With this COVID-19 virus going around and all of us stuck at home, I thought it be great to find some artsy, practical DIY projects that will help to pass the time and put you in a creative mood.
I’ve tried finding craft projects with materials most of us have at home so you aren’t leaving your house to go get materials (please stay home!).
I truly believe that in general, people need more creativity in their lives, and this is true now more than ever. These projects will get your creative juices flowing and will help you pass the time while being stuck in quarantine.
You don't have to be an expert crafter or artist for these projects. Time to get creative!
1. Write a letter to friends or family members
My personal favourite! There is nothing like getting a handwritten letter in the mail. I have a couple of penpals that I’ve kept up with through the years (thanks, Papa!), and it’s a great way to keep in touch with the people you love. It feels so much more meaningful and personal than a quick text or a store-bought card.
Fun Ways to “Spice Up” Your Handwritten Letter
Writing a letter can be as simple as writing words on a piece of paper and sending it, but there are plenty of ways you can modify your letter to make it even more special!
Write in a Unique Font
Use a site like dafont.com to get lettering inspiration, where there are hundreds of funky, weird and just plain cool alphabets you can replicate. This will really up your game and the letter opener will be able to see the effort you've put in.
Write Out a URL to Your Favourite Link
At the bottom of the letter, write out a URL that your letter reader will need to type into their computer to see. Usually, I’ll include links to YouTube videos, such as our favourite song, a cute video, or just a silly image.
It’s an interesting and engaging way to combine classic letter writing with a digital flair, and the reader won't know what it is until they look it up.
Add a Wax Seal
This definitely adds a medieval/old school feel to a letter, and isn’t as hard as you think if you have some wax crayons and a lighter laying around! Check out this YouTube video for How To Make a Wax Seal.
Make a Secret Code or Cipher
Back in the days of passing notes in class, a few friends and I came up with a secret code so that our teachers wouldn’t know what we were saying. When one of my friends moved away, we continued this secret code with our letters. It continues to be one of my favourite things to do in letter writing, and kids love it.
Check out 5 Ways to Create Secret Codes for your letters!
2. Get messy with paper mache
I still have memories of my 3 siblings and I trying to make piggy banks with my mom - a brave woman. While messy, if you have some flour, newspaper and balloons lying around you there are a lot of cool things you can make with paper mache, including piggy banks, pinatas, bowls, and more.
Some recipes call for glue, others are require the paste to be cooked - I’ve found a recipe here that simply uses plain white flour and water.
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration if you wanted to make something other than piggy banks!
3. Make a Harry Potter wand with hot glue
Okay - so this one is a bit geeky, but who doesn’t love Harry Potter? Using some chopsticks (or a stick from outside), a hot glue gun, acrylic paint, and other optional materials (crystals, string, glitter, etc) you can make yourself a full-blown Harry Potter wand.
4. Paint mandalas on rocks
There is something so meditative about painting mandalas, and it’s a fun way to decorate your garden, altar, or other space in your home. Ideally, you want to have a circular rock, but it is not necessary. You can also do this on plant vases, candle holders, phone cases, etc.
This project requires a steady hand and patience. Watch how this artist breaks down Mandala Rock Painting for Beginners!
5. Create macrame coasters
Macrame yield some beautiful results, with projects ranging from plant holders to keychains, to necklaces, to simple wall hangings.
Have extra yarn, twine or string laying around? These coasters are great for beginners and means you will have a stylish living room or office accessory for your home.
6. Create an abstract geometric painting with tape
If you’ve got an extra canvas or some cardboard lying around, acrylic paint, and painter's tape (or Washi tape), you can create a geometric abstract painting for your home. This is a very straightforward project.
I’ve also seen people apply this same technique to decorate their furniture or even full walls!This YouTube tutorial by Mike McDonald at Ember Art shows how you can make this painting yourself at home.
7. Use an online generator to give you ideas on what to draw
Have you ever been in the mood to draw, but had zero idea what to draw? Same.
This online generator churns out some hilarious drawing suggestions, including but not limited to, "A lonely penguin failing to read the room” or “A cranky samurai striking an unflattering pose”.
You can make it extra fun by making it a competition with your roommates or family, or make it a sketching exercise by giving yourself 5-10 minutes to draw each idea.
8. Create a small container for paintbrushes, plants, or candles
I’ve been using this time in quarantine to organize, organize, organize. With dozens of brushes and pencils laying across my desk at any given time, I figure this is a good project for keeping my art supplies tidy and adding a cute desk accessory.This project is way easier than you think - this tutorial walks you through it.
9. Make a wine cork container
I know for a FACT I’m not the only one guzzling wine like it’s going out of style right now. Next time you open up a bottle of red, keep the cork. You can then hot glue those babies onto an empty tin can or plastic bottle, like in this tutorial.
10. Create a marbled effect on white mugs
This project is super easy, with some stunning results. All you need is some nail polish, a willing coffee cup, and some hot water!
You could also do this on plates and bowls for a matching set.
11. Make coin and key holders from leaves and clay
This is great if you have some air drying or oven-bake clay. This easy-to-follow tutorial is specifically for air drying clay, but Sculpey/Fimo would work too - just make sure to follow the baking instructions on the package.
12. Make a No-Sew Pencil Crayon/Pencil Roll
This project is amazing if you have some extra fabric lying around that you want to use, and you need a way to organize all of your drawing supplies!
I have made a few of these over the years to store brushes, markers and pencil crayons, and there is something so satisfying with being able to roll up your supplies like this. Check out this tutorial for how to make one of these rolls that involves NO sewing!
And there you have it! I scoured the internet for some DIY craft projects that I found were practical, relatively easy, and with materials that you already have in your home (no leaving the house!). With what is going on right now in the world, we could all use a bit more creativity and play.
I have personally tested out all of these different projects over the years, so if you have any questions or think of another project I can add to this list, let me know in the comments below!
Get creative and stay safe out there 🤟