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Whether you’re stressed out about coronavirus/COVID-19, your stock portfolio or the possibility of having to stay home for a few weeks — or all three! — now is the perfect time to start a creative hobby or rekindle an old favorite pastime.
Why Start a Creative Hobby?
If you’re already a crafter, there’s probably a part of you that is a tiny bit excited about the possibility of having to work from home if you don’t already or going out less because it will give you more time to work on projects.
This is not at all to say that COVID-19 isn’t serious and that we shouldn’t prepare in all the ways we’ve been advised to prepare if we can, by stocking up and soap and tissues and food to last a couple of weeks just in case.
But while you’re doing that, maybe add some craft supplies to the shopping list so you can start a creative hobby, resume working on a hobby you used to enjoy, or just to have some things around to tinker with in your down time.
Here are a few reasons a crafty hobby is a great choice for times like these:
- Creative hobbies give you something to focus on that might distract your from your worry.
- Making something is a great way to reduce stress and feel like you are in control of something.
- It’s nice to feel productive when you can’t or don’t want to leave the house, especially since you might be watching more TV than normal.
- You can get started with a lot of crafty hobbies with just a few supplies, so it won’t break the bank.
- You can order supplies online so you don’t have to leave the house.
- There’s a tutorial on YouTube for everything, so no matter what hobby you want to start you can find guidance without having contact with another person.
- Once you’ve got the basics down, making things is meditative, which can definitely be calming. Enjoy the process and try not to worry about a perfect finished product.
- Whether you make a skirt, a scarf or some soap, the feeling of self-sufficiency derived from making your own stuff is pretty great.
How to Start a New Hobby
The only problem with starting a new hobby is knowing what you might enjoy. If you don’t consider yourself crafty you might worry that you won’t be any good at whatever it is you are thinking of trying.
The good news is there are a lot of simple ways to be more creative that don’t require a lot in terms of supplies or skills. You can doodle, play with clay, make a fast painting, scribble, make braids or string beads, all without worry that it needs to look good or turn out a particular way.
Another option to try is doing coloring pages. If you don’t already have a coloring book or several in the house, you can print coloring pages. Use any markers, colored pencils or crayons you have lying around to fill them in.
Finding the Craft that’s Right for You
Maybe you have always admired a particular craft like knitting or sewing that you’d like to try now that you might have a little more time on your hands.
Perhaps you inherited some supplies you’ve still got lying around, or a friend who does that craft could give you some supplies to get you started.
If you’re stumped about what to try, maybe scroll through Pinterest for a while. Search for an upcoming holiday or inexpensive or easy crafts. Or try searching a specific craft if you have some supplies that you want to use.
There are so many great ideas and projects out there already that you don’t have to be super creative to get started.
What to Buy to Get Started
Most crafts don’t require a huge outlay or a lot of supplies to get started. If you found a specific craft on Pinterest you want to make, you can just buy those supplies for a start.
You can also look for online classes at CreativeBug and Bluprint (click this link for 50 percent off any class during March) that will take you through a specific project. Those classes should have materials lists to aid your shopping efforts.
If you want to start practicing a new hobby like knitting or crochet, you can begin with just a ball of yarn and corresponding needles or hook. There’s even knitting you can do without needles, such as working with loop yarn or a knitting loom.
Once you’ve got the basics down you can find a simple pattern to try and buy more supplies as necessary.
Likewise, for cross-stitch or embroidery, all you need is some floss, a needle, fabric and a hoop. You can learn hand sewing working on scraps of fabric or old worn out clothing.
You can find kits for a lot of crafts online that will give you enough supplies to get you started. I’ve got my eye on a paper quilling kit. Maybe buy a couple of different kits for different kinds of crafts and see what you like best?
Already a Crafter? Time to Level Up
If your house is already full of craft supplies, now would be a great time for a stash busting challenge. Get creative using what you have to complete a bunch of project.
You can also level up in a craft by learning a new skill or technique, trying something you haven’t tried before, or embarking on a 100 day challenge to focus on improvement in a particular craft. (The 100 Day Project for the year launches April 7.)
Take an online class in your favorite creative hobby, or find a project that’s just a little bit scary to try. Of course you can also branch out into a new-to-you craft at this time if you want. Or both!
Taking the time to start a creative hobby when you’re stressed out — or when you know there is some new stress to come — might be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Besides hand washing. Please. Wash those filthy hands.