Mix it with a spoon. Your salt might start to dissolve, but that’s OK. That will be fixed when you bake the salt in the oven. Keep in mind that the salt will look paler when it is dry, so go a shade darker than you want it to be.

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Cover your baking tray with baking paper. That will keep it from getting stained with your food coloring. Pour the salt out of the bowl onto it. Using your spoon or your hands, spread the salt in a thin, even layer across the sheet.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - before baking

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, 190° C. You’re going to bake the salt to get rid of any moisture that was added when you poured in the food coloring. When the oven is ready, put your tray covered with salt into the oven. You need to bake it for about ten minutes.

Wanting to start a greener life, but feeling overwhelmed? Then my E-book “Ease into Green Living” is the right fit for you! Special offer: 30 minute call with me where you can ask me anything you want 🙂

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - after baking

After your salt is baked, take the tray out of the oven and let the glitter cool. Some clumps may have formed while you were baking. To get rid of them, just use a fork to break them up. Store your glitter in a sealable container to avoid it getting moist again.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - finished

Know you know how to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids! Wasn´t this easy and quick? My son and I certainly enjoyed making it 🙂

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids: this is an easy fun-project you can do with your kids! And: you most likely have all the ingredients at home already. Use your glitter to make Christmas decor, cards etc. But you can make it all year round, not only Christmas :) Chemical free and non-toxic!

Treat your young scientists, artists, engineers, and designers with a monthly Green Kid Crafts subscription.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you know someone, who might be interested in how to make eco-friendly glitter, please share this post with them.

You might also enjoy reading: Salt dough Easter decorations you can also use for making Christmas decorations, Eco-friendly toys to buy this Christmas, How to teach your kids the importance of green living and Make a sign from an old shelf for father´s day.

And don´t miss out on the UNIQUE chance to take part in the LIVE training: “A Quick Start Guide To An Eco-friendly Home Without Overwhelm & Frustration” starting Thursday, the 6th of December! For more info just click on the name 🙂

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids: this is an easy fun-project you can do with your kids! And: you most likely have all the ingredients at home already. Use your glitter to make Christmas decor, cards etc. But you can make it all year round, not only Christmas :) Chemical free and non-toxic!

 

 

Eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas

This holiday season, parents will flock to stores to buy all types of gifts for their children. We’ve all seen the videos of parents fighting over the hottest new figurine or doll. This year, shirk the plastic type toys and instead invest in some wooden toys and other eco-friendly toys. I will give you several options for eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas.

In this post I give you ideas on eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas! And you can use those not only for X-mas. Eco-friendly toys for any ocasion! From wooden toys to subscription boxes. Protect our environment by gifting thoughtful and environmental friendly!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Wooden toys

Wooden toys were the first type of toys kids knew. Dads would whittle a piece of wood to create toys in the shapes of animals, wooden dolls, puppets on strings, and toy cars. Kids would play for hours with these toys. Once the kids outgrew them, they could be passed on to younger kids.

Wooden toys have not lost their luster or durability but they have been passed over for the more colorful plastic types that talk and move. When kids are young, the one thing they have is their imagination. Wooden toys inspire the use of the imagination during play.

Wooden toys are also environmentally friendly. Many are used in their natural wooden state. Paints used on eco-friendly toys are non-toxic and safe for kids. You can argue about trees getting cut down for the production of those toys, but many companies plant at least 2 new trees for each they cut down. So, if you look for companies doing that, there is no problem.

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Why wood instead of plastic?

When other toys are broken or the kids get tired of them, they are thrown away. Each year something new will replace the old favorite and they will no longer like it as much. In a landfill, those toys just sit and take up space.

Even worse: lots of toys that are thrown away still have their batteries inside. Toys filled with harmful substances still contain them when they are disposed of. These chemicals can be released into the ground as the housings break down. This poses a potential hazard.

When wooden toys are broken, they can be fixed. If you know someone good with their hands, they can fix it for you. The point is that you don’t have to throw them away. Wooden toys you can pass down from generation to generation.

They maintain their shape and if scratched, the imperfection can be sanded out. Wooden toys hold together better than modern toys created on an assembly line. Small parts that break off of new toys can choke a young child.

If wooden toys are old and no longer usable, they can be disposed of. Because they are made of natural wood, you can chop them up and use them in compost. Colored wooden toys can’t be used for that, but maybe someone can  refurbish and donate them to local charitable organizations.

Introduce kids to wooden toys when they are young. Puzzles come in wooden and paper shapes instead of plastic. Most wooden toys have rounded edges so they are safer to play with and handle. Even if they gnaw on wood it won’t hurt them.

Choose wooden toys for the young’uns. They are environmentally friendly, safe for young children, durable, and repairable if they are damaged.

Other eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas

Subscription boxes give a lasting fun experience, not only on Christmas. There are many choices depending on the interests of your child. I will give you a few options here which I really like.

In this post I give you ideas on eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas! And you can use those not only for X-mas. Eco-friendly toys for any ocasion! From wooden toys to subscription boxes. Protect our environment by gifting thoughtful and environmental friendly!

More eco-friendly options

At Natural Collection you can find many eco-friendly toys for babies, kids and toddlers. Apart from wooden toys, they sell as well plastic toys made from recycled plastic, so you can buy those without feeling guilty.

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Then books are always a great present as they last longer than just a day. The most eco-friendly way here would be to buy used books or go to a book bank where you can swap books. Don´t have one in the neighbourhood? Why not start one?

If you are looking for eco-friendly finger paint and dough for your kids, then you can find those at EarthEasy along with many other options. My son is out of the age for those, but I am sure he will love the power house kit 🙂

Last I want to recommend instead of eco-friendly toys as Christmas present: giving experiences! A special day out to somewhere they like or would like to go to in form of a voucher will make kids happy and gives them something to look forward to. I know this is not for very small children, but from a certain age on they will love this gift. A day pony riding, a visit to a bigger park, museum… You know your kids best and I am sure you find the right idea. My son wants to try archery and there is a place not too far away we could go.

I hope you have found lots of ideas of eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas. Let me know which ones you are getting 🙂

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You might also enjoy reading: 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget, Green living & feeling guilty, How to teach your kids the importance of green living and Gardening tools for your eco-friendly garden.

In this post I give you ideas on eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas! And you can use those not only for X-mas. Eco-friendly toys for any ocasion! From wooden toys to subscription boxes. Protect our environment by gifting thoughtful and environmental friendly!

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