Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Craft projects to help fight cabin fever

As families huddle inside, protected from the winter weather, there are things they can do to pass the time until warmer weather returns. Engaging in some craft projects are ways to beat cabin fever while dreaming of warm, springtime weather.

There are many craft projects families and children can tackle, but ideas that involve projects that can be put to use outdoors may be the most fitting. Fortunately, there are a number of ideas for crafty projects to involve everyone in the household.

* Birdhouse: Head to the hardware store and pick up a few supplies. Otherwise, chances are items that can be made into a birdhouse probably can be found from scraps of materials already around the house or in the garage. Scraps of wood, metal, tiles, plastic, and the like can be used to craft a bird house or feeder. Even an empty plastic bottle can be used. Some nesting material, such as pieces of yarn or cotton, can be placed inside the house to entice birds to take up residence once the weather warms.

* Stepping stones: Stepping stones can be a whimsical way to dress up an outdoor garden or yard. A trip to the craft store for some plaster or even a quick-set cement can be the medium to use for the stones. Experiment with shapes that can be used as molds, and gather different materials that can be embedded into the stepping stone, such as pebbles, marbles, beads, etc. Use a pencil or another pointed tool to engrave a message or name on the stepping stones before allowing them to dry and harden.

* Kite: Make the most of the blustery conditions common in late winter and early spring by crafting a kite from a kitchen trash bag, some sticks and string.

* Garden gnomes: Craft stores often sell unfinished pottery that can be painted and sealed. See if garden gnomes or other whimsical creatures can be found. Use acrylic paint to decorate the figurines in your favorite colors.

* Outdoor games: A large piece of plywood or fiberboard can serve as the game board for a number of different activities. Use spray paint to stencil on alternating squares of red and black for a larger than life checkerboard or chess board. For those with more time and creative stamina, use large stones to paint on letters and make an outdoor Scrabble(R) board for fun times with family and friends.

* Painted flower pots: If the colors and designs at the local garden center don't fit with a particular design scheme, buy unfinished terra-cotta or plastic pots and paint them with the designs and colors that coordinate better.

Getting crafty doesn't have to mean knitting sweaters or decoupage hat boxes. By making items that can be put to use outdoors, families can send winter off with a creative bang and reap the rewards for months to come. 

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