News flash: winter is cold. And, because it’s cold, all you want to do is stay inside and, therefore, stay warm. There’s only one problem: it’s cold inside of your house, too. Bummer.
Fortunately, there’s so much you can do to make your home feel just as cozy as you want it to be this winter and beyond. The following seven DIY projects are perfect for you to tackle now so that the rest of the season is just as you imagine. So, grab your toolbox and get started — a warm night in is waiting for you:
1. Hang New Curtains
When it comes to decorating a room, one often overlooked area that’s just begging for decoration is your windows. And, as it turns out, the curtains you choose can do more than just dress up your rectangular glass panes — they can make your home feel warmer, too.
Thick fabric curtains serve as a barrier between the warmed-up interior of your home and the cold air outside that seeps in and ruins everything. In fact, curtains are considered one of the top low-tech ways to keep heat inside during winter.
2. Go On a Draft Hunt — and Fill Them In
In a similar vein, your windows, doors and the areas around these openings are notorious for becoming cracked. And through these cracks often come drafts that make your house feel chillier than you want it. No thanks.
You may be able to simply hold a hand up to your window and door frames to find holes. Or, you can grab a candle and hold it up to the areas in question, watching to see if the flame flickers — this means that air is flowing. Once you’ve pinpointed cracks, it’s your job to fill them in and stop the flow of air. It’s a DIY job that’ll take two days, but it’ll make your home all the more cozy this winter, so it’s worth your while.
3. Reverse the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan
In the summer, you likely have your ceiling fan on full blast, breezing down the cool air you need to relax comfortably. By winter, though, you bid a tearful goodbye to it until temperatures rise again in the spring.
You’ll never again have to dry those tears if you give your ceiling fan a job for wintertime, too. All it takes is a few minutes to switch the direction of your fan’s blades. Now, that’s a simple DIY project we can get behind.
4. Give Your Fireplace a Reflector
If you’ve already got a nice, hot fireplace, half the battle is won. But you could be reaping even more heat from your fireplace if you install an aluminum foil reflector at the back of your chimney to send even more heat back to you.
This project will require you to do some DIY planning, a vital step in any at-home project you complete. You’ll want to make sure your fireplace is deep enough so that your reflector won’t actually touch the flames of the fire: it should be behind the burning logs so that it remains functional throughout the blaze.
If there’s enough room, then, all you have to do is line the back of your fireplace with aluminum foil, which you probably already have somewhere in your kitchen. That simple DIY project will give heat a surface off which to bounce back into your living room, making it that much warmer.
5. Sew Your Own Blanket
You’re probably thinking, “I live right down the street from Target. Why would I ever want to sew my own blanket this winter?” Well, we think making your own keepsake quilt is a much better use of your time and energy, although we, too, love a good Target run.
You might not have to buy too many supplies, either: creating your own t-shirt quilt breathes new life into old clothing items you no longer wear, but want to keep because they represent special memories. It may take you some time to complete the project, especially if you’re a newbie sewer or quilter; however, the learning process will be worth it when you have a warm, eye-catching, handmade blanket that’s full of memories.
6. And Make a Draft-Stopper, While You’re At It
Once you’ve fully caught the sewing bug, put it to good use again by creating your own draft stopper. These cylindrical creations slip right under the exterior door(s) in your home, blocking cold air from seeping in. You can find so many DIY design ideas on Pinterest or other crafting sites; create something that blends seamlessly with your décor, or sew something quirky or cute to impress your guests who notice your handiwork.
7. Shrink Wrap Your Windows
Okay, we know we’re really harping on the window-centric DIY, but they’re really bad about letting the cold air in. Another line of defense to try is the old shrink-wrap-your-windows trick, which only requires a handful of supplies. Namely, you’ll need a roll of shrink-wrap and a hairdryer.
After slicing pieces of shrink-wrap to fit your windows, you’ll use adhesive to apply them. Blowing over these edges with a hairdryer tightens and seals them, thus preventing cool drafts from sneaking in.
These seven projects are just the beginning: there are countless projects you can DIY in order to make your home warmer and cozier this winter and beyond. And, here’s the best news of all: once you’re done, your home will be the perfect backdrop to all of your cold, snowy nights spent inside, under a blanket, drinking cocoa (or wine) and watching Netflix. That’s what winter’s all about, isn’t it? We definitely think so.
Jennifer Landis is a 27-year-old healthy living blogger who loves yoga, running, and dancing it out with her toddler! You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or by following her on Twitter: @jenniferelandis.