I don’t know about you, but every year when the cold, depressing months roll around, I cheer myself up by making a list of potential DIYs I could do to pass the time. Sometimes it’s crafts that I know very well, like collage, but more often than not I dream big – there’s nothing I love more than a long list of crafts that I don’t have not tried yet. Ideally these will be huge, multi-stage projects that seem totally manageable when I dream about them in October…and then slowly but surely fade into the background of my life all winter because they seem daunting, expensive, time-consuming, unrealistic… etc etc etc. Maybe you are going through this too? Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about? I feel like this is the right crowd to be like, “surely everyone’s doing this, no, you wanna share your roster, hmmm?” but sometimes I’m wrong! I am open to being wrong.
Just like me has been super open to trying all these trades this winter… ALAS.
1. Knit joggers
I’m pretty good at knitting! I knit hats, blankets, the occasional doll…I’ve been knitting since I was 8 and decided my little Polly Pocket dolls needed individual blankets. The knitting isn’t really the problem. it’s knitting joggers part that really through a key in this plan.
A fat girl I worked with always posts pictures of the amazing clothes she knits for herself and I was always extremely envious but not envious enough to be motivated to knit clothes for myself. Until she posted this jogging set! Oh my God! Knitted joggers cut for fat girls that when complimented I could casually say, “Oh thank you so much, I knit these myself!”?!?!?!? The attraction was so great. And yet… it’s March and I haven’t even bought the knitting pattern or the yarn, let alone learned how to make this dream project.
2. Make miniatures, especially miniature breakfast foods
Oh my god, have you seen the Miniature Movement on Instagram?!?! Okay, maybe that’s not his official name, but I call him that! All these people make miniatures of everything and it’s amazing, I’m obsessed. I started following over 20 random suburban moms who are furnishing all their dollhouses with the craziest little DIY things and wow, it really made social media even more fun!
Within the miniature movement, I recently discovered the miniature breakfast food movement, which is exactly what it sounds like. Do you know the only thing better than a perfectly served poached egg and croissant? A fucking tiny perfectly plated poached egg and a croissant in clay and painted with a single strand brush to achieve the perfect frosting and shading. Good God! Anyway, these people blew my mind and I thought maybe I could join them. them, but so far, no.
3. Cut out the furniture
I wanted to do this since I was a kid. “Wouldn’t the desk you paid a lot of money for to paint the right shade of pink look better if I stuck a bunch of pictures from Teen Vogue and CosmoGirl on it?” I often asked my mother. She didn’t think the office would be better like this, no. To be fair, she was 100% right.
But now I’m an adult! Now I have the taste! Surely I could find a really nice way to carve my furniture, right? Honestly, maybe not, but in the meantime, it doesn’t matter because I surely haven’t done anything to make this two-decade-old dream a reality.
I really got into embroidery a few years ago and thought a natural progression of that interest might be embroidery. But it’s been over five years and it hasn’t happened yet, so it might be time to accept that it will never happen. OR MAYBE NEXT WINTER WILL BE MY YEAR!
5. Woodworking of all kinds
I’m always jealous of queer people who can build bookshelves, planters, treehouses and so on. Seems like a good skill to have. When I was 10 and went to summer camp, I made a twisted little book shelf and an ugly carpentry chair. I liked the smell of the shop and was terrified of the saws. Anyway, what I’m saying is that I have very little experience with ‘woodworking’ and a very unclear framework of what ‘woodworking’ would look like as a that 33-year-old dyke in the suburbs, but it looks like a profession one could just pick up a little while standing, and I’d love to. One day. May be.
6. Intricate nail art
GOOD. I had never had long nails in my life before, but something happened during the pandemic (probably all I was staying home and not really doing what I used to do) and my nails grew long and I became obsessed with manicures! First I did them myself, then I started doing manicures, and recently graduated in gel manicures with some really amazing intricate nail art. My nail technician amazes me with her talent. She’s a real artist! I could never aspire to be on his level. But I thought maybe I could like, be the amateur version.
A few months ago I did a pretty decent cow print manicure for myself, so when a friend asked me if I would put flames on her nails to celebrate her birthday, I said yes. Uh… DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH HARDER IT IS TO PAINT A FLAME THAN JUST PAINTING A FEW BLACK SPOTS ON YOUR WHITE MANICURE AND CALLING IT A COW PRINT DAY? ! So anyway, my goal of becoming a legit DIY intricate nail artist this winter has failed, but I have some hope for the future. A girl can dream.
7. Create stationery with pressed flowers
I pressed pink flowers last spring and all year I thought I should do something really creative and beautiful with these flowers, like making personalized stationery and writing long heartfelt letters to my loved ones for their let them know how much I care about them.
It’s spring again and I’ve done zero stationary and written zero letters. Pressed flowers sit untouched in my art supply drawer as new flowers bloom on the trees outside my window. Whoops.
A few weeks ago, a friend confided that she had always wanted to get into glassmaking. I don’t know what it is, really, but as soon as she said it, I thought, this sounds complicated and potentially expensive – I should find out! I haven’t done it yet, but I will. Next year.
Tell me about the DIYs you were planning on trying this winter, or, even wilder, tell me if you actually managed to try any new DIYs this winter! I wish I had more creative things to add to my to-do list for next year’s hibernation season. I’m a Capricorn, after all – it’s never too early to start planning crafts that I’ll probably put off forever for the rest of my life, you know?