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How to Prepare Your Home for Winter Cold: Insulate with Easy and Low-cost Energy Saving Decorative Touches

Here are a few toasty ideas guaranteed to deliver you cold relief this winter.

Draft Busters

Keep cold air from seeping in from under windowsills and doors in your home by sewing up draft dodgers from unused woolly scarves. Sew a seam down the length of an old scarf to form a long tube. Close one end with elastic and stuff the tube with ripped pantyhose or tights, or fill with dried beans that are long past their expiry date. Close the open end with another elastic and then add a couple pretty bows at either end as decoration.

Wrap Up Your Home In Style

Just like Mom’s advice about putting on a sweater to keep you warm, you can do the same for your home. Drape little-used shawls (plaid or paisley are especially nice) over coffee or lamp tables; toss a soft, bright cashmere pashmina over the sofa; add a cosy rag rug for under your feet.

Recycle Unused MIttens and Knitted Hats

Recycle unused or outgrown fleece mittens into mug warmers. Cut the mitten in half. Slip over hot mugs—no more scorched hands and your drink will stay warm.

You can do the same for an impromptu tea cosy using a knitted winter hat; make small holes into the seams of an old knitted winter hat for the spout and handle, blanket stitch the openings, and slip over your favourite tea pot.

Add Decorative Green Touches with Plants and Berries

A fresh, green centerpiece adds life when everything outside has wilted. Plant two or three ivy plants in unused soup tureens, tea pots, even small pails. Insert branches of bright red pepper berries, rose hips, or holly branches between the tendrils for colour.

Make a Birchbark Log Candle Votive

Buy a birch bark log at the market and turn it into a simple but elegant winter centerpiece. Drill 3 to 5 shallow holes along the top of the log with an extra-wide drill bit and place votives in them.

Aromatic Cones For the Fireplace

Collect fallen pine cones and dry them out, then sprinkle the cones with a few drops of your favourite essential oils (try cedar, cloves, ginger). The cones make a wonderfully fragrant decoration in an empty basket or bucket. Add a sprig or two of bright berries or rose hips to add some colour. These cones can also be used as tinder if you are lucky enough to have a working fireplace.

Fire Starters

If you have a working fireplace and have trouble starting a fire, make your own fire-starters. Twist newspaper into tubes, fold in half and tie with natural twine or butcher’s string. Tuck under firewood and light up.

Fireplace Odour Eaters

Bunches of dried herbs, faded flowers, even orange peel thrown on the fire at the end of an evening can help cleanse your home of any sooty odour that might linger. The hot embers of a fire while still glowing will liberate the pleasant, volatile oils of the herbs or orange peel.

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