4 DIY Projects to keep you warm through the Winter
Autumn is ending and you’ve started hearing people on the street discussing the weather so ominously “It’s getting cold; winter is coming” that you feel like a character from the Game of Thrones.
Luckily, the holidays are around the corner to brighten up the prospect of the dull winter weather, which usually means countless hours spent indoors, bundled in a blanket, stuck on the couch watching mindless TV.
Unfortunately, the idea of wasting so much time is often better than actually doing it, and after a few days you’re likely to start feeling bored and listless.
So if you find yourself becoming increasingly unproductive this winter, why not drag yourself off the couch and try some of these fun DIY projects to keep your hands busy, and yourself warm this winter.
Brew some Mulled Wine
Whether you’ve never tried a delicious mug with its spicy aromas and rich flavours or if you’re a seasoned Mulled Wine drinker, it’s something that’s guaranteed to warm you up this winter.
Why not create your own using this easy to follow recipe:
What you Need:
1 Orange, sliced & seeded
1/2 Cup sugar
2 cups water
1 Teaspoon ground cloves
2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Bottle red wine
Combine the orange, sugar, water, and spices in a large stainless steel or enamelled pot.
Bring to boil, while stirring continuously, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the wine and slowly reheat, but don’t boil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm in mugs.
You’ll be doing a fair amount of stirring surrounded by fragrant fumes, so don’t be afraid to give in to the urge to chant ‘Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…..’ and cackle occasionally.
Make a crochet blanket
I know you're thinking that it’s a traditional art for the older generation.
But crocheting, knitting and sewing have become increasingly popular with the trendy kids and learning to crochet means that you could be wrapped up in your own hand made square quilted blanket in a week! Once you learn the basics, you could try more complicated things like a cute tea cosy to keep your pot of mulled wine warm or a new scarf and gloves.
To make a crochet blanket you’ll need:
1 crochet needle
Wool (Varying colours are your choice)
To crochet a blanket, you’re going to use a basic stitch to create individual squares.
Once you’ve got enough squares to make up the size that you want, sew them together.
For Basic crochet stitch instructions. Click Here!
The added bonus of this one is that you can sit in front of the TV and crochet, so you’ll be productive and learning a new skill while maintaining a certain level of holiday laziness!
Create some wall art
Using Decoupage you could do anything from creating personalised picture frames, wall art, coasters to recovering table tops and even revamping an old pair of shoes!
It’s often thought of as a complicated craft based on the impressive quality of work some creative people have managed to produce, but it’s actually a deceivingly simple one. The art of sticking things together, creatively.
To create beautiful wall art using Decoupage, you’ll need:
Mod Podge (A medium used for decoupage work, it functions as a glue and a sealer. You could also use plain white glue mixed 50% water, 50% glue)
1 paint brush
A shoe box lid
A flat surface
- Lightly brush a layer of Mod Podge onto the front of the lid, where you're going to be sticking the decorative paper.
- Blow gently for a second slightly drying the Mod Podge to avoid air bubbles when sticking the paper.
- Place the paper carefully onto the Podge from one edge, smoothing it out evenly to the other edge.
- Rub over gently and leave to dry for a few minutes.
- Once the paper is securely stuck with no air bubbles, brush another layer of Mod Podge over the decorative paper to seal it, leaving a smooth finish. The more layers you add, the firmer your creation will be.
Tip: For an extra warm and fuzzy feeling, try making your wall art into a photo frame
Decoupage & Mod Podge tips: Click Here
Bake chocolate brownies
There is nothing better than chocolate in winter, which makes the thought of warm chocolate brownies seem almost heavenly.
That slight crunch into the doughy middle, occasionally interrupted by the surprise of a hidden walnut, or a layer of fudge.
If your mouth isn’t watering, then you haven’t tried these chocolate brownies, you’ll need:
200g Dark Chocolate
170g Salted butter (Or add a pinch of salt to unsalted)
200g Soft brown sugar (Caster sugar is fine if you don’t have any brown)
110g Plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celsius / 356 Fahrenheit
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale, light and frothy (There is no raising agent in brownies, so the air whisked in at this stage will stop them from being chocolate bricks)
- Pour the cooled chocolate/butter mix into a bowl with the eggs and sugar and stir well.
- Add in the flour and any extras you'd like (Nuts, raisins, M & M’s, melted fudge bar, peanut butter, cherries etc.) and stir briefly.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is cracked and shiny. The centre should still be slightly soft and squidgy.
Sprinkle with icing sugar or serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Warm Chocolate Brownies
Try out the step by step video tutorial from the Frugal Chef, as she makes the most delicious fudge like chocolate brownies.
So this year when temperatures are freezing and you’re shivering indoors, try warming up to the idea of using your spare time to learn something new and get crafty. We’re not saying don’t cuddle in the covers with your favorite movie or series on repeat, but crochet while you’re doing it, take advantage of adverts or the interval between series seasons to pop a batch of brownies in the oven or decoupage a decorative doodle before dashing back to the next episode.
What is your favourite winter activity?
Up and Coming Projects
The next D.I.Y article will be aimed at the young home owner who is looking for inspiration or an easy, cheap way to furnish (style) their home. It gives a quick look into the world’s flea markets that are known for their strange and unique items, also mentioned in the article is how to incorporate their discoveries into D.I.Y projects.
- Spoon lamp
- The pallet sofa
These D.I.Y projects are provided with costs and where to find the items, as well as step by step instructions.