Do-It-Yourself projects, better known as DIYs, are a creative, easy and recession-friendly way to blow off some steam

Wondering what to do on a depressing, chilly winter afternoon when it’s too cold to go out? There’s nothing like leisure for unleashing the creative streak in a girl. Mix things up by going the do-it-yourself route.

Fun with fragrance: Got a good nose for perfumes? Dry out fragrant blooms like roses on a sheet of newspaper until they’re totally dry, and add a few drops of aromatherapy oil, salt and wood shavings (sandalwood powder works really well, too). Or, mix essential oils like floral lavender, geranium, jasmine oil with sharper scents like eucalyptus, lemongrass or peppermint to create a personalised massage oil for a truly relaxing massage.

Pastimes in paint: Were you really good at art in school? Buy yourself a canvas and some acrylics (oils tend to be a bit tricky of you’re a beginner) to bring out your inner Picasso.If you don’t have the patience to make an actual painting, try cutting up colourful pictures from old magazines for a dazzling, kitschy collage painting. Fabric painting is fun and easy, too, and if you have a nice sense of style and a steady hand, you’ll probably end up with lots of cool threads, thanks to your newest hobby.

Creative with carpentry: If you’re not much of a girly girl, non-traditional pursuits like carpentry are other fun ways to get creative. Carpentry is traditionally a male occupation, but a lot of girls are surprisingly good at it. Attend a good carpentry workshop or get a guy who knows something about carpentry to teach you the basics, before you attempt to build yourself a new wardrobe (the actual cupboard, not the clothes in it)!

Playing with paper: Try a fun hobby like papier mache, and give it a grown-up twist by using it to make jewellery boxes instead of dolls. Make your own cards from handmade paper, or start small by making your own bookmarks. If origami’s your thing, do up one wall with a kitschy flock of birds in different-coloured wrapping paper, Japanese style!

Stitching spree! Good with a needle? Run up a simple scarf from a swatch of printed silk or satin. Mom's old sewing machine can also come in handy if you'd like to make an easy kaftan top, or shorten the sleeves of a dowdy full-sleeved top to a trendy elbow length. Cut up a segment of pretty embroidery from an old favourite outfit and sew it onto that new shirt as a trendy appliqué patch.

When people are watching, most women just do what they’re supposed to. Which is why many hidden talents remain a lifelong secret, and many dreams go by, forgotten and unlived. When you find something you’re really good at, it gives you a chance to explore a new aspect of your personality. So the next time you find that the only one you have for company is the girl in the mirror, make the most of that me-time!