Stay Home, Get Crafty!
So we’re at the end of week 2 of the UK’s official lock down, and many of us will now have settled into a new routine or are slowly starting to find our ‘new normal’. For many of us this means working from home, home schooling the kids or simply trying to find ways to keep yourself occupied and pass the time. If you’re looking to pick up a new skill or steal a few moments away to yourself in between time with your little ones, learning a new craft isn’t just fun, but has proven to boost your mental wellbeing too.
We are incredibly lucky to be living in an age where we have a huge amount of resources to keep us busy – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, IGTV, YouTube, Tik Tok – the list goes on! And over the last few weeks, the creative community has been sharing their work and tutorials with the whole world to come together during this time of crisis. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite ways to pass the time and some resources to keep your little ones busy too!
Keep on Knittin’
If you don’t know how to already, then get knitting! It’s a great skill to have and one you can pass on to others, as well as making something special for someone – like jumpers, scarves, or even a giant blanket (The perfect accessory for staying indoors). In a survey conducted by Knit for Peace they found that knitting lowers blood pressure, reduces depression and anxiety and is just as relaxing as yoga! Their study also explained that knitting makes people feel better able to cope, especially older people. So if you’ve got an older relative who is alone at home, a knitting kit is the perfect gift to help them pass the time.
Check out these knitting kits to get you started - click here.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a lotta love given to the humble colouring book – and for good reason! Thanks to its basic, repetitive motions, colour engages a part of your brain which has been proven to calm nerves and ease anxiety – sounds like exactly what we need right now! Since the announcement of the lock down, we’ve seen a surge of some of our favourite artists and illustrators offer free downloadable colouring pages to help us relax and calm our minds during this time.
Check out some of our favourites here (suitable for both kids and adults!)
- En Brogue AKA Hannah Rochell has released line drawing versions of her gorgeous illustrations for you to colour in at home. And as an added bonus, Hannah will be giving away a signed copy of each of her books for her favourite ones! Start colouring by clicking here.
- London based illustrator and writer, Ella Masters, has added lots of incredible downloadable colouring in sheets to her website – made for children (but we’re sure the adults can have fun with these too!), these colouring pages featuring dinosaurs, space men, nature and rockets! Make sure you use #positivepages so Ella can see your beautiful creations! Download them by clicking here.
- Over at Fawn and Thistle, they’ve turned two of their most popular animal party designs into free colouring page downloads. These pages are free but if you can donate a little to support Fawn and Thistle during this time then they would very much appreciate it. Get yours by clicking here.
Embroider the day away
It may look tricky, but embroidery is a wonderful, creative process that boosts your brain function and helps to alleviate stress too. Creating an embroidery with your favourite design will allow you to focus your attention on the task at hand and may be a welcome distraction for what’s going on in the world right now.
Embroidery queen, Lauren Smith, is sharing a how-to guide over on her Instagram, and her first IGTV Tutorial is now live! In this, Lauren shows you how to prepare your hoop and thread for stitching. Make sure you’re following her on Instagram to keep up to date with her tutorials - click here!
And if you’re looking for a kit to get you started, Etsy is full of beautiful ones! Nog Pepper Me have got an amazing range of kits available – including beginners kits, cross stitch kits and patterns too! Check them out by clicking here.
Get tranquil with your own candle
There’s nothing better than getting to the end of the day, putting your feet up and lighting your favourite scented candle – and even better if you made it yourself! Candles can also be quite pricey, and if you’re trying to save for essential items, a homemade candle can be the answer to your problems, as they can cost just a few pounds to make. Another bonus is that you can decide what goes in to them, so you can have the perfect scent float through your house!
You may already have a few of the essential items lying about your house already – check out this guide on what to use and how to use it, click here.
Or if you’re starting from scratch, here’s a Candle Making Kit with everything you need to get started - click here.
And keep an eye out for..
Channel 4 recently announced that Turner Prize-Winning artist, Grayson Perry, will be part of a new programme which is aimed to help keep people occupied during their time in lockdown. ‘Grayson’s Art Club’ will show you how to make various forms of art – including drawing, painting and sculpture. It will also include some interviews with other artists, with the end goal to inspire artists all over the world to create something which is related to their isolation.
A date is yet to be announced but we’re excited for this one! Make yourself familiar with Grayson Perry’s beautiful art work before it gets started by clicking here.