Hello, homebodies! Here’s some creative ideas to explore during the winter months. When life gives you ice, make ice lanterns! And, when it’s too cold outside, use the time for favourite activities that get neglected during the rest of the year.
For more, also see Fall and Winter Gardening Ideas.
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Winter Activities for Homebodies
A person who likes to stay at home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous.
Are homebodies not adventurous? I disagree! We just find more to explore close to home.
Hello, Winter! Love it or loathe it, winter is inevitable. For those of us in a cold climate, it’s three months on paper, and more like six months in reality. Perhaps not all snow and cold (and less of this in recent years), but months where the garden is dormant or slow-growing.
As a certified homebody with irrepressible urges to be creative both in the home and garden, I like to take advantage of what each season has to offer.
The obvious assets winter offers are snow and ice. There are several cool (pun intended), creative projects to try at this time of year.
The other selling point for winter is the urge to hibernate and make time for quieter indoor endeavours that we often don’t have time for during the rest of the year.
My list may not be yours, but it should trigger some ideas to get you started.
Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first. If you can tolerate the cold (or learn to love it), now is the time to go skating, tobogganing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, walking, and hiking. Unless temperatures are dangerously cold, it’s my favourite time of year for long walks.
Have you ever looked through all the photography settings on your mobile phone? Most have settings for winter light, items in motion, and video recording.
Or, perhaps you have another camera you have never really mastered. It’s time to learn what it can do and choose a winter photography project to get started. Winter offers unique beauty and creative opportunities unlike any other time of year.
- Make time-lapse movies | Ideas include recording snow falling, storms, melts, shovelling a deep snow, or creating snow creatures. [Android Time-lapse instructions] [iPhone Time-lapse instructions]
- Make family videos | Record a day in the life of your family, start vlogging (either for private or public viewing). Even just one day can become a family keepsake.
- Make ice fog | Have you ever seen those videos of people tossing containers of boiling water into the freezing winter air? That’s ice fog. Cool to do, makes a neat video. [see Ice Fog video]
- Feed the birds | Set up a winter feeding station with suet, seed, and running water. Photograph or video the feathered visitors. [Winter Bird Care]
- Make ice lanterns and decorations | Gather some leaves, twigs, seed pods, or colourful fruit and make outdoor lanterns or hanging decorations. [Ice Decoration tutorial]
- Ice-dye cotton fabric | This one is both an outdoor and indoor project. Use it for quilts and other sewing projects. [Ice and Snow Dyeing tutorial]
- Winter Garden Art | Dress up your snowy garden. [Winter Garden Art Ideas]
- String Light Art | Bust out the string lights and get creative. [Unusual Ways to Use String Lights]
Have you ever wanted to learn one of these? Or maybe you did them long ago and want to pick them up again?
If you want project ideas, put the word in Pinterest and see what it offers.
If you want tutorials, YouTube is your friend.
Arts & Crafts
This category is infinite. Use these lists to recall the things stuff you love to do (or have always wanted to try) and never made time for. Do those things!
- Make candles | I like hand-dipped beeswax candles but melt and pour is an option too. [15 Beeswax Projects]
- Make your own beauty products | Soaps, lotions, scrubs [Natural Beauty Alchemy book]
- Hand-dye fabric | Cotton fabric and clothing is easy to dye in an array of colours and textures [Fabric Dyeing 101 instructions]
- Hand-paint shoes | Turn plain canvas shoes into walking works of art [How to Paint Shoes instructions]
- Kids crafts | DIY Snow globe [Snow Globe tutorial], Cocoa kit in snowman jar [Snowman Cocoa Kit tutorial], Paper snowflakes [Snowflake tutorial], paper maché, macramé.
- Paint & draw | Make art with oil paints, acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, pencil, pencil crayons, crayons, charcoal, and more, or any combination.
- Scrapbooking | On paper or the digitally on the computer, if you treasure family records, assemble those memories while you can.
- Woodworking, Building, Carving | If you have the space and tools, this one has endless possibilities. Is there anything you need for your home? Gifts to make?
- Wood burning | Create coasters, art, plant markers: any clean wood will do. [Wood burning 101 tutorial]
Baking & Cooking
Want to make more meals at home or learn new recipes?
- Soup & stews | Now is the time for savoury comfort foods. [Vegetarian Soup Recipes]
- Baking | Learn bread baking. Dig out those recipes you have never tried.
- Houseplants | Ready to get started? Or, do your indoor plants need maintenance including repotting or washing? [Houseplants 101]
- Grow salads indoors | Yes, you can grow fresh greens under simple fluorescent lights all year-round. [Grow Salads Indoors ebook]
- Start seeds | Timing matters for seeds intended for planting outdoors. But you can start seeds for indoor plants any time. [Seed Starting 101]
- Force bulbs | Pre-chilled bulbs give you blooms right when you want them. [Bulb Forcing Calendar]
- Seed catalogues | Browse online or order copies and see what’s possible in your growing zone. [Directory of Seed Companies by Region]
- Garden review & plan | Look over any notes and photographs from the previous growing season and map out your plans (and wish list) for the seasons ahead. [Garden Journal]
Is this creative? Well, I thought it was creative of me to sneak it in. You need your health to do all the other stuff.
- Got equipment at home you never use? Time to dust it off and give it a whirl.
- No equipment? | There are countless YouTube videos to guide you through yoga, aerobics, dance, weight training (using food cans), and so on.
Read & Explore
For me, winter is reading catch-up time! The rest of the year, if I’m not working, I’m playing outside. In winter, I go through all the books I’ve bookmarked through the year that are just for pleasure, not for work, get my top picks, and dig in.
- Read for the love of it | Life is too short to put this off!
- Research | Is there a topic you have always been intrigued with and never made time to explore it?
- Genealogy | Research your family tree.
- Locate old friends | Become a Facebook super sleuth and find your friends you’ve lost touch with.
This may not seem like a creative topic to some, but it does to me.
- Declutter | After years of feeling burdened by clutter, there were two things that really helped. I’ve written about them here:
Decluttering 101: How to Let it Go and Get on With It | The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up | Free Printable
- Paint | Time to repaint? Or freshen things up? I’ve been repainting ceilings and wow, what a difference it makes. I also painted our kitchen cabinets and love the difference.
- Clean | Do your spring-cleaning in winter and avoid the rush!
Okay. That should get you started.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛