January 22, 2021

6 DIY Art Project Ideas to Try This Winter

Lifestyle, Quarantine Resources, Senior Health & Wellness

Now that the holiday bustle has died down, many of us are seeking out fresh ways to stay busy and engaged. Easy DIY art projects can be a fun way to create home décor, practice a craft, or learn a new skill. Plus, studies have shown that creative engagement can help ward off dementia and it improves happiness and mental health—all even more important for those susceptible to seasonal affective disorder.

Whether you’re craving a creative outlet or just looking for fun activities to fill your calendar this winter, get inspired with these beginner-level project ideas. All projects can easily be turned into virtual social activities. Simply hop on a video call with family or friends and craft online together!

Decorate greeting cards

Handmade cards are a fun way to brighten someone’s day. Card materials can be as simple or as ornate as you want—whether it’s a quick accent of glitter to brighten up envelopes or creating a design from scratch. (Get some inspiration from some of these greeting card ideas.) Sometimes a paper cutter board is recommended for precise cuts, but in a pinch, a ruler and scissors do just fine.

And as an act of service, greeting cards are also a great way to send encouragement and cheer to hospital workers and patients, people in isolated quarantine, and others who might be going through a challenging time. (Check with your local hospitals; some may have listed instructions online for sending cards.)

Learn calligraphy

Since calligraphy calls for specific types of pens, it requires a small investment if you want the best results. But you can also learn about the techniques with or without them. My Modern Met offers a quick and free introduction with recommended materials, books, and online classes. You can also find individually priced, on-demand calligraphy courses on Udemy, while Skillshare offers a free week to explore before requiring a subscription.

Make socks, hats, or blankets for a shelter

Socks and hats are always useful—and there’s many ways to make them cute and fun. As always, we can turn to JOANN for beginner tutorials on knitting and crocheting socks and other items for charity. (More advanced knitters can search to find tutorials for blankets and shawls.)

Socks are also one of the most requested items at community shelters. According to the CDC, shelters can accept homemade donations, but they require precautions like disinfection, laundering, and not donating if you’re sick.

Paint mason jars

Beautifully painted jars are perfect gifts for anyone with an artist’s eye—and they also make lovely vases. Glass mason jars are easy to find at hardware and grocery stores, and when it comes to painting options, the world is your (colorful) oyster. Check out these designs for ideas, materials, and prep recommendations.

Make your own soap (without lye)

Homemade soap is a fun artisan treat for you or can be a great gift for loved ones!. We recommend making the soap without lye, as it is simpler and safer. Good Housekeeping offers the how-tos of making soap without lye in six clear and outlined steps. To make the scented soap of your dreams, all you need is a silicone mold, a melt-and-pour base, an essential oil, and any other herbs, like lavender. Now we can feel free to use the fancy guest soap and easily make more.

Make your own jewelry

Anyone interested in creating handmade jewelry might enjoy a starter kit. Jewelry starter kits are a low-cost investment and include a variety of materials, supplies, and color options; you can always order more materials later. For help getting started, these reviews narrow down some of the best jewelry kit values and varieties offered on Amazon.

At Era Living retirement communities, we want to help both our residents and our neighbors feel joy and connection during the winter months ahead. We hope these ideas help inspire fun activities for you and your loved ones. Find more resources on a wide range of topics for older adults here.