Saturday, 23 April 2016

Handmade Doctors Kit; Upgrade

It's taken me a little while to get around to blogging about this one. In fact I had the whole kit made and gifted in February... only 2 months, I guess that's not so bad!

You may (or may not) recall, for Felix's 4th birthday last year, I made him a toy stethoscope and doctors kit.

Original kit

One year later, the original stethoscope was well and truly on it's last legs, so I decided it was time for an upgrade.

One year later, much loved

I got together some felt, ribbon and a headband. Putting it together was fairly straightforward, if you'd like some more in depth instructions, I based my design on this tutorial.

A vast improvement, plus it doesn't fall off all the time

Sewing this time. No knitting in sight, and perhaps a better choice.

The cardboard box I originally put the kit in had seen better days too. Now on my sustainable path, I came up with a solution using things I had around the house.

A lunch bag we weren't using for lunch, and some felt, has made the perfect (sturdy) doctors bag. It's been able to take a beating so far, with no signs of wear, as opposed to the original cardboard box, which didn't really stand up to the rigours of a child doctor!

I am very happy with these results, and am hoping I won't need to be revisiting another doctor's kit on his 6th Birthday!

What have you repurposed into an awesome kids toy?

Friday, 8 April 2016

Mind your own beeswax; Sustainable food wrap

In my pursuit to reduce our waste. I came across an adorable eco-friendly glad wrap alternative; Bees Wax Wraps! 

I originally purchased a lovely Honeybee Wrap from the gorgeous store String and Salt in Warragul. Honeybee wraps have much more to them than the ones I attempted below. If you're not wanting to go to all the trouble, I highly recommend them, they come in various sizes and in a range of beautiful fabrics.

Honeybee Wrap - Pic courtesy of Honeybee Wraps

I have an abundance of beautiful cotton that I purchased many moons ago for my small business which tried (and mostly failed) at selling iron on letters. This was the perfect use for these. Before I started, I washed the fabric first and gave it a little iron too.

Cotton and Beeswax

The only problem was, where to find beeswax? I tried a couple of health food stores half heartedly, knowing I wouldn't have any luck. Then, we attended a local farmers market and I asked the honey man from Pure Peninsula Honey (honey man isn't his official title by the way) I bought a small soap like bar of it and was even more excited to get making.

Not cheese, grated beeswax!

I followed the tutorial by Karen B at The Art of Doing Stuff

I love her take on the whole sustainable bit... It's not going to be possible for 99.9% of people to go 100% green, however if we recognise that we can help reduce waste, it's going to help make a big difference. (she says it much more eloquently than that)

I put my oven on 70 Degrees Celsius (for those not in fahrenheit) and it took about 5 - 10 minutes for the wax to melt and soak in. I also popped into my local op shop and purchased some old trays and an old grater just for this purpose, this cost me a whole $2. Mainly as I think if I'm trying to reduce waste, throwing foil in the garbage might be a little counter productive.

They've turned out beautifully, although I did end up repeating the process as I wasn't liberal enough with the wax the first time. Next time around I may concoct a mixture from beeswax and coconut oil. Thus far, I've been using them to wrap cheese and cover bowls... I am also keen to make some for gifts.

My Wraps

Have you attempted to make beeswax wraps? Do you have a special recipe or formula?