With the cost of living crisis deepening and set to leave many of us looking to reign in our spending of the winter months, we might find we end up needing cheap things to do in order to keep ourselves entertained and occupied.
Getting crafty is a great way to not only fill our time, but with Christmas on the horizon too, it means we may be able to cut our gifting costs by using our own creative skills to make some lovely handmade pressies. So If you're looking for some inspiration, read on!
Facebook Craft Along Groups
Join a craft along. Yarn shops like Black Sheep Wools have a brilliant Make Along Facebook group as well as various projects throughout the year that you can take part in.
A crochet-along for example is generally a project that could take anything up to a couple of months to complete, and some of them can easily be completed using your existing yarn stash, so all you'll need to buy is an inexpensive the pattern.
If you're new to a particular craft, a make-along makes it easy to get support and help as you go along, and it provides a great sense of community and can be fun to be working on a project at the same time as hundreds of other crafters all over the country.
Painting rocks is such an easy and fun thing to do, for adults and children alike. Use the season as your guide and create some fun Halloween designed painted rocks to leave outside in the garden or beside your front door to decorate.
Start by collecting a variety of different shaped rocks, smooth rounded ones are best. Next, you'll need some acrylic paint, Sharpies or acrylic paint pens. You might also want to use a sealer, particularly if you're going to place the painted rocks outside.
There are books on Amazon full of ideas or get your ideas for free from Pinterest where you'll find heaps of rock painting inspiration.
Arrange Craft Days With Friends
If you have a particular crafting skill, why not share it with a friend? Even better, why not arrange a craft day or evening and invite a variety of friends to share skills.
Perhaps one friend can make jewellery, another can crochet, whilst another might be into pyrography. It's a great way to spend time with friends, learn something new, and it should make for an inexpensive way to socialise.
If you're a decent knitter or crocheter, yarn bombing is a great way to bring a bit of cheer to people's days, and it gives you a great project to fill your time and is the ideal stash busting project too.
From festive letter box toppers to decorated tree trunks or even little knitted freebies to give away, you could try leaving little crocheted wonders with a message around the town you live in for locals to find.
Yarn bombing never fails to raise a smile and an ambitious project could keep you occupied throughout the winter months.
Whether it's furniture upcycling or clothing, give a new lease of life or repurpose something old and turn it into something you, or someone else can make use of and love again.
Think stripping and repainting wooden furniture, reupholstering a chair or completely repurposing something, for example, turning a wooden crate into a coffee table.
If you're new to soap making you might want to start with what's known as melt and pour soaps as the soap base contains everything you need and only requires gentle heating to a specific temperature and doesn't require additional ingredients making it ideal for beginners.
Some essential oils, a good melt and pour soap base and a scilicone mould is all you need to get started, though extras like a cutter and thermometer will help, they aren't strictly necessary in order to give it a go.
Whether you want to get into popular resin jewellery making or you fancy beading or even making simple braided friendship bracelets, your local Hobbycraft, independent craft shop or failing that, Amazon will all stock a plethora of beginner-friendly crafting kits to help you get started.
If you've never done something before, it's best to do a bit of research first to get a better feel for the materials you'll need to get started and to understand some basic techniques.
As with all crafts, you might take to something and love it and go on to incorporate that into your life on a regular basis, or you might try it once and not get on with it and never do it again.
It's somettimes hard to know in advance what you'll enjoy, so instead of investing a lot of money, beginners kits are a great way to learn something new without having to spend a fortune.
Drawing, Doodling or Painting
If youn fancy something super simple, but need something to inspire you, then why not take part in something like Inktober? Throughout the month of October all over social media, you'll find some great ideas with artists and creators launching their own challenges.
Typically this could include a list of topics or specific drawings or doodles to cover ever day in October. These might be digital or physical, paint, ink, mixed media, or whatever medium you wish to work in.
If you feel like you don't have much artistic talent, Hobbycraft have currently got some great paint by numbers sets in stock, or grab a book on folk art doodles and copy them and your own variations into a sketch book.