Waning Winter: Crafts To Keep You Warm
The weather outside is frightful, but inside it's so delightful. Winter is going to stick around for a little while longer and you'll be spending most of your time indoors, so you might as well make the best of it. Pull out your totes full of craft supplies and get to work making something to help you stay warm.
The first thing that probably comes to mind when you think of a craft to keep you warm is a scarf. With construction ideas ranging from simple to complicated, there's a scarf that's perfect for a crafter of any level. The easiest to make is this fleece scarf, which requires just a tiny bit of sewing. If you're up to a bigger challenge, the Internet is full of patterns for knitted or crocheted scarves, ranging from long, narrow rectangles to chunky cowls.
Here's a way to keep your hands warm and make use of those leftover scraps of flannel or fleece in your fabric bin. Turn them into reusable hand warmers to carry in your pockets. Cut 4" squares, sew two together with a tiny opening, fill with rice and heat them in the microwave before you venture out into the cold. You can even cut the fabric in the shape of hearts for cute Valentine's Day gifts. Or make them larger and use them as a heat pack on other parts of your body.
Keep warm while watching TV or reading a book with a cozy lap blanket. Here's an easy one to make. Start by purchasing 2 fleece panels (approx. 35" x 40") from the fabric store. Cut 1" wide strips that look like fringe about 4" deep all around both pieces. Place the wrong sides of the two pieces together and knot the fringe, one strand from each panel, all the way around. If you knit or crochet, you have lots of options, including fast and easy granny squares. For quilters, a patchwork lap blanket is a classic that can be completed in a weekend.
Warm yourself from the inside out with a mug of hot chocolate. Make your own mix by combining 3 cups nonfat dry milk, ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/8 tsp. salt. Add ¼ cup mix to 1 cup of hot water and stir. Accompany the cocoa with the ultimate tummy warmers, chocolate chip cookies, gooey and hot from the oven. Just follow the time-honored recipe on the bag of chocolate chips.
All-Over Body Warmers
There's nothing more warming than cozying up in front of a roaring fire. Make it easier to get that fire going with pinecone fire starters. You'll find directions for making them all over the Internet, but if you want something truly special, follow these instructions for water-based pinecone fire starters that produce colored flames.