Tag Archives | father’s day gift

DIY Camping Firestarters

Making use of discarded items makes you feel good and less wasteful. For those that love camping or have fire pits in their backyard during the Spring and Summer months, here is a DIY project that uses up two things that are otherwise headed for the compost and recycling bin. This is an easy way to showcase up-cycling for kids and getting them excited about summer months with DIY camping fire-starters. Save you dryer lint (that can be otherwise composted) and toilet or wrapping paper rolls (recyclable item). Stuff the empty rolls with dryer lint and store in a dry, safe place. These are highly flammable which is why lint should be regularly removed from your dryer, but makes them an excellent tool for quick starting fires when camping. This is a quick and easy upcycle for a sustainable school project for kids or DIY craft! Use pens to decorate the rolls and plan for exciting summer nights filled with camp fires and stories.

If cooking over the camp fire and you want cleaner burning fire for cooking – make sure your lint is free from petrochemicals of traditional clothes detergent or toxic dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls are the way to go if you need to eliminate static cling in the dryer with clothes. Hmmmm – I’m thinking these fire starters would make a really cute Father’s Day or Spring birthday gift for the camper in your life. Write special messages on the rolls in anticipation for camping and accessorize with camping gear.

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School or Teacher Year End Gift ~ Rain Barrel

Wow did I ever stumble onto some magic yesterday.  Our preschool decided to give the school a rain barrel as the year end gift for the school.  Well – it’s turned out to be the best project ever and this idea could easily double as a gift for grandparents, father’s day, gift for a school or teacher because it has nothing but positive elements.  I love giving practical, Eco-friendly, educational, affordable, and naturally beautiful presents and this project was all of these as the finished product is amazing. 

Did you know that many city municipalities in North America subsidize composters or rain barrels?  I contacted the Parks and Environment Division at the local city office and purchased a huge rain barrel with the down spout converter and tap kit for $40.  The city pays $50 for them and then subsidizes a percentage of the cost to make them so affordable.  Best of all, the material our rain barrel was made from is recycled food containers. 

So being the outgoing, graduating class from our preschool the gift was this rain barrel but the magic started happening when the painting and personalization of the barrel started.  I could hear Jackie, our very patient coordinator for this project, telling the children that the barrel would collect rain water for everyone to water the garden at preschool ~ all while helping each child paint their hands and fingerprints to personalize the barrel with the garden/flower/bug theme. This turned into a perfect eco-activity to educate children on the importance of water conservation, reusing, and helping the environment.

I’m so glad we took before and after pictures of the barrel.  To personalize, the children painted their hands and fingers to leave prints that Jackie turned into magical butterflies, flowers, bugs and the end product is gorgeous!  It started out as a very plain blue barrel and now it’s something decorative and functional for a school to water their garden.  Even if you just purchased the barrel and just put hand prints of all your children it would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift ~ all for under $50.  Use paints that will stand up against wet weather and you are good to go!

Here are the before and after pictures of our barrel.  I hope they inspire you.

Before:

During:

Note: Jackie gasping in awe of perfect handprints!

After:

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