So you are about to become a new daddy and making wooden toys for the little one sounds like a great idea. But what options do you have?
Let’s say you are crafty and you carve some toys out of wood. Still you should be aware that the toys need a finish and that there are numerous different natural finishes that don’t contain chemicals and synthetic elements.
The easiest thing to do is to sand the toys well and in case they are very smooth there isn’t need for a finish. The advantage of this method is that the toy will be free of chemicals and the toys are prettier because the patterns of the wood are visible. This is the most natural way to do things.
The disadvantage is that it is easier for the wood to get dirty and it could also be stained. For example in case the little one eats blueberries and he or she puts the toy in his or her mouth, the stains of blueberry will be visible forever.
Another disadvantage is that the toy isn’t protected against humidity and in case it gets wet it will swell and the surface of it will become rough.
You also have the possibility to protect the toys with beeswax. This is a natural product that needs to be mixed with some kind of oil to become softer and for it to be able to be rubbed on the toy. The advantage of this method is that it is 100% natural and biodegradable. Since it is wax, it protects the toy against moisture and stains and it has a nice scent. Also it is very easy to apply; so the future mom can safely take part in creating a surprise for the baby she expects.
The disadvantages of beeswax include the fact that it doesn’t last forever and at some point it wears off. The beeswax is only a light sealer and it is not the best solution for those toys that will often get wet. It is not a vegan product, being produced by bees, and this is why it cannot be used by every person. In some cases it could change the color of the wood, because the natural color of the wax is yellow.
Tung oil is another solution that you could use. It is made of the seeds of the tung tree that grows in China, Vietnam and Burma. The advantage of this oil is that it is natural and it seals very well and because of the natural ingredients it can create a glossy finish that looks just like varnish.
There are also some disadvantages of tung oil, like the fact that it is quite expensive and it needs to be mixed with another substance, such as citrus thinner or turpentine. When shopping in a store, you shouldn’t get ‘tung oil finishes’ because these aren’t made of tung seed, but they are synthetic products. You should consider buying pure tung oil and Citrus Solvent instead of the pre-mixed finishes.
Almond and walnut oil can also be used as a natural finish, but in some cases allergy might occur. The advantage is that they are natural, easy to apply and they protect the wood. Also they offer a nice scent to the toy. The disadvantage is that they are quite expensive too.