The bleak and cold winter months are a time to enjoy cozy and simple old-fashioned hobbies.
Imagine you are sitting by a crackling fire with a cup of warm tea. Next to you is a baskets full of various yarns of different colors. In your mind you picture yourself wrapped in that thick wooly blanket you’ve been dreaming of making.
This is the time of year to be inspired to work on all things cozy, warm and inspiring!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
Are You a Producer or a Consumer?
It can be easy to get caught up in modern day technology and forget the old-fashioned skills of by-gone years.
With almost everything available to us today at the click of a button, the temptation to just be a consumer is hard to resist. A consumer not just of products but of entertainment.
We have forgotten how to work with our hands. Skills once necessary for living are pushed aside or delegated to “others” to do.
We have an abundance of inexpensive and poor quality clothes, tools, toys, movies and shows, pretty much everything.
Finding time to be a producers rather than a consumer feels hard to fit into our modern day “busy” lives. Busy with what though?
Often, I feel if we look closely at our time, we would find it being eaten away by our love of ease and entertainment, too many good activities outside the home, and our desire for more, more, more.
Deep down, we all know we will never truly be satisfied with ease, entertainment, activities, or more…
Born to Create
We are capable of so much more than just sitting around consuming. We are creators just as our Heavenly Father is the Great Creator.
Think of all the things we can’t do, but could do if we put our minds to it.
Although being a creator rather than a consumer will also not bring us true contentment, that can only be found in Jesus Christ, it will allow us to use our God given abilities for something good and beautiful.
I hope I’ve inspired you to carve out a bit of time to pursue some “old-fashioned” hobbies and become a creator.
Inspiration for Cozy & Simple Old-Fashioned Winter Hobbies and resources for getting started
Below is a list of hobbies and resources that are perfect for enjoying in the winter (or any time of year).
They are old-fashioned, simple and can help us create a cozy home during the colder months of the year.
Crocheting and Knitting
Crocheting and knitting can seem daunting to one who has never held a crochet hook or knitting needles.
Speaking from experience, it is not hard to learn how to create beautiful knit work. Even as a novice, I’ve been able to create some beautiful cozy blankets, scarves and pillows.
There is an abundance of videos online teaching you the basics of crocheting and knitting. Starting simple with a small blanket or scarf is probably the best place to begin.
So far as a novice I’ve made scarves, blankets, and even rainbow pillows for my daughters beds.
I thought about writing a tutorial for how I made these rainbow pillows, but I’m such a beginner, I’m not even sure I’d know how to write it out.
Stay tuned though if you are interested in creating something similar, as I think I will attempt to write it down.
Knitting and Crocheting Essentials
Another fun and easy winter old-fashioned skill is candle making. Who doesn’t enjoy lighting a candle during the cold dark winter months?
I’ve made candles for myself to enjoy and to give as gifts over the years for holidays or birthdays or just as a hostess gift.
Here’s a very simple candle kit I’ve used to make rolled beeswax candles for many years. I love the smell of beeswax and they are also non-toxic. These rolled candles make beautiful gifts and look lovely. If you can roll something up you can make these! No talent or skill needed.
Just beware if you order this candle kit in the winter: Beeswax is more brittle in cold temperatures and might break during transit. Although it is best to order this when temperatures are warmer and the beeswax is softer and less brittle, I have ordered these in cold weather too.
Some other types of candles I’ve made are poured soy and beeswax candles. They also make nice gifts but are a little more involved and messy than the rolled ones I mentioned above.
Here is a homemade soy candle tutorial if you are interested in giving it a try.
Sourdough Bread Baking
In the last two years, sourdough bread has made a comeback. Due to the pandemic and the bread aisle being bare followed by yeast shortage, people turned to a time tested way of making bread.
I also think many people deep down crave the simpler things of life and bread baking is one of them. Having a sudden break from life enabled many people to start dabbling in the world of sourdough.
For years, I had wanted and half tried to make sourdough bread. I loved the idea of bread making ever since I was little and read Richard Scary’s “What Do People Do All Day” book where they make the giant loaves of bread.
Right before the shutdown and the run on yeast and the flour, I started for the 5th time my sourdough journey with the determination to make it work. I had tried making a sourdough starter over the years and failed to get it going because I’d forget about it.
This time I was determined to not forget it! And guess what, I didn’t forget about it this time. I’ve been making bread ever since.
My favorite way to use sourdough by far is to make an Einkorn French Doule. It’s a beautiful artisan loaf that looks like it could have come right from a french bakery. I have yet to taste bread that is yummier. Einkorn has such a delicious buttery taste.
It can be intimidating learn sourdough but the best way to learn is just to start doing. Research is great but getting your hands dirty, err doughy, is the only way to really learn.
Resources for Sourdough Bread Making
There are many resources out there for learning to make and use sourdough. If one tutorial isn’t doing it for you, find another and try that. Sourdough isn’t as hard as people make it sound.
Below are some of the resources I have found helpful when working with einkorn:
Sourdough Baking Essentials
I exclusively bake my sourdough bread with Einkorn flour. My favorite place to order flour and wheat berries is from Jovial Foods.
- Sourdough kit – banaton basket, lame, dough and bowl scraper, dough Whisk,
- Einkorn flour
- Einkorn wheat berries
Sewing opens up a world of fun. There are so many choices of styles and fabrics. In days past, sewing used to be an essential part of people’s lives. Now many folks are intimidated by even trying it.
Often times though, I can feel paralyzed by the thought of cutting perfectly good fabric and maybe messing up.
Last winter, I decided to use the cold gray months to work on my sewing skills and make something fun.
I had been dreaming of making little girls aprons for my daughters and had a cute design in my head.
Where I normally would have felt too worried about messing up, I just decided to go for it this time and figured it out as I went. So I did.
I was able to design and make my very own little aprons for my daughters. They turned out beautifully. I even opened an Etsy shop to sell the aprons because I loved making them so much.
I’ve continued to develop my sewing skills and have plans of making a little wool coat for my youngest daughter very soon.
Did you play an instrument as a child? When was the last time you dusted it off and played some music?
Or maybe you’ve never play but have wanted to for years.
Growing up I took piano lessons, then I taught piano lessons for years, then I had kids and almost never lay my fingers on the keys. My fingers feel clumsy when I sit down to play.
Every winter though I get inspired to put a little time into practicing again just for the pure joy of playing.
It is good for my soul. I find myself worshiping God as I play. It relaxes me and inspires me. It also inspires my children to keep at their piano practicing as well when they see me playing.
It’s easy to set a goal to do something but often life can get in the way of our best plans. Maybe winter is the time to set a new goal of either learning an instrument or dusting off your old one and start playing again.
For me, I know life gets so much more busy spring through autumn with the garden and farm, vacations and other life things, that I’ve recognized right now that winter is the time for me to play the piano, while I need to let that hobby go the rest of the year for the most part.
It may seem weird to include gardening in this post of cozy winter activities. Most people new to gardening don’t start thinking about it until the spring.
However, there is a lot that can be done in the winter months. Planning, ordering seeds, starting seeds indoors and reading inspiring gardening books. There is so much to learn!
So if you are dreaming of becoming a grower, don’t wait until the middle of April to start planning. Start now!
I’m working on all my garden plans right now and looking forward to starting a few seeds indoors in the coming weeks.
Related Gardening Post
Christmas 2020, I got our family a bird feeder. We put in by our dining room window.
And just like that, we became bird watchers.
Kids are naturally inquisitive. They want to know everything. So naturally we are looking up each bird that visits our bird feeder. So far we have seen chickadees, sparrows, robins, red bellied woodpeckers, cardinals, bluejays, tufted tit-mouse and many more.
I hope we will learn each of their calls and songs. It would be fun to identify them by just hearing them.
Do you know what birds are in your area? Do you know their songs? Maybe it’s time to get a bird feeder and a bird book and slow down to watch these amazing little creatures.
Bird Watching Resources
We were also given this larger bird book with the sounds of many of the birds that live in the northeast. Amazon also has other regions for sale too.
A thought that has struck me recently is winter is the prefect time to do those home decorating projects that just never seem to get done any other time of the year.
What little projects can be done during the cold months to spruce up the space in which you spend so much time? Maybe a coat of paint or a couple of fresh items to change things up a bit? Maybe the room just needs a really good cleaning and rearranging.
We have so much power to create a peaceful and enjoyable space for our families or ourselves if we just used a bit of elbow grease and creativity.
I’ve been meaning to repaint my daughter’s room because the soft blue I painted it last year just isn’t right. I originally wanted to paint it yellow but chickened out at the last minute because yellow is hard hard color to get right and it felt scary to “mess up”. I keep regretting it and here I am wanting to repaint again now anyway.
We have plans to repaint the room really soon. I even have some test samples up on the wall.
I also want to redecorate with new curtains and bedding and art. I’m still using the same crib sheets I made for my first daughter almost eight years ago now.
Let’s Do This Together!
Maybe you have another skill or hobby that you used to do when you were younger, but got replaced with the have-to-dos in life. Maybe you are dreaming of becoming a producer and a creator.
It doesn’t take “skill” to be creative, it just takes practice.
Maybe it’s time to put down the phone or turn off the TV and enjoy the simpler things of life again. Start to become less of a consumer and more of a producer.