January 2, 2014

Simple DIY Craft Projects to Beat the Winter Blahs

Winter can be such a dreary time, what with the cold weather, fewer daylight hours and post-holiday let down. This morning, I joined my friends at Knoxville's WTNZ Fox43 to share some simple and fun creative craft projects to help beat the winter blahs.

Each project was simple to complete and inexpensive too. You might even be able to do these using supplies you already have on hand.

1) DIY Frosted Glass Votive Holders 

 These pretty votive holders are so easy to create and really capture the simple beauty of winter. To re-create some like the ones I made, you'll need white glue, sponge brushes, some type of glass candle holder (even highball glasses or stemless wine glasses will work), and Epsom salt.

Mix two parts glue to one part warm water to create a homemade Mod Podge. This is how you'll adhere the Epsom salts to the glass. Paint this glue mixture onto your clean, dry glasses. Then sprinkle Epsom salt all over the glued surface until the entire thing is coated.

Once this is completely dry (4-6 hours), insert a candle or battery-operated votive and enjoy the warm glow!

2) DIY Mitten Garland

Maybe I'm just on a garland kick right now, but I love hanging cheerful strands of things around my home. I didn't want to put my Christmas garland away, but this fun winter project made a nice replacement for it. 

First, I cut mitten shapes from torn pages of a book (it was from the freebie bin at a local used bookstore). Onto each paper mitten I glued small red hearts that were cut from some scrap felt. 

Finally, I punched holes and strung these up on a piece of satin ribbon. This project was so easy and will be great for those winter days as well as for on into February and Valentine's Day. 

3) DIY Birdseed Wreath and Ornaments 

My third project from today's Fox43 segment is a way you can give back to those fine feathered friends who live in and around your yard. I love to sit and watch the birds eating from a feeder outside my window, but only one or two can actually feed at any given time. This project is a way you can feed more birds without buying any additional bird feeders. 

To create the DIY birdseed treats, begin by mixing 4 T of unflavored gelatin with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Simmer gently until the powder is dissolved. Stir in a cup of birdseed and mix until it's all coated with the gelatin. Now pour this into some type of container that will act as a mold. 

For the large wreath, I used a cake pan with a jar of beans sitting in the middle (for the hole). For the smaller feeder ornaments, I used a muffin tin. You can push a section of a straw into the mixture in each muffin cup to create a hole where you can tie a string. 

After a couple of hours in the refrigerator, your birdseed molds will be ready to eat and the birds will surely thank you as you spread some cheer this winter!