This week’s blog post was written by Camilla Sherman, Water Conservation Office intern and avid DIYer.
Do it yourself, DIY for short, is a phrase many arts-and-crafters love. The term DIY can be found littered throughout Pinterest and can act as a call to action for crafters who want to take on a new task. However, you do not have to be artistic or even creating a craft to DIY!
Water is the basis of life on earth, the basis for most man-made materials, and can be the basis for all types of DIY projects. I am going to share a few water based DIY activities for the summer that will help you realize how cool and important water truly is while having fun. By the end of this blog post, you will be ready to become a water DIY extraordinaire!
To start out our water DIY journey, here is an easy and fun craft for kids. You can make a washable Sidewalk Chalk Paint for your kids to enjoy this summer.
- 1/2 Cup water
- 1/2 Cup cornstarch
- Food Coloring
- Containers for your paint (Could use an old SunnyD bottle)
Step 1: Mix all the ingredients in the container.
Aaaaand that’s it! You now have a self-made washable sidewalk paint for your kids to play with this summer.
To go along with playing outside this summer, you may want to make a Mosquito Repellant Mason Jar to keep those pesky insects from ruining the fun.
- 1-2 Lemon Wedges
- 1-2 Lime Wedges
- A couple sprigs of Rosemary
- Water (fill remainder of jar with water)
- Active Ingredient: Lemon Eucalyptus oil (7-10 drops)
- Floating Tea Candles
Step 1: Mix all of the ingredients in the mason jar.
Step 2: Top off the mixture with the floating tea candle and light it.
Let this sit outside in the area you plan to use for a few minutes beforehand and then enjoy your mosquito-free and fragrant space.
For those of you that have always wanted to be artistic but felt you lacked the talent, here is a fun and easy art project. Make your own Marble Mug with water and nail polish to pass the time or give as gifts this summer!
- Disposable container
- Nail polish
- Wood coffee stirrer or toothpick
- Sponge brush
- Glossy acrylic sealer
Step 1: Fill the disposable container with warm water. Drip nail polish into container and allow pockets to form.
Step 2: Quickly use stirrer to expand the pockets of nail polish.
Step 3: Dip your mug in a circular motion to allow the nail polish to paint the mug.
Step 4: Let dry. Then add a glossy acrylic sealer with a sponge brush just over the design. You might need to add more layers of sealer, depending on your design. Be sure to let dry between applications.
Tip: Hand wash this mug with mild soap and warm water because it is no longer dishwasher safe.
For those of you who love science, this Salt Water Etching technique is perfect for you! You can use this technique on your reusable water bottle to stay hydrated in style this summer.
- Stainless steel or aluminum water bottle
- Pattern to be etched (Can be made from vinyl, a stencil, or even duct tape)
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 t. salt
- 9V battery
- 2 wires with alligator clips
Step 1: Pick your design to etch onto your water bottle and adhere it to the bottle.
Step 2: Mix 1/2 c. of water with the 1/2 t. salt in a jar and stir.
Add a bunch of Q-tips to the jar.
Step 3: Hook one wire from the positive terminal of the battery to the metal of the water bottle.
Step 4: Hook the other wire from the negative terminal of the battery to the wet end of one of the Q-tips. The clip has to be on the wet part of the Q-tip.
Step 5: Place the Q-tip on the bottle where you want the design to appear. Move the Q-tip around to dab the entire area. The top of the Q-tip will become discolored as metal is transferred from the bottle to the Q-tip. So replace the Q-tip often.
Step 6: Try to cover the area evenly. When you think it is done, dry off the design and remove the stencil. Wash the outside of the bottle to remove any remaining liquid.
You just customized your reusable water bottle yourself to create a work of art!
My favorite find for water DIYs is the Edible Water Bottle. To make your very own water-droplet-resembling edible water bottle you will need a few things that you might not normally have lying around the house.
- 1 g of sodium alginate (a natural substance derived from brown seaweed)
- 5 g of food-grade calcium lactate (a type of salt that can be found commonly in cheese and gum)
- A bowl filled with 1 cup of drinking water
- A bowl filled with 4 cups of water
- A bowl filled with water for rinsing off the “bottles”
- An immersion blender (you could also use a regular blender)
- A deep spoon like a measuring spoon
STEP 1: Add 1 g of sodium alginate to 1 cup of water. Then use an immersion blender to dissolve the sodium alginate. Once dissolved, set the mixture aside and let sit to allow any air bubbles to rise up and out.
STEP 2: Add 5 g of calcium lactate to 4 cups of water and mix well using a spoon.
STEP 3: Scoop up some of your sodium alginate solution using a deep spoon. Very carefully plop the sodium alginate into the calcium lactate bath. Repeat with the remaining sodium alginate but do not crowd the bath.
STEP 4: Stir the sodium alginate bubbles very gently for 3 minutes.
STEP 5: After 3 minutes, remove the “bottles” from the calcium lactate bath using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a water bath to stop the reaction.
Congratulations! You just made a zero waste water “bottle” that you can eat. How cool is that?