As the clocks go back, and the dark long evenings set in, it’s time to discover some winter crafts that can lift your spirits when stuck indoors.
Below is a list of crafts which I’ll be practising this year, and hopefully they can provide you with some ideas or inspiration for your very own works of art!
1. Felt Ornaments
Last winter, I was introduced to felt ornament making by the talented Elizabeth O’Shea from O’Se’ Crafts on a course run by my local women’s shed. Ever since then, I’ve become obsessed with making felt decorations.
Felt craft is suitable for all levels. I was a complete beginner when I started. It’s also inexpensive with felt ornament making kits for sale from as little as £1 at The Works.
You can start with simple designs and then work your way up to adding more embellishments and embroidery as you gain confidence. In addition to buying felt ornament making kits in your local craft store, there’s plenty of free and premium templates available in pdf online. You can find some felt ornament ideas and templates on my Pinterest board here.
I loved making felt ornaments last winter during the long dark evenings. Since then, my neighbour Ciara and I try to work on our felt projects together one evening a week whenever we can. It’s a chance for us to catch-up and have a cup of tea while making felt decorations for ourselves, our families and our friends.
Embroidery is something I’m trying to learn this winter so I can add it to some of my felt decorations.
To try embroidery you will need needles, embroidery floss, fabrics and scissors. Some people use an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric in place as they stitch, but this is not essential as you can use your hands instead.
There are loads of tutorials available online on how to get started and you can check out my Pinterest board here for some ideas. There are plenty of beginners stitches you can practise including french knots, lazy daisy and chain stitch.
I like Scandinavian design, so I’m going to try some of the ideas in the book “Modern Folk Embroidery” by Nancy Nicholson.
Besides embroidering felt ornaments, there are many other embroidery projects you could try including, embroidering bags, cushions, brooches, pictures and dolls.
3. Paper Wreaths
Papercraft is something that I’ve tried recently as part of a challenge set by two creative friends of mine, Katie and Owen. We try to meet up every few months, to have dinner and talk about all things creative, as well as showing our most recent work. At our last meet-up, we decided that papercraft would be something interesting for all of us to give a whirl.
After looking at ideas on Pinterest I came up with the plan of making a seasonal paper cone wreath. I had plenty of adventure and forest themed papers on hand and all I had to do was invest in a glue gun and some ribbon.
I asked my neighbour Ciara if she’d be interested in doing one with me and we were excited to give it a go. We set out all the paper we needed on the kitchen table, and with our glue guns on hand, we dived in.
I had never used a glue gun before and tried my best not to burn my fingers. Making our paper wreaths was a blast, we had a laugh trying to figure out each step of the process, and we’re delighted with how our wreaths turned out.
I’m now looking forward to making some Christmas paper wreaths. Paper wreath making is a brilliant craft to do during the winter to brighten up your home and to make it more welcoming and cosy. You can find paper wreath ideas and tutorials on my Pinterest board here.
4. Hand Lettering
I find hand lettering to be a very relaxing way of spending an hour or two in the winter evenings. You don’t need much to get started, paper and a good brush pens are enough. When I started hand lettering, I bought dual brush pens from Tombow, and I think that they are the best quality.
There are tonnes of free tutorials and videos online that can teach you the basics of hand lettering. You can find tutorials and ideas on my Pinterest board here.
You could also buy hand lettering workbooks like “Hand Lettering, an interactive guide to the art of drawing letters” by Megan Wells, which provides you with good lettering basics and practise pages.
Hand Lettering can be used to make a variety of beautiful crafts such as prints, mugs, t-shirts, wood ornaments and cards.
This winter, I’ll be working on improving my basic hand-lettering skills, and hope to incorporate some hand-lettering into my Christmas crafts.
5. Sea Glass Art
I love sea glass, each piece is unique, and it’s fun to search for when I’m walking my dog on the beach near my parents home in Sligo. After a recent storm, there seems to be an abundance of it washed up, and I plan to gather enough to make some Christmas artwork.
I think sea glass collecting is a great activity to do during the winter, it gets you out into nature, and you have the added satisfaction of making something with your finds once you get home.
I’m no expert sea glass collector, but I’ve read that you should keep an eye out for non-jagged pieces and that you will find more sea glass on stony beaches near populated places.
The sea glass colours I’ve found so far include white, green, brown and blue. I’d love to find some red sea glass for my Christmas artwork, so I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for that the next time I’m home.
If you are thinking about doing some sea glass art, you could add other beach finds to your piece such as driftwood, shells and smooth pebbles. I plan to assemble my best beach finds over the next few weeks, arrange them on canvas, and get busy with the glue gun.
For sea glass art ideas check out my Pinterest board here.