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Your guide to DIY fun times this winter season

ANYONE WHO’S TRIED their hand at winter sports knows that having fun in the snowy season can be pretty rough on the wallet. Skis don’t come cheap, and even a snowball fight can run up quite a tab if you’re without the winter accessories you need. If you’re looking to try out some winter activities without breaking the bank, take a look at the Fulcrum’s tips for fun in the ice-cold sun.

Poor man’s snowshoes

While Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart stock some suitable snowshoes for reasonable prices, there’s no need to hit the stores as long as you have a few key items at home. All you need to fashion your own snow-going footwear is a couple of tennis rackets, baking sheets, or (if you’re really strapped) cardboard boxes, and a roll of duct tape or some shoelaces. While rackets are the ideal shape, cardboard can easily be fashioned into whatever style of snowshoe you seek—just be sure to layer the cardboard at least twice so your shoes don’t wimp out on you. Baking sheets, due to the larger surface area they cover, will make it even harder to move around than the other options, which means a way better workout for you! Once you’ve picked your shoe-bottom, strap them to your boots using duct tape or shoelaces and remember to brace them to your ankles instead of just tying them to the ends of your toes. That way you’ll have optimal hold and be able to snowshoe around all day!

Downhill trash lid

Friends are hitting the hill and you’re stuck without a sled? Lucky for you, this is one winter sport with easily replicated equipment. If you happen to be an avid snowboarder, sitting between the bindings and pointing your board downhill makes for an excellent sledding experience. But if you’re up a hill without any equipment, there are a couple of household items that will do just as well as any sled. The lid of a trash can, while not very comfortable, will send you flying a long way, and a cardboard box covered in trash bags will be slippery enough for any slope. Once classes are done and you find yourself with some spare binders, another easy DIY sled can be constructed by ripping out the binder rings and having a seat on your old note-holder.

Skates from scraps

If you’ve never been a skilled skater, this is the winter to turn that around. All you need for this project is a pair of boots with a solid sole and some sharp knives. Take out that duct tape you used to stick your snowshoes to your feet and fasten the knives to the boots, blade down. Voila! You know have your very own homemade skates.

—Jaclyn Lytle