Winter evenings are long, especially in the northern part of our globe. So why not enjoy some crafts that will help you relax and learn something new.
You can find a whole bunch of interesting how-to videos on YouTube. However, you really need to sort through a lot of mediocre tutorials in order to find something that is well laid out and explains the subject matter in an easy to understand way. One source I found that has a lot of quality tutorials on various topics is an online platform called Udemy. They offer great free and paid crafting tutorials that will definitely teach you some new skills while enjoying a winter evening in the comfort of your own home.
Instead of visiting a Craft Fair and spending hundreds of dollars on unique, hand made crafts, you can spend a winter evening or two and learn to make them yourself! Not only will you have the pleasure of relaxing by working with your hands, but you will end up with a beautiful product that you can use of gift.
Here are some relaxing crafting ideas and tutorials to enjoy during long winter evenings.
Bring Out The Yarn
Crochet is a great craft to learn. From dishcloths and hats to ponchos and sweaters; you can pick a project that is right for you. Agnes Ferenczi offers a great 2.5-hour Crochet for Beginners with Crochet Projects course that is bound to get you started and moving in the right direction. All you need is some yarn, crochet hook, sewing needle and a pair of scissors.
Scarves or sweaters? You can start with big needles for thick puffy scarves or knitting circles for easy to make hats. Start your knitting adventure with Emily Woodhouse Knitting Crash Course: Learn to Knit It Now. The best part… this course is free! So pick up some knitting needles and some colourful yarn, and you are ready to go!
Needle Point and Hand Embroidery
If the big needles are not your thing, you can always try the tiny ones. What is great about needle point and embroidery, is that the projects can be really tiny, like a nice cherry embroidered on your child’s jean pocket, or huge like tapestry size scenic pictures. It all depends on your skill, time and will. Floor Giebels has a great course entitled Hand Embroidery: Painting with Thread that will teach you all the basics and will help you create your first project with ease and joy. For this project you will need some cotton fabric, also called muslin, embroidery needles, various colours of embroidery thread (depending on your project), embroidery ring and an unpicker (also called seem ripper).
Fragrant and Beautiful
Candle making is one of less time consuming winter activities and can be completed and enjoyed on the same day. One of the easiest ways to make candles is using soy wax. The Housewife in Japan from CozyBogie.com has a very simple video on YouTube entitled How to Make Scented Soy Candles that is very easy to follow and uses basic household tools and utensils. The best part… you can make amazing smelling candles with your favourite essential oil blends in your own kitchen. Your home will smell nice and you will keep warm in the process.
Salts, Scrubs and Bath Bomb Making
Winter leaves us with dry and itchy skin. Making salts, scrubs and bath bombs to make our skin hydrated and smelling wonderfully is one of more practical winter activities. Evonna at Evonna Who channel has a great video entitled Bath Bombs, Sugar Scrubs and Bath Salts | DIY Gifts that will show you step by step how to make these wonderful bath products. You can make them with simple ingredients and personalize them to your liking. They are fun to make and fun to use. And as a bonus, you can gift them to your family and friends.
Jewellery making, though simple, requires a bit more tools. Nonetheless, learning the skill is fun and wearing your own, unique pieces can be very satisfying. You have a choice to start small and simply make a pair of earrings or a pendant, or you can go all in and try making elaborate necklaces or bracelets. In her video, How to Make Jewellery: Tutorial for Beginners Part 1, Jessica Rose from Jewellers Academy Channel will teach you all the basic skills you need to know to make your first pair of earrings. Even though it may take a few tries to make that perfect set of earrings, this is one of those crafts that you can start and complete within one evening. It is a great winter activity to consider doing with a few girlfriends over a glass of wine.
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Origami Paper Crafting
This Japanese paper crafting is a great winter activity for the whole family. Using colourful paper you can make tons of different flowers, animals and objects. There are a lot of videos on Udemy and on YouTube that will show you how to make anything from butterflies or dinos to horses and roses. If you’re looking for something more practical, you can always try making origami bookmarks, like this cute koala one. Regardless what it is you are making, creating origami figurines and objects can be a fun and relaxing winter activity for anyone involved.
While cursive writing is disappearing in favour of typed pages, it is always a pleasure to receive a beautifully written and addressed card or a letter. Winter evenings are a perfect time to learn this unique and beautiful skill. You can pick up a calligraphy kit in most paper and craft stores and there are a lot of wonderful courses and tutorial videos all over the internet that will teach you the basics. Amanda has a great video called How To: Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners! Tutorials + Tips, that will show you all the important how-to’s in just a few minutes. Calligraphy is a great activity to enjoy and practice. As a bonus, your skills will definitely be recognized and the effort appreciated by those who receive your beautifully written and addressed cards and letters.
Colouring is very relaxing and therapeutic no matter what age. There are many places on the internet where you can print free adult colouring pages. JustColor.net, for example, has many colouring pages that you will surely enjoy. You don’t need tutorial to teach you how to colour. Simply use your imagination and go with it. However, if you are looking for some inspiration, there are plenty of videos to choose from to show you all the artsy tools and techniques amateurs and professionals use to make their pages beautiful. Here is one great example from Simply Art for Adults. As mentioned above, this simple activity has a power to relax you and leave you in a better mood in the end.
These are just a few fun and relaxing activities and crafts perfect for long winter evenings. I’m sure that there are other ones that you may have enjoyed over the years. I’d love to hear what they are. Comment below with your favourite activity or a craft that you enjoy and use to beat winter ‘cabin fever’.