Do you feel like you’re productive with your free time or like you waste it away? I know both feelings well. As such, I’ve made some changes to how I spend my free time. When I say free time in this post, I mean time spent not working, not with Edwin, and not being social… the extra time in a day or a week. Last year, I found that I spent too much time dilly dallying and mindlessly spending time on things like sitting on the couch scrolling through Instagram while half listening to a show.
It wasn’t until I was faced with a few things that sent my mind in a tailspin that I really decided to take more advantage of this extra time to spend it in more productive ways. I didn’t turn to more work because having time to ourselves is so crucial for strong mental health. So, I instead found ways to spend extra time in a relaxing, quiet way that gave me something back. I didn’t get much back from mindlessly scrolling through Instagram but I found things that did help me produce fun products.
I’ve always been a reader but I started reading more as a replacement to watching shows. It took a bit of self-discipline at first but then the choice to read over watch became the natural choice. I get to be pretty creative with Rhyme & Reason but I wanted more of a crafty creative outlet (since reading isn’t crafty). The problem is, I’m not super crafty and have never been a big DIYer. This was my chance! I’d always wanted to learn to needlepoint after watching my two talented grandmothers needlepoint for years. I couldn’t think of a better time to flex my crafting muscles, learn a new skill, and take up a new hobby than last year (perhaps until now during COVID-19).
Needlepointing allows me to be creative while staying within the lines and following a few rules, which is exactly me! I will needlepoint in front of a show but I find it so much more rewarding to needlepoint instead of peruse Instagram while watching tv. For all of you who are more creative and crafty than me, I’ve rounded up crafts to do at home when you’re bored. Doing crafts can take away boredom and crafting lets us have fun while also being productive at the same time! You get a lot more from the outcome of a craft than you do from staring at your phone. P.S. Yes, for the purposes of this post, I’m counting needlepointing as a craft but I think it is perhaps more of a skill, trade, or a hobby.
Arts & Crafts To Do At Home When You’re Bored
So, you want to start needlepointing but you don’t know where to begin. I’ve got your covered! This beginner guide to needlepoint is amazing! Needlepointing isn’t very challenging so anyone can take it up.
Here are a few of my favorite destinations to shop at for needlepoint canvases including: Pip & Roo, Lycette Designs, Silver Stitch Needlepoint, Sara Fitz, Needlepoint.com, Thorn Alexander, and Morgan Julia Designs.
Learning how to embroider isn’t something I’ve mastered yet but it’s on my list of arts and crafts projects (or skills really) that I want to take on. I’d love to learn to embroider cocktail napkins and think it would be so fantastic to make personalized cocktail napkins for my friends as hostess gifts!
I’m always so inspired by Mariana of Hibiscuis Linens. She is so talented and a literal ray of sunshine in person! Mariana offers online classes for embroidery training of all skill levels. As well as DIY embroidery kits for napkins, hand towels, bookmarks, and more!
In addition to embroidery, there are so many other fiber arts to try your hand at. I’m personally the most drawn to embroidery but that might not be the case for many of you. So, here is a breakdown of online classes for different types of fiber arts…
Pressed flowers are so beautiful and make everyone smile. In doing research for this post, I have come to learn that pressing flowers is actually really easy! It’s a great trick to have up your sleeve because it’s a craft project you can turn to constantly for holidays and things like personalized homemade birthday cards. Here’s all my scoop on how to do you own flower pressing at home…
Knowing how to do calligraphy would so amazing! Talented calligraphers are truly gifted! But learning and doing fun crafts means we can all be amateur calligraphers. Here are a handful of inspired calligraphy resources:
Local Charleston calligrapher and illustrator, The Town Serif, offers calligraphy workshops in Charleston (great for locals and visitors!).
Tie dye is all the rage right now! It’s easy to see why: tie dye is having a come back in the fashion world. It’s one of the easiest fun crafts to do at home, and all generations can have fun doing tie dye together.
Beading brings me back to my childhood days. My friends and I used to love visiting bead shops and creating bracelets and jewelry. There was one summer in particular that we were really into it! Beading is a great arts and crafts project to do when you just want to unwind.
This beading kit has everything you need to get going on a bunch of beading projects! Also, my girlfriend Annie has been doing custom beading bracelet projects while she has been sheltering in place. You can send her a message on Instagram and say I sent you to learn more!
Painting & Illustrating
Until last September, I probably hadn’t painted since my high school art classes. When on Nantucket in September with a few girlfriends, our lovely friend Meredith Hanson led us through a watercolor painting session and it was such a blast and so soothing to the mind and soul. I can definitely see the therapeutic benefits of painting and illustrating! If you have even the slightest knack for either skillset, then use any extra time you have at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to expand your creative horizons…
Meredith Hanson has a wonderful still life and floral study step-by-step watercolor guide.
Artist and Craftsman Supply is a wonderful shopping destination for all things painting, art, and crafts! We have a local store in Charleston but they have stores throughout the US and they ship everywhere. Order your acrylic paints, watercolor pads, pigment sticks, paint brush sets, and so much more.
These online courses will have you covered in every type of painting and illustration your heart could desire: Sketching Course // Fashion Illustration Class // Digital Fashion Illustration // Intro to Floral Illustration // Intro to Watercolor Illustration // Beginner Watercolor Painting // Watercolor Lettering // Watercolor Painting and Digitization // Acrylic Painting Class // Abstract & landscape Acrylic Painting Class
Floral arranging is truly a skill. Some people are just masters at it! Now, I’m not sure this is a craft exactly but it still uses creative juices so I’m including it. I bet some of your local florists where you live offer floral arranging classes and kits. If not, I’ve got three great options below…
I can’t remember when adult coloring books hit the scene but they sure did make a splash. So many adults find adult coloring books to be incredibly calming, freeing, and therapeutic. This is a craft that literally anyone can do because all it takes is a coloring book and colored pencils.
Here are some fun adult coloring books to sink your teeth into: Evelyn Henson Happy Coloring Book // Evelyn Henson Ice Cream Coloring Book // Jane Austen Coloring Book // Scenic Sights Coloring Book // Paris Street Style Coloring Book // Secret New York Coloring Book // Vogue Coloring Book // Vogue A to Z Coloring Book // Secret Garden Coloring Book
Take on a new home DIY project! This can be an undertaking but you can do it in waves. First, create a list of the home DIY projects you want to tackle. Next, prioritize your projects. When you select the first project you want to start with, do research on the supplies and tools you’ll need and the time frame you’ll most likely be working with. Finally, get going! I shared some bathroom DIY and home improvement projects in this post on our guest bathroom. Other ideas are to build a shed in your backyard, build gardening beds for fruits + veggies + flowers, create a succulent garden, paint a room in your house, and more.
Photography by Edwin Eversole