As a byproduct of the Great White North known as Buffalo, New York, I can handle my cold weather. But I’m no polar bear, and there are always days where I can’t seem to fight the frost that’s sneaking it’s way in.
Rather than cranking your heat up to hellfire levels, we’re gonna beat the cold like DIY pros! Here are some essential tips and tricks that everyone should know for when it comes time to show Jack Frost who’s the boss. So listen up, it’s about to get toasty in here.
1. Warm Cocoa Bath Soak
Hot showers can only do so much; sometimes you need to treat yourself with a relaxing bath to beat the cold. This DIY bath soak is a double whammy of indulgence, with mixed layers of cocoa bath salts and a creamy milk bath. Just some of the listed benefits include softer and clearer skin, less muscle aches, reduced stress and a big case of The Sleepies if you’re dealing with insomnia. I doubt you needed a reason to want to soak in a big cup of cocoa, but there you go!
2. Homemade “Sipping” Hot Chocolate
Or maybe you’d prefer the real thing? While I’m a strong supporter of instant mixes, sometimes you need to take the time to DIY some hot chocolate from scratch. This recipe for “sipping” hot chocolate involves melting solid and powdered chocolate in milk, creating a thick and creamy consistency that still only takes 5 minutes to prepare at most. Drinking homemade hot chocolate in a hot chocolate bath might win the title of “Best Warm Winter Indulgence” and we’re just getting started!
3. A Rice Heating Pad
Turns out uncooked rice is good for more than just performing lifesaving duties on a waterlogged phone: it also acts as the base for a microwaveable heating pad! After tensely straining all day to avoid slipping on ice, your aching neck deserves a break. Basic sewing skills and fabric are all you’ll need to craft, and after a few minutes in the microwave you’ll be set to kick back in cozy comfort that lasts.
4. Warming Vanilla Chai Body Oil
Want to get the best possible use out of a DIY? Make something that works from head to toe, like this warming body oil. Black tea and spices are slowly infused into almond oil when cooked over low heat, creating a warming rich scent that’s perfect for wintertime. The infusion is packed with beneficial vitamins to fight rough skin, chapped lips and dry hair. Smells like dessert, works like a charm!
5. A DIY Draft Blocker
Just like with the heating pad, a little scrap fabric can go a long way to keep you toasty. This draft blocker is stuffed with plastic bags, which act as an insulator against the winter chill that can leak through your windows and doors. Help cut down on your heating costs while reusing old plastic bags that tend to build up over time in that cabinet under the skin. It’s a winter win-win.
Your old sweaters are destined to serve a greater purpose than taking up space in your closet. They’re ready to become…swants. The brainchild of designer Stephen West, swants repurpose sweaters into fitted, warm sweatpants you’ll want to wear all winter. It’s not the easiest DIY, but think of the world of warmth you’ll gain access to once you master these bad boys. What could be cozier than snuggling up in a custom-made pair of repurposed sweats? #TeamSwants.
7. A Knit Scarf
I bust out my knitting needles as soon as the temperature drops, and it’s no secret why: being able to knit and crochet scarves is the easiest way to ensure you always have a custom solution to the chill outside. They even make great gifts, if you have any winter birthdays and/or bribery needs coming up in the future. Try some of these easy patterns to get started, and see why we all need to embrace little old lady vibes this time of year.
8. Repurposed Sweater Blanket
Have some leftover sweaters after going swant-crazy? Upcycle them into a giant blanket! After “felting” them in the washing machine with liquid soap, you’re free to get creative with your blanket design. Mix textures, colors and styles into something cheery that you’ll love warming up with in front of a fire. And if you have leftovers from this project, check out the end of the instructions for a fast demo on repurposed pillows. Get ready for a whole couch of cozy.
9. Blanket Coat
Let’s say you love your new wool blanket so much, you never want to take it off. Since you (ideally) will have to leave the house at some point during the winter, here’s a socially-accepted way to take your blanket with you everywhere: as a coat! A few snips, some stitching and a well-placed belt turn your fireside staple into a fashionable way to stay warm on the go.
10. Wool Boot Insoles
All of the cozy coats in the world can’t keep you warm if your toes are left to fend for themselves. Fight the frost with these simple DIY wool boot insoles, cut from pads of thick felt. Simply remove the existing insoles from your boots and use them as a template, cutting the felt to the perfect size. Pop ’em in and voilà: warmer feet with the added benefit of additional padding and support.
11. Baked Apples
Did you really think I could leave out food? Baked apples are a wintertime essential: just a few simple ingredients and some time in the oven yields a warm and satisfying dessert. Baking a few of these will not only physically warm you up, but also pump out some warm smells (and warming tastes from the cinnamon). It’s an easy treat for when the snow’s a-falling and your stomach’s a-rumbling.
Wishing you all a very warm winter! If you have any other favorite DIYs to fight the chill, let us know in the comments!