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15 Indoor Projects for Rainy Days

August 19, 2014
  • Most of these projects can be done at home.
  • Most are under $20.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rain is falling outside and while you enjoy watching it from a warm and dry window you find yourself wandering looking for something to do. All those ideas you had when it was hot and sunny and the “if I had time I would…” ideas don’t come to mind – what to do? Here’s some ideas, along with easy ways to prepare for it when it’s not busy.

1. Start your own article book. We all have times we buy a magazine (or see a website article) and keep the whole magazine for 2-3 articles. Reduce and focus! Take those 2-3 articles and tear them out, clip them together and have available a folding file to put them in. What you’ll need: folding file (under $2), paper clips, 1/2 inch or 1 inch binder notebook ($1-2 depending on how many you think you’ll have!), clear plastic sheets (under $5). When the rainy day hits – pull out your folding file and materials and make your own book of articles. You can even group by interest – or have a couple of books.

For example – you might have a binder for household things – divide it into cleaning tips, decorating, food etc. If you collect recipes have a binder for that – the plastic sheets are easily wiped off in the kitchen! You may, for those items less than full page, want to use a sheet of paper and glue to make a page so they stay in place.

I have one for writing articles – even articles 8-10 years old from Writers Digest and others are often not time-sensitive and may provide creative boosts! I’m also making another for home decorating and one for recipes. Ever see those short pieces of great tips or handy hints? They’re a mess to corral them – but get an inexpensive photo album and put them all together in one place. These also can be unique gifts, done a little at a time. Some magazines I like to keep whole – for me things like Countryside, Mother Earth News, Grit can have information worth keeping to me. Others I might buy on the newsstand for a few articles without necessarily wanting to keep the whole magazine.

2. Once you tear the articles out, put the remaining magazine in a bin. Also going in this bin (desk or shelf size – $1 at stores like Dollar Tree and can be found in many colors) are catalogs, when a new one comes the old one goes in the bin. On rainy days dig them out and snip pictures or words, items etc for collage or “wish book”. Items needed – container to keep them collected ($1); binders ($1-2), scissors (usually on hand), notebook paper ($1), glue (under $1 even for glue sticks). Things you’d like to try, images that make you feel happy. Have a folder file or 8X10 envelope (you can use one that came in the mail and it costs nothing!) to put them in or cut and paste right away. When the catalog or magazine is gone through toss it. This is something even children can do.

3. Keep a rainy day journal – there’s many books about journaling and many things with prompts to give you ideas to write about. Cost – under $15 with many flexible options!

4. Make a memory journal – Use key prompts and write down things to pass along to children or family members. Memories from childhood, early married life, how you met your spouse, who your parents and grandparents were, put in pictures or clippings from the “wish book” files. Tips, family recipes and traditions – there’s hundreds of topics and often we don’t think to pass them along. My mom completed such a journal book I’d sent her and, with her recent passing, this is a priceless treasure of memories and things I’d otherwise not known.

5. Read a book and learn something new. Look at thrift stores, yard sales or even online at places like – think of something you’d like to learn and find books on the topic for rainy day reading. Perhaps you’ve wanted to quilt, or want to learn more about starting a business or publishing a book or raising your own food. A few hours on a rainy day and class is in session – only you get to choose the topic! You can get a few books on the topic and keep them tucked away on the bookshelf or in a desk drawer. Cost – can be under $10 or much over!

6. Enjoy tea or coffee? Get a variety pack of different teas and save them for rainy days. While you’re looking outside at the rain try a new flavor of tea and enjoy the moment. Get a special mug or cup – whimsical or with sayings or images on them, personalized or plain. Cost – mug and tea or coffee, under $20.

7. Have a small dry erase board (if you don’t want to look at it put it inside a cupboard door!) with projects on it. On a rainy day look at it, do the project and erase it! It might be organize the pantry; paint the bathroom; change filters on the heating system; inside winterizing; baking Christmas cookies. Have the items on hand to do it and when you’re bored pick a few things to do. Tip – keep projects something that can be done in an hour or two. Looking at a list of projects that take 3 hours each to do is overwhelming and easy to put off! Cost – under $5 for board and marker.

8. Go through your music and movie tapes and CDs – sort what you’d really like to keep and what you might gift to someone else. This doesn’t have to be just for birthday or Christmas – do it “just because”! Cost – nothing. As you weed through and have room you can also make room for others you’d like to get.

9. These have all been things to do at home – if you want to get out go to a local museum or tourist attraction. Often we look past what is in our own back yards. People come from all over the world for the Cowboy Hall of Fame, racing museums, museum of flight and hundreds of others. Be a tourist in your home area! Cost – usually under $10.

10. Have a rainy day fund – put $5-10 per week into it. Go to a bookstore or other place, look through the bargain bins (sometimes some good buys there!) and others. If you don’t want to go anywhere – go online to a website that interests you. If keeping that $5-10 is difficult open a “play account!” Many banks offer the bank Visa or MasterCard. Get one – at $5-10 per week this may not take very long to reach the minimum opening ($100 at most I’ve seen). Or do $20 for the first five weeks. Put your allotted amount into this account; keep the card tucked safely into a locked drawer on your desk. When the rainy day blues hit – browse sites and you have some play money to get $20-30-40 of something. For the gardening bug – browse those gardening sites – year end bargains are great this time of year! When it is nice again your plants arrive and can be planted.

11. Spend some time with the family pet. Play with your dog or cat. Give him a bath or bring out a special toy to play with inside. Give a thorough brushing, removing any matted areas. Cost – under $10 for several months supply!

12. Organize photos – Get them put into albums or scrapbooks, order online for enlargements or 4X6 prints for gift giving. Older relatives often really don’t need another nick nack or sweater; give them a small album of pictures from your life throughout the year and a certificate or gift for something they need.

13. Treat yourself to a home spa day – candles, relaxing soak in a bath, put a large towel or robe in the dryer so it’s warm when you step out of the tub. Cost – under $5.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA14. Make craft items for holiday gift giving. Having small projects means you can spend an hour or two now – and doing that a few times a month means a whole lot less stress in the holiday chaos time. Craft projects don’t have to be expensive – when doing your journal make note of things in catalogs you could make yourself. For the bird lover, for example, take a length of small log, put a few holes on it and put suet/seed or peanut butter/seed spread on it. Make a seed wreath.

15. Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while and catch up on news.
These are just a few things that don’t cost a lot of money – most under $20. They can easily be kept in small areas that don’t take a lot of room and brought out on the kitchen table to work on and put away easily.

Did you know…

Many of these can be done for yourself or to use for gifts; indoor crafts done for Christmas gifts can be done all year, easing the holiday stress load.
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