For many of us, January can be a difficult time. As well as it being chilly outside, the holiday season is now behind us, and our bank accounts may be feeling the pinch.

Though, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom this month. There are plenty of fun and interesting arts and craft projects to get stuck into if you’re looking to hunker down, save money, and brighten up your home.

Get ready to embrace the cosy season with these 13 winter arts and crafts ideas…

1. Scented candles

Scented candles

What could be cosier on a winter’s night than making your own scented candle? Whether you’d prefer a clean and fresh aroma (think cotton or clean laundry!) or something comforting and warming, like sweet cinnamon, these natural winter candles are simple and easy to make.

Creating candles yourself with all-natural materials is great if you’re looking to be more eco-friendly, as you can leave out the synthetic chemicals often found in shop-bought versions.

Essential oils can be used to add a scent to your candles and breathing these in can have mood-boosting benefits, helping you feel happier and more relaxed.

Country Hill Cottage has a helpful how-to guide on creating your own natural soy candle, as well as a variety of winter scent ideas. You’ll need a few pieces of equipment, including a glue gunsoy waxwood wick, and a wick clip. You can also make use of household items such as empty glass jars to contain the candle.

Simply glue the wood wick to your glass jar, melt the wax in the microwave, and stir in your chosen fragrance before pouring the wax in, stopping about 6mm below the rim of the container you’re using.

Soy candles only take around 20 minutes to make, so they’re perfect for making multiple candles in different scents.

2. Homemade gnomes

Homemade gnomes

If you’re in the market for a cute, friendly ornament, these winter gnomes might be the craft project for you!

These are simple to make, with the essentials being fluffy material for a beard, a button nose (pom poms work well for this), and whatever accessories you fancy to give them some character (check out the one with the heart and pigtails above to see what we mean!).

It’s undeniable how adorable these little guys are, and dressing them up in scarves and hats is in keeping with the winter season. You could even add a dusting of pretend snow to their shoulders for authenticity!

This Easy Winter Gnome DIY will show you how to create these ornaments using either a mason jar or a sock as the body, so it’s easy to do with materials you have at home.

3. Decorated mugs

Decorated mugs

Decorating your own mugs is a fun way to spruce up the content of your kitchen cupboards this winter. Many of us love to curl up on the sofa with a warm hot chocolate on a chilly day.

Jazzing up your mugs can be as simple as buying a pack of plain white mugs for decorating and using Sharpies or other permanent markers to create your designs – then, just pop your mugs into the oven for around 20 minutes to allow the ink to set.

For design inspiration, you might want to check out this list of 40+ Amazing Cup Painting Ideas from Artistro. Research suggests that the cheapest mugs work best, so you really don’t need to break the bank for this one!

And for even more advice on ideal mug shape, types of paint pens, and decorating methods, you can visit the a hundred affections website.

4. Winter-themed embroidery pattern

Winter-themed embroidery pattern

Embroidery is a relaxing and satisfying hobby that you can do while curled up by the fire.

It may take a little patience and practise, but it’s a useful skill to learn and requires little equipment other than basic sewing supplies.

If you feel like taking on a calming hobby this new year, you might want to try this Free Winter Themed Hand Embroidery Pattern from Polkadot Chair, which guides you through the embroidery process. The website even provides free PDF templates so you can trace the embroidery pattern onto your fabric.

If you want to practise your stitches before embarking on a project, it’s also worth having a look at this beginners embroidery tutorial from cutesy to learn the basics, including the 6 basic stitches and fabric recommendations.

5. DIY winter terrarium

DIY winter terrarium

If you want to breathe life into your home, while creating a cosy winter ambience, you could try making your own winter-themed terrarium.

This is a project that can help to keep the Christmas spirit alive after the holiday season, and you can make it as realistic or imaginative and as little or large as you like (perhaps even creating mini versions to give away as gifts).

To get started with your terrarium, you can use any transparent glass container – jam jars, cookie jars, and goldfish bowls are popular options.

And when it comes to decorating, there are endless design choices and the plants you choose to include will likely be influenced by the scene you want to create. For example, you might decide to craft a mossy snow scene including a friendly snowman or a homely winter cabin surrounded by ferns. Or, why not look through these 17 Whimsical Themed Terrarium Decorations for some more unconventional ideas?

You can also brighten up your scene with some LED lights, or include some pine cones and moss for an even more natural feel. For more inspiration, you might want to check out Shelterness’ 8 Charming DIY Winter Terrariums To Craft Right Now.

6. Handmade snowflake soap

Handmade snowflake soap

Though we all use soap, few of us have considered making it from scratch. Yet, making your own decorated soaps is pretty straightforward and allows you to create something free from chemicals, in a scent and design that you like.

Homemade soap also makes wonderful gifts for loved ones and can be used to jazz up the decor in your bathroom (just take a look at the snowflake design above).

Ann’s Entitled Life offers guidance on making peppermint, vanilla, and wintergreen soaps using a soap base, colourant, and scent; and even includes a soap-on-a-rope tutorial.

Note: If you enjoy soap making (or making any of the things in this article for that matter), it could potentially be a small local business idea too – starting with selling your homemade items to family and friends.

If you want to read more about setting up your own business, you can check out our list of Business ideas that you can start from home in the careers section of our website.

7. Crochet slipper socks

Crochet slipper socks

Many of us are partial to a pair of cosy socks as a Christmas gift, but what’s better than being gifted new socks? Perhaps making your own pair of crochet slipper socks!

For those looking to take up a new hobby this winter, crochet might be for you. It’s easy for beginners to pick up, and to get started, you only need some thick yarn and a crochet hook. Check out our beginner’s guide to crochet to find out more.

You can adapt or personalise your slipper socks, depending on your personal tastes and crocheting ability. For example, you may want to have them all one colour or create a striped pattern instead.

Or, if you have slippery floors and want to make them non-slip, why not try adding leather to the bottom? To save money, you could use material from an old leather jacket.

The Snugglery has some great tips on crafting crochet slipper socks, including how to make sure that the sizing is correct and shape the toes. Or, if you are a more visual learner, check out their video tutorial below for beginners.

8. Snow globe necklace

A great way to spice up your jewellery collection this winter is by creating a snow globe necklace – and it’s a lot easier than it looks! You can make it winter wonderland themed or you might want to create something more personal.

This is an interesting way to spruce up an old necklace chain and could also be a thoughtful gift idea. Minimal tools are required – though working with such small objects can of course get a bit fiddly and may take some practise.

For help with getting started, it’s worth taking a look at this tutorial from The 36th Avenue, which breaks down the more precise steps and uses a versatile snowy tree design.

Flamingo Toes also has a helpful guide for creating your snow globe necklace with a winter wonderland theme.

9. Pom pom wreath

Pom pom wreath

Hanging a wreath on your front door or in the living room can brighten up any home during the winter – and pom pom wreaths are a simple and crafty way to decorate, whether you’re artistically inclined or not.

Pom poms can easily be added to other creative projects such as jumpers or hats too if you end up with any spare.

You might want to make a stylish and sophisticated wreath by using neutral colours and adding ribbons. To get inspired, check out to see how this is done.

Alternatively, you could go for a more cosy and colourful design to cheer up your living space – especially, while the days are longer and darker. Hobbycraft has some great ideas for bright and cheery pom pom wreaths. This page in particular has some handy tips to help you get started.

10. Snowflake wall hanging

Snowflake wall hanging

For those who want to get creative but have minimal crafting supplies or want to cut costs, why not try a snowflake wall hanging?

This subtle winter decor can be adjusted depending on your taste – and choosing different designs and colours means that you can use them through the chilly winter months but also throughout the rest of the year should you want to.

This Simple Snowflake Wall Hanging Winter Decor takes around 30 minutes to make and you can use any large branch or twig to hang your snowflakes from for a more sturdy foundation.

When it comes to choosing the shape and design of your snowflakes, you can choose from a variety of different template sizes, and use any ribbon or string to create the hanger, or to add a bit of extra flair to your flakes!

If you’d like a tutorial for a more colourful wall hanging that has year-round appeal, you can check out the video below.

11. Glass jar tealight holders

Glass jar tealight holders

Do you have lots of old jam jars lying around that you don’t know what to do with? If yes, then why not turn them into beautiful table decorations for your dinner or coffee table?

Tealights are a tasteful way to spruce up your indoor or outdoor dining experience at home, and they add warmth and ambience – though, you can customise your glass jar holders for any season. You could decorate your tealight holder with painted snowflakes, ribbons, pretend snow, or whatever suits your taste.

Head over to the candlescience website for guidance on how to create a simple, yet elegant tealight holder. Or if you want to jazz things up by using more decorative designs, such as creating a snow effect, check out this article, which offers tips on how to make pretend snow using household items.

12. Dried citrus wreath

Dried citrus wreath

To add a pop of colour to your home decor, you might want to try making your own dried citrus wreath using grapefruits, oranges, and limes.

Dried fruit was traditionally used to decorate Christmas wreaths in the 20th century, but you definitely don’t need to wait for the holiday season to get crafty with these feel-good fruits.

You can choose any citrus fruits and colours you like for your wreath, and can dry and candy the fruit in just a few days. To make a vibrant and colourful wreath, you might want to take a look at this tutorial from Better Homes & Gardens for inspiration.

Alternatively, for a beautiful, transitional – more neutral – wreath that’s suitable for all seasons, check out the video below.

13. Christmas card coasters

Christmas card coasters

Many of us will have plenty of leftover Christmas cards that we don’t know what to do with. But, rather than throwing them away, you could transform them into winter-themed coasters.

If you don’t need coasters for your own home, they could even be given as gifts or used as decorations later this year.

It’s easy to get your hands on some plain white tiles to add your design to, and attaching felt to the bottom of the tiles will add cushioning, so that the coasters don’t break easily or scratch your table.

To make Christmas card coasters, simply measure the size of your tile and cut a square out of your favourite Christmas card design with the same proportions. Spread mod podge (which acts as a glue, sealer, and finish) on your tile, and place your card carefully on top. You can leave it as it is or smooth over with a credit card – and fo finish, apply minwax polycrylic to waterproof your coaster.

If you don’t have any old cards or the ones you have aren’t appropriate, now’s also a good time to pick up some discounted Christmas cards from card shops or online.

To make your Christmas card coasters, head over to the lifefamilyfun website, where you’ll find a handy tutorial.

Final thoughts…

Hopefully this list will give you plenty of ideas for how to get creative at home this winter, whether that’s by customising an old mason jar or making your own pair of socks from scratch!

For more arts and crafts ideas, why not head over to the art and culture section of our website? Here you’ll find everything from beginner’s guides to card making, photography, and needle felting to inspiration for arts and crafts throughout the seasons.