I don’t know about you, but every single year when the cold depressing months come around, I cheer myself up by putting together a list of potential crafts I could do to pass the time. Sometimes they’re crafts I’m very familiar with, like collaging, but more often than not, I dream big — there’s nothing I love more than a long list of crafts I haven’t yet tried. Ideally they’ll be multi-step huge projects that seem totally manageable when I daydream about them in October… and then slowly but surely get moved to the back burner of my life all winter long because they seem daunting, expensive, time-consuming, unrealistic… etc etc etc. Perhaps you experience this too? Perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about? I feel like this is the right crowd to be like, “surely everyone does this, right, wanna share your list, hmmm?” but sometimes I’m wrong! I’m open to being wrong.
Just like I was super open to attempting all these crafts this winter… ALAS.
1. Knitting joggers
I’m actually pretty good at knitting! I knit hats, blankets, the occasional doll… I’ve been knitting since I was 8 years old and decided my tiny Polly Pocket dolls needed individual blankets. Knitting is not really the problem. It’s the knitting joggers part that really through a wrench in this plan.
A fat babe I used to work with is always posting photos of the incredible clothing she knits for herself and I’ve always been extremely envious but not envious enough that I’m motivated to actually knit any clothing for myself. Until she posted this jogger set! Oh my god! Knit joggers sized for fat babes that, when complimented on, I could casually say, “oh thanks so much, I knit them myself!”?!?!?!? The allure was so great. And yet… it’s March and I haven’t so much as bought the knitting pattern or the yarn, much less taught myself how to make this dream project happen.
2. Making miniatures, specifically miniature breakfast food
Oh my god, have you seen the Miniature Movement on Instagram?!?! Okay perhaps that’s not what it’s officially called, but I am calling it that! All these people make miniatures of everything and it’s amazing, I am obsessed. I started following like 20+ random suburban moms who all furnish their dollhouses with the wildest DIY tiny stuff and wow, it’s really made social media fun for me again!
Within the Miniature Movement I’ve recently discovered the Breakfast Food Miniature Movement which is exactly what it sounds like. Do you know the only thing better than a perfectly plated poached egg and croissant? A fucking tiny perfectly plated poached egg and croissant made out of clay and painted with a single strand brush to get the glaze and the shading just right. Good lord! Anyway these people have blown my whole mind and I thought maybe I could join. them, but so far, no.
3. Decoupaging furniture
I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid. “Wouldn’t the desk that you paid good money to have painted the exact right shade of pink look better if I collaged a bunch of images from Teen Vogue and CosmoGirl all over it?” I asked my mother frequently. She did not think the desk would look better that way, no. To be fair, she was 100% correct.
But now I’m an adult! Now I have Taste! Surely I could find a genuinely beautiful way to decoupage my furniture, no? Honestly maybe not but in the meanwhile it doesn’t matter because I surely haven’t made any moves to make this two-decade-old dream a reality.
I got really into embroidery a few years ago and I thought a natural progression of that interest might be needlepoint. But it’s been more than five years and it hasn’t happened yet, so it might be time to accept it never will. OR MAYBE NEXT WINTER WILL BE MY YEAR!
5. Woodworking of all kinds
I’m always jealous of queer people who can build shelves and garden boxes and treehouses and what not. Seems like a good skill to have. When I was 10 and went to summer camp I made a small crooked book shelf and an ugly chair in woodworking. I liked the smell of the shop and I was terrified of the saws. Anyway what I’m saying is I have very little experience with “woodworking” and a very unclear framework of what “woodworking” as a 33 year old dyke in the suburbs would look like, but it feels like a craft one could just kinda pick up, and I’d like to. One day. Maybe.
6. Intricate nail art
OKAY. I have never had long nails in my life before but then something happened during the pandemic (probably all that Staying At Home and Not Really Doing Anything I Used To Do) and my nails grew long and I became obsessed with manicures! First I did them myself, then I started getting manicures, and I recently graduated to gel manicures with really amazing intricate nail art. My nail tech blows me away with her skill. She is a genuine Artiste! I could never aspire to be at her level. But I thought maybe I could like, be the hobbyist version.
I did a pretty decent DIY cow print manicure for myself a few months ago, so when a friend asked me if I’d put flames on their nails in celebration of their birthday I said hell yeah. Um… DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH HARDER IT IS TO PAINT A FLAME THAN TO SIMPLY PAINT SOME BLACK BLOBS ON YOUR WHITE MANICURE AND CALL IT A COW PRINT DAY?! So anyway, my goal to become a legit DIY intricate nail artist this winter failed, but I have some hope for the future. A girl can dream.
7. Creating stationary with pressed flowers
I pressed some pink flowers last spring and all year I thought, I should do something really creative and beautiful with these flowers, like make personalized stationary and write long heartfelt letters to my loved ones letting them know how much I care about them.
It’s spring again and I have made zero stationary and I have written zero letters. The pressed flowers remain untouched in my art supply drawer as new flowers bloom on the trees outside my window. Whoops.
A few weeks ago, a friend confided that she’s always wanted to get into glasswork. I don’t know what this is, really, but as soon as she said it I thought, that sounds complicated and potentially expensive — I should look into it! I haven’t yet, but I will. Next year.
Tell me about the crafts you intended to try this winter, or, even wilder, tell me if you actually succeeded in trying any new crafts this winter! I’d love to have more creative things to add to my to do list for next year’s hibernation season. I’m a Capricorn, after all — it’s never too early to start planning crafts I’ll probably put off indefinitely for the rest of my life, you know?