Tag Archives: diy

10 Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Crafts For Kids

Fun And Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Crafts To Make With Your Kids

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re like me, you’re already looking for some kid-friendly Valentine’s Day activities that are fun and easy, yet don’t produce a lot of waste.

After all, there’s nothing better than spending time with your favorite little person, creating homemade keepsakes that represent love and affection.

That’s why I’m sharing 10 of my favorite eco-friendly Valentine’s Day crafts that parents and kids can make together!

All of these crafts encourage earth-friendly supplies, and eventually, these keepsakes can be recycled, composted, up-cycled and [some] even planted!

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10 DIY Valentine’s Day Crafts For Toddlers, Preschoolers And Big Kids!

IHeartCraftyThings.com

Animal Valentines Crafts

By Caroline | iHeartCraftyThings

These 3D paper valentines are super simple to make, and in her blog post, Caroline teaches you how to put together 5 animals (a video tutorial is also included). Each adorable animal holds a 3D heart, and a message to your Valentine can be written inside of the heart, or the back of the card. This is a super cute project, and will certainly keep your little ones busy!

Source: YouTube—iHeartCraftyThings
TheBestIdeasForKids.com

Salt Dough Hearts

By Kim McLeod | TheBestIdeasForKids.com

Inspired by the traditional Valentine’s Day heart candies with secret messages, these salt dough hearts can be used in so many different ways! On her blog, Kim McLeod states that these Valentine’s Day creations can be used to make jewelry, become table centerpieces, and can even be turned into magnets.

Morganmanagesmommyhood.com

Seed Paper Valentines

By Morgan | Morganmanagesmommyhood.com

I love this earth-friendly DIY seed paper project because Morgan includes a free printable Valentine’s Day card that says “I love watching our friendship grow, Valentine”. Morgan also provides step by step instructions on how to make your own seed paper! It’s a lovely project for kids, and make really great eco-friendly alternatives to traditional Valentine’s Day cards.

ElliHurst.com

Valentine’s Day DIY Bird Feeder For Kids

By Elli Hurst | ElliHurst.com

I love when parents turn fun DIY projects into nature-inspired learning opportunities for children. In her blog post, Elli Hurst teaches you how to make simple Valentine’s Day themed bird feeders using everyday pantry ingredients. Your children will love putting these together, and even more so watching birds nibble on them.

DelineateYourDwelling.com

DIY Cupid’s Bow + Arrow

By Amy | DelineateYourDwelling.com

This is quite possibly the cutest DIY bow and arrow set I’ve ever seen. In her blog post, Amy lists all of the essential supplies you need, which consist of mostly compostable items like paper straws, yarn, felt and paper towel rolls. It’s an adorable Valentine’s Day DIY and it’s a hit at parties as well!

RedTedArt.com

Easy Friendship Rocks For Valentine’s

By Maggy | RedTedArt.com

Painted rocks make wonderful keepsake art—especially when they contain precious little fingerprints. In her blog post, Maggy gives some great tips on the most eco-friendly way to acquire rocks, which paint to use, and how to preserve them. These make great Valentine’s Day gifts for grandparents and classmates.

TypicallySimple.com

Love Bugs Toilet Paper Roll Craft

By Kelly | TypicallySimple.com

Don’t toss that toilet paper roll away! Upcycle it in your next arts and crafts project just like Kelly did! These adorable love bugs are easy to make, and kids can get as creative as they’d like! In her blog post, Kelly lists all of the supplies you’ll need, and the outcome is amazing! This Valentine’s Day craft is also a great way to teach kids about repurposing and recycling!

TheResourcefulMama.com

Valentine’s Day Heart Wreath

By Kim | TheResourcefulMama.com

This simple and easy to make [paper plate] Valentine’s Day wreath is fun for any age. On her blog post, Kim lists all of the necessary supplies you need for this lovely wreath, and they look really cute when hung up! This is probably one of the easiest crafts for the younger toddlers to make, and it’s great for sharpening those motor skills!

RythmsOfPlay.com

Heart Leaf Lanterns

By Nell | RythmsOfPlay.com

This heart leaf lantern is not only super easy to make, it’s incredibly versatile. In her blog post, Nell states that you can use this lantern with small candles, or you can fill it with candy and give it as a gift. It actually makes a super sweet gift for a teacher should you decide to fill it with treats!

HowWeeLearn.com

Mosaic Rock Heart

By Sarah | HowWeeLearn.com

This beautiful Valentine’s Day craft involves a few small rocks/pebbles, some salt dough and paint. The end result is a beautiful earthy keepsake that can last a really long time, and later can be returned to the soil! It’s a fun project for any age, and makes a wonderful gift for parents, grandparents, and even teachers!

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How To Get Rid Of Silverfish

Natural And Non-Toxic Methods To Repel And Kill Silverfish

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If you’re reading this article, then you have a silverfish problem in your home, and are looking for quick, effective and nontoxic remedies to get rid of them. You’ve come to the right place.

Here in Northwest Florida, we have the pleasure of sharing our home with many unsightly pests, most of which consist of abnormally large palmetto bugs, snakes and the dreaded silverfish—the star of this post.

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that resemble an anchovy. They have a soft silvery-grey outer shell and eat anything sweet and starchy—even wallpaper, clothing and books.

They enjoy damp and humid areas of your home, and particularly like to frequent your bathtub, shower, sink and closet.

These insects don’t pose a serious threat to your home (they don’t bite or carry diseases), but they can cause unwanted damage if left unchecked—so it’s best to prevent and eliminate their presence.

With that said, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the last few years that have helped keep these annoying pests away—without the need to hire an expensive exterminator, or toxic [store bought] commercial sprays.

3 Effective Non-Toxic Methods For Killing Silverfish

Method #1
Natural Silverfish Traps

The Sticky Cardboard Trap

Take a piece of cardboard and spread a sticky substance on the top side. Next, take some oatmeal and place a few oats in the very center. The silverfish will set foot onto the sticky coating and will get stuck.

For the sticky substance, I recommend using an all-natural product called Tanglefoot, which is a super sticky and pesticide free coating that works wonders (it’s even great for DIY fly traps). However, you can create your own sticky paste by mixing together some water and flour.

The Glass Jar Trap

This silverfish trap is a great way to upcycle a glass jar. Simply take a jar and spread butter along the inside (about 1-2 inches from the neck and spread toward the middle). Butter will prevent silverfish from climbing back up. Then, wrap the outside of the jar with masking tape and provide the silverfish with a tongue depressor ramp.

Next, bait the trap with something starchy like flour or sugar. Leave the jar out on the floor overnight, or in a damp area like underneath the sink, and check on your trap the next morning. If you find any silverfish inside, simply pour in some soapy water to drown them, and then discard them by flushing them down the toilet.

Method #2

Natural Silverfish Repellants

Silverfish are not fans of strongly scented herbs, spices and certain wood, and are known to avoid and flee areas that contain these natural repellants which consist of the following:

Whole Cloves

Rosemary

Lavender

Cinnamon Sticks

Bay Leaves

Eucalyptus

Cucumber Peels

Epsom Salts

Orange & Lemon Peels

Cedar Wood Shavings

With that said, you can create your own natural and nontoxic silverfish repelling sachets that you can strategically place around your home. I was able to find a batch of 50 reusable muslin sachet bags on Amazon for around $15.

Simply take a few sachet bags, and fill them with a combination of [the above] herbs and spices.

My favorite sachet combination to repel silverfish consists of: cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and orange peels. I recommend crushing your dried bay leaves because crushing releases that strong aromatic scent that you love, but silverfish can’t stand.

Cinnamon, Bay Leaf & Orange Peels

Method #3

Natural Poisoned Baits

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic and effective natural pesticide that works very well on silverfish. Simply sprinkle some along floorboards and crevices and allow it to do its job.

Once a silverfish crawls through Diatomaceous Earth, their soft outer shell will be destroyed, and they will lose moisture and dry up—resulting in death. This natural pesticide is non-toxic to pets, but may cause irritation in babies—so please be careful when deploying this method.

Borax

Another natural and non-toxic pesticide for silverfish is borax. Borax, otherwise known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring element, but also unsafe for pets and children—so please be mindful when deploying this method.

Simply mix equal parts of borax with powdered sugar, and lay a small pile in paper cupcake holders or on a small piece of cardboard. When silverfish ingest this combination, the borax will poison them.

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DIY Laundry Room Recipes

All-Natural Cleaning Recipes For A Non-Toxic Laundry Routine

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If you’re a health conscious person like I am, and you’re concerned about what you put into your body, then you should be equally concerned about what goes on it.

Clothing, undergarments, bedding and towels—all of those items make constant contact with our skin. So washing these items with safe and non-toxic laundry alternatives is key to avoiding potentially harmful chemicals that can leach into our body.

The more friends and relatives I lose to cancer lately, the more I realize just how environmental factors really do influence our health. So for me, swapping to all-natural cleaning recipes has become a serious commitment—especially because I want my kids to be as healthy as possible.

When it comes to laundry products, I have begun to my make own—and it’s amazing how well they work and how much money I’ve been able to save. The only laundry product that I do purchase every once in a while are zero waste laundry strips for travel purposes—they’re so convenient for hotel stays and for when we visit family.

All of the ingredients required for DIY laundry products consist of simple pantry products, and to store them, you simple need a few glass mason jars—or anything with a tight sealing lid.

It’s also amazing how much little effort goes into making home-made laundry products, not to mention the freedom you have to experiment with different scents from essential oils.

So, without further ado, below are some of my favorite home-made laundry room recipes that are wonderful and effective alternatives to toxic store bought brands. I hope you give them a try and eventually make the switch for good!

DIY LAUNDRY SOAP

For this home-made laundry soap recipe, you’ll need to grate your Castile soap bar into fine powder (this can be done with a food processor). Once you have your powder, simply mix it with all of the other ingredients and store in a tightly sealed container of your choice (about a gallon sized container is ideal). This recipe yields around 90 loads of laundry.

To Use: 1 TBSP per load is ideal for high efficiency machines. 2 TBSP per load is ideal for regular machines.

To Brighten Whites: Pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the bleach dispenser to whiten and soften clothing.

  • 1 Bar Of Castile Soap (Finely Grated)
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 2 Cups Of Borax
  • 2 Cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 30-40 Drops of Essential Oils (Of Your Choice—I love using coconut and lemongrass or vanilla).

DIY LIQUID FABRIC SOFTENER

For this simple home-made liquid fabric softener recipe, you only need two ingredients. Mix them together and pour the mixture into your softener dispenser.

I really love this alternative fabric softener recipe because I can easily make it on demand whenever I do laundry and I love that I have the option to create different scents each time! My clothing and towels also come out soft, fluffy and fresh!

1/4 Cup Of White Vinegar

  • 5 Drops Of Essential Oil Of Choice (I love using Vanilla essential oil)


DIY FABRIC SOFTENER SHEETS

This home-made dryer sheet recipe is an alternative to liquid softener, though these sheets will also be wet. In addition to the ingredients, you will need a mason jar with a lid as well as flannel or cotton fabric that you will cut into about 20 or so 3 inch squares (I use old flannel receiving blankets which work perfectly).

Simply add the ingredients into your mason jar, shake well, and add the cloth which will soak up all the liquid. I typically place the cloth back into the jar where it will absorb some more mixture. When all of your sheets no longer feel damp, you should start the process all over again.

1/4 Cup White Vinegar

10 Drops of Essential Oil

20-25 Small Squares Of Flannel (Around 3 Inches)

1 Mason Jar

DIY Laundry Scent Booster

This easy laundry scent booster consists of only two ingredients. Simply mix the epsom salt and preferred essential oil in a mixing bowl (double the measurements for a larger batch) and store in an air tight container.

To Use: 1 TBSP per load is ideal

  • 1 Cup Epsom Salt
  • 20 Drops Of Preferred Essential Oil
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DIY Halloween Costume Ideas For Kids

Cheap And Easy DIY Classic Halloween Costume Ideas For Minimalists

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Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re like most parents, you and your child are contemplating this year’s Halloween costume for for some good old trick or treating.

But this year, finances might be tough, or you and your family just want to be as zero waste and minimalist as possible when it comes to trick or treating—and prefer to go with a DIY approach.

When it comes to minimalism, Halloween costumes should be simple. Some of the most classic Halloween costumes are excellent examples of minimalism at work—such as ghosts, mummies and witches, to name a few.

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There are also several reasons why avoiding store bought Halloween costumes, and creating your own, especially when it comes to kids, is actually a good thing:

Reason 1: Kids Outgrow Them


Unlike adults who are able to reuse their costumes, children tend to outgrow theirs. And you either end up donating or throwing them away. Either way, they’ll eventually make their way to the landfill. By making your own costume, you’ll be able to use parts that are at least biodegradable or recyclable.

Reason 2: You’ll Save Money

It seems like Halloween costumes get more and more expensive every year. By creating your own costume, you’ll save an average of $50.00—sometimes more.

Reason 3: Teaches Creativity

Creating a homemade Halloween costume with your child is a great bonding experience, and it encourages them to be creative!

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Classic Mummy

Mummy costumes are a very simple DIY, and can easily be put together using bandages or old bedsheets cut into strips. I don’t recommend toilet paper because it’s wasteful and tears easily.

Classic Robot

You can easily turn your little one into a robot using a cardboard box and cutting out arm holes on the side. Then decorate the box anyway you’d like! Paint or color on some buttons, rivets and maybe even a fun screen that says “loading”.


Classic Ghost

Probably the most classic and simple of all DIY Halloween costumes, the ghost costume simply requires a white or off-white bedsheet with holes cut out for the eyes. Make sure your child can walk safely by making the sheet an appropriate length.

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Classic Monster

Monster costumes can be as versatile as you’d like. You can create an oversized mask using a large brown paper bag from the grocery store and cut out openings for the eyes—drawing on the other facial features and making them as scary as you’d like.


Classic Fairy Princess

Fairy princess costumes can easily be made using cardboard boxes and construction paper. You can cut out a crown using construction paper and attach it to your child’s head using clips or string. You can use cardboard to create wings and attach them to your child’s back with yarn—like a backpack.

Classic Super Hero

Super hero costumes can easily be made using felt to create an eye mask, and a bedsheet or blanket can be used as a cape. You can also cut out a Superman symbol or Star from felt and attach it to your child’s shirt.

Space Alien

Turn your little one into a colorful space alien using a cardboard box and some construction paper. Cut out armholes on the side and decorate the rest with construction paper. You can create a hat with antennas using a smaller box and pipe cleaners for antennas.

What is a home made Halloween costume that you’ve created for your child? Let us know in the comments!

How To Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

Natural DIY Recipes And Proven Methods That Repel Mosquitoes So You Can Take Back Your Yard!

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When you live in the south, you’re plagued with some of the meanest mosquitoes in the country. And these little demons can be extremely active well into the month of December—which is no fun if you’re trying to enjoy the crisp outdoor air with some hot cocoa in the evening.

Aside from being a nuisance, mosquitoes can carry deadly viruses like West Nile, Zika, Malaria and Dengue. Mosquito bites can also spark allergic reactions in both children and adults called Skeeter Syndrome, which is similar in appearance to cellulitis. The bitten area can swell to a concerning size and cause intense itching.

With that said, it’s very important to protect yourself from mosquitoes—whether you’re outside or in your home. I can’t tell you how many times my children have woken up with mosquito bites in the past, because these pesky bugs have somehow made their way into our house. Needless to say, I did a lot of research to find preventable solutions.

Fortunately, there are several ways to deter mosquitoes naturally without having to resort to store bought products (like sprays), which may be effective in repelling these bugs, but aren’t so great for your health because they contain harmful chemicals like DEET, which has unfortunately been linked to neurotoxicity.

Hence, in this article, I’m going to share some natural tips, tricks and recipes with you that will help repel mosquitoes safely, and allow you to enjoy the outdoors—because you shouldn’t have to be bullied by a bug.


Natural Methods For Mosquito Elimination

Mosquito Repellant #1

Catnip—yes, catnip! Catnip happens to be 10 times more powerful than any store bought mosquito solution because it contains nepetalactone, an essential oil that’s more effective than DEET! In short, catnip triggers a pain receptor in mosquitoes and they flee.

Simply place several catnip sachets around your home (especially near entryways and windows) to deter them from entering your home. You can also make catnip tea, pour it into a spray bottle, and unleash this powerful solution anywhere in your home. I spritz catnip tea on my outdoor patio furniture and indoor curtains.

Mosquito Repellant #2

You can create your own homemade mosquito spray using Witch Hazel, and essential oils that mosquitoes absolutely hate. I find that even flies steer clear of my patio after I spray a good amount onto myself. For this recipe you will need the following:

  • 1/3 Cup Of Witch Hazel
  • 40 drops of preferred essential oil. While you can certain use just one variety of essential oil, I like to combine two or more different scents like 20 drops of lemongrass and 20 drops of tea tree oil.

Mosquito Repellant #3

Bounce dryer sheets are a staple mosquito repellant here in Florida. Wether you’re outdoors working on your garden, or out in the woods camping, stick a Bounce dryer sheet or two into your pockets (exposing them a little) and watch how mosquitoes steer clear.

Mosquito Repellant #4

The next time you’re out on the patio BBQing, remember to throw some fresh sage or rosemary onto the coals (or metal grill if using a gas grill) and watch the mosquitoes steer clear of the area.

Mosquito Repellant #5

You can create your own mosquito repelling lotion with one simple pantry ingredient and an essential oil. Simply mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and rub onto exposed body parts. This mosquito repellant is an all-natural recipe and can be used on children, but please do a small test area first to make sure that no irritation occurs. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 15 drops peppermint, eucalyptus, lavendar, lemongrass or tea tree essential oil

Mosquito Repellant #6

Hang some herbs around your home and patio in cheese cloths or muslin bags. Flying insects (especially mosquitoes) absolutely hate the smell of basil and will avoid the area. You can hang either fresh basil leaves, or crush some dried ones which will also emit a strong scent. Roaches cannot stand basil as well!

Mosquito Prevention Tips

Avoid Leaving Out Water

Avoid having water sitting around anywhere on your property (pet bowls, birdbaths, etc). Mosquitoes need water in order to reproduce, and even as little as 1 pint is sufficient to nurture as many as five-hundred larvae.


If you happen to have a small pond in your yard, you can break open a few egg yolks and let them spread over the surface of the water. This solution suffocates the mosquito larvae and can be repeated every few days.

You can even stock your pond with mosquito-eating fish called Gambusia Affinis! These mosquito eating fish love to feast on mosquito larvae and are an excellent mosquito prevention source. If you can’t find them in your local fish store, you can surprisingly find a few retailers selling them on Amazon for a reasonable price!

Citronella Plants

Grow some citronella plants in your garden, or in plant pots around your front porch and patio. Mosquitoes despise citronella plants, and will stay away from the area. You can purchase citronella plants at your local nursery, or grow your own from seeds.

Dragonflies

Attract some dragonflies to your property by growing bamboo plants. Dragonflies love to live among bamboo and enjoy feasting on mosquitoes! In fact, they can eat around 100 mosquitoes in as little as 30 minutes!

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