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How to Make A Sustainable Picnic Set
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How to Make A Sustainable Picnic Set

Difficulty Beginner
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1/2 day +

Take a more eco-friendly approach to your days out with these sustainable craft ideas for picnics! Choose from handmade napkins, beeswax wraps, bowls and more to personalise the picnic set while also making sure your items are reusable.

Project and instructions by Becki Clark.

 

You will need

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Equipment

Products

How to make

Beeswax wraps

Step 1

 

Gather your materials, you will need a paint brush that you are happy to use with the beeswax so grab an old one that you can keep for these kind of projects. I used half a ‘brick’ of beeswax per cloth. Pre heat your oven to the lowest setting, I popped mine onto gas mark 1. 

Materials

Fabric

Baking tray

Pinking sheers

Old paintbrush

Baking parchment

Beeswax

Step 2

Cut your parchment paper to fit onto the baking tray

 

 

Step 3

Cut your fabric down to your cloth size and use the pinking sheers along the edges, this will also save you having to sew or hem the edges.

 

 

Step 4

Lay the fabric on the tray, evenly distribute the beeswax across the cloth ready to pop into the oven.

 

Step 5

Place your tray in the oven for 6-8 minutes until the beeswax has completely melted across the fabric, you’ll be able to see the fabric darken and the cubes decrease in size as they melt across the rectangle. Remove from the oven and spread any excess beeswax evenly across the fabric

 

Step 6

Pick up from the tray using tongs (as the fabric will be hot but will cool once been taken off the tray) and hang to dry.

 

Cake toppers

Step 1

If you’re feeling confident draw your own floral and foliage shapes onto the coloured card however if you’re not sure where to start you can download the floral templates below. Draw onto the card ready to cut.

Materials

 

Coloured card

5m Posca pens

Cocktail sticks

Washi tape

Scissors

Templates

Pencil

Step 2

The shapes are simple shapes so can be cut with scissors and remember to fill your sheets with shapes so the full sheet of paper is being used

Step 3

Using the posca pens you can add details to the centre of the florals by drawing on circles with either dots around them or lines coming out from the centre. For the leaves details lines down the middle will work well and give some depth to the card.

Step 4

Using washi tape attach your floral shapes to the cocktail sticks ready to give your cupcakes a floral touch.

Cutlery wraps

Step 1

Cut and fold a sheet of A5 kraft paper in half (I cut my sheets to a5 size and this made 2 wraps for every a5 sheet, you could work on a larger scale if you wanted)

 

Materials 

 

Kraft paper

Scissors

5m White posca pen

Sewing machine (you could also use a glue stick or hand stitch)

Step 2

Cover the sheet in polka dots using the posca pen, you’ll only need to dab the pen to paper to create the dots rather than drawing or colouring them in a lot.

Step 3

Place the folded sheet in the sewing machine and run a zig zag stitches up from the folded bottom to create your wrap edges. Remember each wrap will need a zig zag stitch each side to secure it to you’ll run two lines next to each other as you work along the sheet to stitch the wraps. Cut from the sheet.

Enamel bowls

Step 1

This simple ditsy floral pattern is made up of one motif repeated across the dish. To start with draw a 4 petal floral shape around 3 cm wide, imagine it as just the semi circles joining each other rather than overwhelming yourself thinking about drawing florals.

Step 2

Colour in and repeat this shape around the bowl leaving equal distance between your florals.

Step 3 

Now with another colour add your leaf shapes, these are made up of elongated ovals with a point on each end and draw them pointing in different directions from one another.

Step 4

Colour in and repeat on each floral on the bowl remembering to have your petals pointing in different directions to give your design a ditsy pattern feel rather than looking too rigid. The multi directions gives the design movement.

Step 5 

With your green pen add small dots in the middle of your floral shapes.

Step 6

Repeat with as many colours as you want to create spring like bowls ready to take picnicking. To secure your design you can bake your enamel bowls on 100 degrees for 30 minutes, this will set your design although I’d advise hand wash rather than putting them in the dishwasher.

Kilner jar decorations

Step 1

Gather old packaging, thin cardboard and kraft wrapping would work well for this and is a great way to upcyle old cardboard into something new.

 

Materials 

 

Kilner jars

Twine

Old cardboard packaging

Hobbycraft dual brush marker

Single hole punch

Step 2

Using the heart punch punch out your heart shapes from the card, you can see mine is a little crumpled as it was an old packaging bag but once decorated you won’t notice a crease or mark.

Step 3

Using the thin end of the dual brush marker add small polka dots across the hearts (this is when you can cover any unwanted marks) and add slogans onto the hearts in you wish

Step 4

Punch a hole into the hearts, thread twine through and attach to your kilner jars!

Naturally dyed Napkins

Step 1

Materials 

2 Avocados (You will need the pit and the skins)

1 metre of linen (Any natural fabric will work such as cotton or linen mix)

Saucepan

Mixing bowl

Pinking shears

Thread for a contrasting stitch which can be hand stitched or done on the machine

 

Remove the avocado from the skin so you are left with the pits and skin. You can save your pits and skins by freezing them until you are ready to use them or if you are planning on dyeing a large amount of fabric you may want to collect batches and freeze them as you go.

Step 2

Wash your pits and skins so there is no flesh left on them, this is really important and will save you fishing out bits of avocado later on. Place into a saucepan with water, I used a 2 litre of water to the 2 pits and skins.

Step 3

Heat the water to a simmer and leave for 1 hour to create your dye. Sieve your dye into a big bowl so that any excess avocado flesh is caught in the sieve.

Step 4

Leave to cool and then place your fabric in the bowl. The longer you leave the material in the dye the deeper the colour will be. I left mine in for half an hour to absorb the dye and create a light blush tone.

With natural dye the fabric often requires a mordant which is a treatment to make sure the dye stays permanent, with avocados  the pits contain tannin in the seed which acts as a great natural mordant and binds well to natural fibres.

Step 5 

Once dry cut your fabric into squares large enough for napkins, you can use the pinking sheers to give the edges a fun pattern and this also saves you from having to hem the napkins. If you want to add more detail use a contrasting colour to stitch a border into the napkins, this can be done by hand or on the machine if you feel confident.

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