With the short days and cold temperatures, having some winter crafts projects handy for the kids can often save the day. Here are some specific craft ideas using items rescued from the rubbish removal bin!
Scented Pine Cones Decorated With Rubbish Removal Items
It’s sad but true. Many people throw bags of yard waste into their rubbish removal bin where it often ends up going to the landfill. Organic matter does NOT biodegrade the same way in a landfill as it does in a compost pile because in a landfill, it gets little to no oxygen. Without oxygen, the microbes that decompose organic matter can’t live! So, rescue those pine cones from your rubbish removal bin now and save them for the kids’ crafts projects.
Take the kids to a store that sells essential oils used in aromatherapy and let them to sniff each sample. Ask them which one(s) they like the best and how each one makes them feel. Explain to them that smell is strongly associated with mood. Do they think any of them would combine well together and complement each other. Some of the most popular include cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, lemon, lavender, sandalwood, bergamot, rosemary, citronella, peppermint, jasmine, rose, pine, and wintergreen. Purchase the one(s) they like best.
At home, put about ten to twenty drops of their favorite essential oil(s) in a small sprayer bottle and dilute it with water in a ratio of about one to ten, or one to twenty, depending on how strong you want each aroma to be. Mix thoroughly by swirling the liquid in the bottle. Next, ask the kids to lightly spray each pine cone evenly with the mixture. You may need to demonstrate how to do this. Put the pine cones in a warm place to dry.
Have the kids look for biodegradable items in your garden, rubbish removal bin(s), or at a local park to decorate the pines cones. Stress to them that the items must be biodegradable or okay to be in a compost pile (like small pebbles) because you plan to compost the pine cones after they loose their beautiful fragrance. Here are a few ideas to get them started:
– Ribbon made from paper
– Any type of paper
– Any type of cardboard
– Small twigs
– Small pebbles
– Tiny shells
– Evergreen foliage
The kids can decorate a single pine cone for their room or another room or they can arrange several pine cones into table centerpiece. Add a string and you’ll have an aromatic pine cone for the car!
Mr. Potato Head Pine Cones
Mr. Potato Head is one of the most popular toys ever invented! The concept was simple of course. Basically, kids made a face out of a potato with plastic doo dads! What younger people may not realize is that the original Mr. Potato head did not come with a body! Instead, all that was supplied were the plastic ears, noses, eyes, etc and kids put them on a real potato or other vegetable!
The idea here is to make faces out of pine cones with biodegradable items rescued from the rubbish removal bin. Olives make great eyes as do crumbled up newspaper. Egg cartoons are a good material for ears! Real hair from the hair brush (human or pet) can be used for beards, mustaches, and of course hair! The kids can also make legs and arms out of toothpicks or other objects. Biodegradable packing material rescued from the rubbish removal bin can be put to good use too. Cardboard cereal boxes or other cardboard boxes can be used to fashion a hat. Be sure the kids use only biodegradable items so you can later compost the pine cones along with their “face parts.”
Pine Cone Faux Flowers and Rescued “Vase”
When pine cones are painted pretty “flower colors” like pink, orange, and yellow, they make beautiful flowers! If you point the narrow end up, they look like old fashioned roses. If you point the narrow end down, they look like Zinnia flowers. The kids can use twisted strands of cardboard or sticks for the stems. For the foliage (leaves), the kids can use plant material from your garden or fashion them out of green painted cardboard.
To make a non-toxic paint that will easily biodegrade in your compost pile:
– Mix one part corn starch with one part water (about a quarter cup of each is usually a good quantity).
– Add five to ten drops of food coloring and stir until you get your desired color.
Have the kids paint their pine cones with this non-toxic paint with paint brushes, old tooth brushes, or the frayed end of a stick.
Since your faux pine cone flowers won’t need water, the kids can use just about any container they want from your rubbish removal bin for a vase! They can leave the “vase” plain or decorate it with paper or cardboard from the rubbish removal bin.
Let Clearabee See the Kids’ Creations
Clearabee, an on demand rubbish removal company dedicated to sustainable practices, supports all efforts to divert rubbish removal from landfills. Please send photos of the kids’ pine cone craft projects, including the composting of them, to their Facebook page.
Have a great New Year everyone!