The word “crafts” may conjure up images of cat sweaters and the smell of candle shops for most people, but it actually encompasses a wide range of fun, practical and challenging activities for people of any age. As the weather begins to turn, home activities can help brighten cloudy days. Fall is a great season to stay home and get crafty. Here’s how to prepare a cozy home for the winter.
Crafts for adults
One positive consequence of the pandemic is that it has introduced (or, in many cases, reintroduced) people to crafts they hoped to take up one day or enjoyed at some point before.
Many people grew up with mothers or grandmothers who knitted or quilted, and it’s not unusual for quilts to be handed down as family heirlooms. Surveys taken recently show that an impressive 15% of people who knit are 18-34 years old — knitting is not just a craft for older people anymore.
With celebrities as adherents, knitting is suddenly cool again. This interesting craft can be performed at varying skill levels. It’s fairly simple to execute basic stitches, but knitting sweaters with different stitches and details can take years of practice.
If you want to start knitting, there are many resources that provide introductions to the craft for beginners, so don’t be intimidated by knitting’s technical aspects.
For practical use
While crafts are more likely for decorative use, from a purely practical standpoint, nothing beats a homemade fly trap. With simple supplies like apple cider vinegar and plastic wrap, this craft is a foolproof way to rid your house of those pesky flies.
For our feathered friends, a rope-and-can bird feeder provides a ready food source that can attract birds through the winter. As you enjoy bird watching, you can also marvel at your craftsmanship and innovative use of basic materials.
Reusing odds and ends can help you organize your home, but is also a considerate upcycling solution for products that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Consider salvaging items like empty tea canisters that can be affixed to pegboard walls to hold small parts. Similarly, you can adapt an old picture frame to store thread spools.
Crafts for teenagers
Anyone with a teenager knows that separating them from their electronic devices is an enormous task, but with the right motivation, they can craft something cool.
If you have a teenager with good dexterity, it might be fun to introduce them to cross-stitch sewing, embroidering stitches in the shape of an X that eventually combine to create a picture. As your kids complete the project, they’ll enjoy the pleasure of having built something creative.
Revamping their room
Even the most video-centric teenagers have to live somewhere, and getting them engaged in projects to decorate their room can be easier than luring them to do a craft for purely aesthetic purposes.
A great place to start is to create some geometric door decorations. Using stencils to create a pattern on a door can give the illusion of a much more expensive and professional job. Other ideas are repurposing mason jars for candles and planters, creating in-room hammocks, and tie-dying pillowcases and other items.
Crafts for small kids
Most kids can follow detailed instructions and pull off relatively sophisticated craft projects. For some crafts, like cooking and baking, fun ingredients or a fun shape make the activity even more special. For example, colorful, googly-eyed owl cupcakes will bring a smile to almost everyone.
Recipes that are heavy on decorations let kids express their creativity. Colorful, whimsical Christmas and holiday recipes are perfect for parents to make with their kids. There are many engaging instructional videos online that can show your children a finished product to get them excited about making things themselves.
Seasonal and holiday crafts
As a harbinger of the fall harvest and holiday season, pumpkins — and, by extension, pumpkin crafts — are almost an entire craft category on their own. For example, you can make a dainty lace pumpkin right before guests come over to add a finishing touch to your festive table.
Wreaths are up there with pumpkins for signaling that the holidays have started. Thinking about nontraditional materials when it comes to wreaths is a great way to start a home craft project. Fabrics like muslin, linen and burlap and dried flowers and fruits add accents to the otherwise monotone greens of traditional pine boughs.
Repurpose old canning rings, wood beads and a myriad of other materials into attractive decor pieces that can stay with you for the entire season. For example, you can use them to make figurines, candle holders and ornaments for almost no cost.
Cooking and baking
Cooking and baking are resurgent with many people under some type of quarantine or working from home. Long-forgotten crafts like pickling and making shrubs — vinegars distilled from fruit that are used for alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks — are finding new life in kitchens all around the country.
Fermented foods like vinegar pickles have been praised for their probiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. The two types of pickles include vinegar pickles and fermented pickles. Vinegar pickles are easy and keep in your refrigerator for about two weeks. Traditional fermented pickles are stored in sterile jars and can last for many months or even longer. Not all fermented pickles need to be stored, however. Careful packing and brining for several days can yield pickles that have true digestive benefits.
Making and canning jams and preserves might seem like a tiny gesture. You can make small-batch jam if you have fruit trees at home or in your neighborhood. While most jam is made of water, fruit and sugar, adding pectin as a thickener or citrus zest can take your homemade jam to the holiday gift level.
No craft is more revered as a family tradition than holiday baking. Almost every country has contributed to the encyclopedic selection of pastries that can be prepared during the holidays. Pink confectionary donuts, marshmallow snowmen and even edible peppermint playdough turn baking and candy-making into full-fledged crafts.
If you’re looking for a new home to enjoy the holidays in, we can help. First Centennial Mortgage offers attractive and affordable financing options that can bring you home for the holidays. Contact us today.