How to Make Your Own Compostable Utensils From Household Materials

How to Make Your Own Compostable Utensils From Household Materials

How to Make Your Own Compostable Utensils From Household Materials

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, many are looking for ways to reduce their use of single-use plastics and utilize more sustainable alternatives. One great option is to make your own compostable utensils from materials you likely already have around the home. Not only is this a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution, but it’s also a fun DIY project!

Materials Needed

To get started, you will need the following household items:

  • Wooden skewers or chopsticks: These will form the base of your utensils. Look for untreated, natural wood options.

  • Twine or string: Choose a natural fiber like cotton or hemp. Avoid synthetic materials.

  • Beeswax: Used to seal and waterproof the utensils. Can be purchased or harvested from beehives if available.

  • Kitchen knife: For shaping and cutting the wood.

  • Scissors: To cut the twine to size.

  • Double boiler: To melt the beeswax.

  • Parchment paper: To place utensils on while drying.

Optional:

  • Food coloring (liquid or powder)
  • Dried flowers or herbs
  • Essential oils

Making a Compostable Fork

Forks are a great utensil to start with when making your own compostable cutlery. Follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Cut the Wooden Skewer

Use a sharp knife to cut a wooden skewer, chopstick, or thin branch into 5-6 inch segments. These will form the tines of the fork.

Step 2: Bundle the Tines

Take 4-5 of the cut wooden segments and tightly bundle them together in the center, lining up the ends. The tines should all be pointing the same direction.

Step 3: Wrap Twine Around the Bundled Tines

Take a 24 inch piece of twine or string and tightly wrap it around the center of the bundled tines to hold them together. Tie it off securely. Trim any excess twine.

Step 4: Shape the Fork

Gently bend the untied ends of the tines outwards to form the fork shape. Make sure they are spaced evenly.

Step 5: Seal the Fork

Melt beeswax in a double boiler. Once melted, dip the ends of the fork (tines and handle) into the wax to waterproof and seal them. Let dry completely on parchment paper.

And that’s it – you now have a handmade, biodegradable fork!

Making a Compostable Spoon

Spoons can be made in a very similar process:

  • Cut a wooden skewer into a 6-8 inch segment
  • Shave and shape one end into a spoon shape using a knife
  • Seal and polish the spoon portion by dipping it into melted beeswax
  • Allow to dry fully before using

Making a Compostable Knife

Knives require a long, thin piece of wood:

  • Use a chopstick, thin branch, or bamboo skewer
  • Cut it to 6-8 inches long
  • Shape one end into a sloped knife edge
  • Seal, waterproof, and polish by dipping into melted beeswax

Customizing Your Utensils

There are endless ways to customize your homemade compostable utensils with natural materials:

  • Add food coloring to the beeswax to tint your utensils
  • Mix in dried flowers or herbs for visual interest
  • Include essential oils like lemon, lavender, or peppermint to add light scents
  • Use different types of wood like birch, poplar, or basswood
  • Experiment with different natural fibers for the binding

Making your own utensils is an extremely gratifying way to reduce plastic use. With just a few household materials and simple DIY methods, you can easily create an eco-friendly set of compostable cutlery. Not only are they better for the environment, but they can also be customized into beautiful, natural works of art for your home. Give it a try!