Lockdown is proving to be a strange time for us all. I know I’m personally making a lot of use of our Netflix and Now TV subscriptions, as well as the very welcome addition of Disney+. But being a creative person I also find that being creative has to be an essential part of my week to avoid going stir crazy! Luckily, creative projects are one of the few things you don’t need to leave the house for, as long as you have some inspiration and a few supplies. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, here a few of my creative ideas for lockdown.
I’ve really been enjoying using this time to scrapbook some much-loved travel memories. Luckily I already had physical photographs printed and a lot of scrapbooking elements ready to go, and this lovely Adventure Book scrapbook to make use of. It’s a nice way to reminisce on some great memories, and to live vicariously through them during the current travel ban. There is also no limit to how creative you can be on your scrapbook pages – you can write, stick or draw anything on there! Your pages can look messy and full, or clean and organised – whatever you like. This is an ideal project if you have a printer at home and can print off unlimited photos and elements.
It seems like everyone is currently baking banana bread and sourdough right now, and there’s a good reason – baking is a creative outlet with delicious results! Here are some tasty recipes I have tried and tested:
- Honey and Walnut Loaf Cake
- Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies
- White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake
- Apple and Blackberry Crumble
- Banana Bread (of course)
3. Creative Courses
If you are in the right mindset for online learning (I know not everyone is), now is a great time for it as there are plenty of free creative courses you can access from home. Here are some I’ve tried or considered trying:
- Skillshare has a huge amount of online courses and workshops in all sorts of creative, business and lifestyle fields. Many are available on a free profile, and you can sign up for Skillshare Premium for full access to everything. At the moment they are offering a 2 month free trial of Premium, which is perfect for lockdown! (Disclaimer: If you sign up for your free trial using my link, I’ll also get a free month)
- Yoast SEO Training – Not creative in itself, but very useful for anyone with their own blog or website.
- Curtis Brown Creative offer full writing courses, but for the time being I have just signed up for their weekly writing workout, with a creative writing lesson and exercise emailed out weekly.
- Imagineering in a Box – This fun online course is great for fans of Disney parks, as it teaches you how the Disney “Imagineers” actually create the parks, with exercises to help you design your own theme park.
I only learned to knit this February, so it’s a recently acquired skill, and one which can pass a great number of hours! My first project was the Ravenclaw scarf kit pictured below, and a kit like this is a great way to start because it includes everything you’ll need.
Since then I have been looking for inspiration for other knitting projects, and have saved some nice ideas on my Knitting Projects Pinterest board, but my favourite (and my next project in progress) is this cute knitted baby Yoda inspired by my new addiction – The Mandalorian.
I’ve been gradually improving my calligraphy skills over the past few years, and it’s a nice mindful activity to be doing in these uncertain times. Of course it helps if you have all the equipment, but even without dip pens and ink, you can turn your hand to brush calligraphy or faux calligraphy just with felt tip pens or similar. I’d recommend improving your basic skills with regular calligraphy drills, and then working on some nice calligraphy-based projects to brighten your mood. Check out my Calligraphy Pinterest board for shortcuts to some drills and projects, or visit my favourite calligraphy site, The Postman’s Knock.
6. Improve Your Cooking
With all this extra time on our hands, now is a great opportunity to improve some culinary skills. I’ve been guilty of being too busy to cook healthy meals from scratch over the past few years, so it’s quite nice to do the opposite for a while. As I will be cooking something each night anyway, I thought it would be a good time to try some new recipes and devote a little longer each day to cooking. Here are a few recipes I’ve tried in the past:
- Beef and Ale Casserole
- Chicken and Leek Pie
- Or visit my Food Pinterest board for lots more tasty ideas.
Writing is the easiest creative outlet in terms of supplies – all you need is a computer or a notebook and pen. As Dumbledore would say, words are an “inexhaustible source of magic”, and with all this lockdown time on our hands it’s a great opportunity to get journaling, blogging, or even attempt to start a work of fiction if you feel ambitious.
8. Upcycling Projects
Upcycling something old or useless into something fun, beautiful or useful is probably the most satisfying way to channel your creativity. This could be turning pallets into rustic furniture, giving old clothes a new lease of life, or simply recycling tin cans and egg boxes. Check out my Upcycling Pinterest board for some ideas.
9. Candle Making
I’ve been using up some of my candle making supplies to make some new scented candles and melts – they’re definitely something I’ll be using during all this time at home! There are loads of candle making tutorials online to help develop your skills, but if you fancy a go at making a pretty vintage teacup candle, take a look at my guide.
10. Read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Every creative person should read this book! It’s all about living a creative and fulfilling life, no matter how talented you may or may not be. It was so inspiring to read Elizabeth Gilbert talking about being fearless, curious, open to inspiration and also the importance of not taking your work so seriously that it never gets seen – and basically just getting projects finished! This book has changed my outlook on writing completely, and I’d thoroughly recommend it.
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