5 Wintertime Crafts You Can Make With Household Materials

A snowflake made out of paper has swirling designs.
Photo by Rebecca Siegel/Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Wintertime can be a downer. Freezing temperatures, snow and sleet, brutal winds and cloudy skies can keep you and your family stuck inside for days. On the positive side, this time of year can be an opportunity to use your imagination and get creative with projects. Crafts are always a good go-to for a fun and easy way to spend time together. The best part is, you don’t have to go out to the store or order special tools. You can reuse and recycle things that you typically have around the house. Out of the many craft ideas out there, here are five that should get you started.

Snow Globe Jar

If you have some Mason or baby food jars lying around, you are in for a treat! To make a homemade snow globe, you will first want to figure out what you put in it. The kids usually have some little toys or trinkets that would work. To finish the project, you will need a jar with a screw-on lid, superglue, clear glue (or glycerin if you have it), glitter and water.

Take the small toys and superglue them to the inside of the lid. Take the jar and add about three teaspoons of glue (depending on size), about two teaspoons of glitter, warm water and stir. Place the lid on the jar and make sure it is tight. Turn the jar upside down, shake and ta-da … your own winter wonderland! To make it less messy, you can do a dry globe by not adding glue, glitter or water. 

Toilet Paper Roll Characters

A toilet paper roll crafted to look like a snowman sits in a Christmas tree.

Instead of throwing those rolls away, use them to make fun winter characters! Some easy options are a penguin, snowman or polar bear. All you need is toilet paper rolls, markers, construction paper, scissors and glue. You are welcome to customize your characters with things like glitter, buttons and stickers.

Be sure to put your paper roll friends out on display to enjoy all season long!

Photo by Janie Dykeman/Creative Commons (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Paper Plate Masks

All of us usually have paper plates stowed away from summertime barbecues and birthday parties. Make those plates come alive by turning them into fun masks. More popular wintertime characters include a snowman, polar bear and Santa Claus. You will need paper plates (preferably white, but can use the back of a designed plate), markers, construction paper, cotton balls, string or ice pop sticks, scissors and glue. Be sure to cut eyeholes out so that you can see through the mask.

If you’re using string, cut small holes on both sides of the plate to tie string to hold it around your head. Ice pop sticks can also be glued to the inside bottom of the mask if you don’t want to use string.

Coffee Filter Tie-Dye Snowflakes

A snowflake made out of a coffee filter is dyed blue from food coloring.
Get creative with how you fold or cut your snowflake. Photo by Flickr user Kerstin/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you remember making snowflakes as a kid in school by folding over a piece of paper multiple times, then this should come pretty easy. You will need coffee filters, food coloring, three small cups, water and scissors.

Mix your water and different food coloring in your cups. Take the filter and fold it in half. Continue to fold the filter in halves, keeping a fan shape, until you get a thin slice. Dip the pointed end into one of your colors and let it absorb. Now dip the other end of your filter into another color. Lastly, fold the piece and dip the middle into another color. While it is wet, cut little pieces out of it to create the designs in the snowflake. Slowly pull the paper apart to reveal your amazing tie-dye snowflake!

Three-Dimensional Cardboard Trees

For this craft, all you need is a medium or large box, an X-ACTO knife (or a box cutter) and paint.

Cut off the large sides of the box so that you have two of the same pieces. Draw your tree, evergreen-shaped is easiest, and cut it out. Use that tree and trace its outline on the other piece of cardboard. Cut out that tree. The next step is to cut a slit in one tree (as wide as the cardboard) from the top down to the middle and cut a slit in the other tree from the bottom up to the middle. It is your choice if you want to paint the tree pieces or decorate them. Now, slide the tree with the slit at the bottom onto the one with the slit at the top, to make an X-formation. And there you have it, your very own personalized tree!

Hope you enjoyed these fun and crafty project ideas!

Kimberly Whitton
Public Engagement Coordinator