3 Easy Ways — No, Really! — to Be Creative in Quarantine

3 Easy Ways — No, Really! — to Be Creative in Quarantine

As we’re coming up on Month 732 of quarantine life, you’re probably sick of seeing mommy blogs and sites like Bustle or Refinery29 put out articles like “23 Uncomplicated Crafts to Do at Home!” or “17 Easy Recipes to Spice Up Your Kitchen!”, only to click through and find that the crafts are definitely complicated and the recipes are not, in fact, easy.

Not everyone is crafty, artsy, or patient enough for complex projects. I get that. I happen to be one of those annoying crafty people who likes doing the tedious projects, but trust me, I have plenty of friends who aren’t. And if we’re being really honest, there are a lot of “easy” crafts that test my patience, too.

So, when I say that there are easy ways to still be creative in quarantine, I really do mean that they’re easy. You don’t have to follow a long Wikihow or a complicated YouTube tutorial, and you don’t have to be Martha Stewart, Joanna Gaines, or The Pioneer Woman.

Even if you can’t draw, have crappy handwriting, or firmly believe that you’re “just not creative,” I’m here to prove you wrong!

Even if you can’t draw, have crappy handwriting, or firmly believe that you’re “just not creative,” I’m here to prove you wrong!

Creating is a fun outlet for some of that stir-crazy energy we’ve all got bubbling up inside, and it doesn’t have to manifest in some kind of Pinterest-perfect way. Simple is good. Messy is fine. Art is very forgiving.

Here are three easy ways to be creative in quarantine.

 

1. Make Pretty Letter Art

You—yes you—can make letters that are pretty and quotes that are cute. You don’t need to be a calligraphy pro, and you don’t really even need fancy drawing tools.

All you need is a pencil, pens, or markers (colored pencils and crayons can work too!), some paper, and your computer.

“But,” you say, “I can’t do that! My handwriting is a mess.”

That’s fine! It doesn’t matter! You’re going to be tracing the letters!

First, find the letter or text you want to use. Then trace the letters one of two ways:

– Turn your monitor brightness up all the way, use a tiny piece of tape to secure your paper to the top of the screen, and use short, light pencil strokes to trace the letter or text you want to use. This part doesn’t have to be perfect.

– Print out the letter or text you want to use, and then use a small piece of tape to secure both papers to a bright window. Use the same tracing technique!

If copying words feels too intimidating, just open a text editor like Google Docs or Microsoft Word and type a single letter. Choose a font style you like, make the letter page-sized, and trace it to make a pretty monogram with minimal effort.

 

be creative in quarantine
ArtCoStore on Etsy

 

Once you’ve traced your letter(s), carefully go over them with your pens or markers. You can fill them in at this point, or you can make an outline in one color and fill them with different colors. If you’re feeling bold, you can search Pinterest for doodle ideas like small flowers, flourishes, dots, or arrows for some extra cuteness. Let the ink dry (if you’re using pens or markers), and erase any visible pencil marks. Voila!

 

2. Craft Cute Hairpins

You can use old earrings, vintage buttons, or retro beads for this. You can also use any kind of hair pin or barrette you want. Bobby pins or small alligator clips (like these) work best.

 

 

For adhesive, hot glue (if you have it) or a small amount of superglue works well. If you’re using old earrings, use small pliers or wire cutters to snap the backs off first. (You can also use sturdy tweezers and some elbow grease if you don’t have any other tools.)

Flip your buttons, beads, or earrings facedown, and make sure you have scrap paper or cardboard laid down over your workspace (getting glue off your table is NOT a fun craft project, let me tell you). Dot some glue onto the backs of your baubles, and firmly press the base of your pin onto the glue. Hold it there for about a minute (just long enough to let the glue set), and that’s all there is to it!

Pro tip: If you get superglue on your fingers, swab them with acetone! I don’t think I’ve ever used superglue and not gotten it on my hands. Sigh.

 

3. Print Some Coloring Pages

Some people side-eye this as “cheating,” but I think that’s silly. I can draw pretty well, but I love printing out coloring pages for some low-key creativity. You can experiment with different coloring mediums (crayons, pencils, markers, paint), and if you don’t like how it turns out … just print a fresh one and try again!

 

 

You can even buy a small pack of high-quality cardstock and use it to print out coloring pages that you’d like to really take your time on. You can frame them for your house or send them as cute snail mail gifts for friends! I like printing small, postcard-sized images and writing little cheery notes to friends that live far away (or even not so far away these days).

There are tons of free coloring pages available online, or you can support an artist and purchase some extra-beautiful pages from Etsy or Society6.

 

How Do You Create?

I only listed three things to try, but there are seriously dozens of ways that you can channel creative energy. You can buy an armload of silk flowers from the dollar store and learn how to arrange bouquets (I love doing this!), or you can put together an intricate puzzle and frame it.

Being creative or artistic is about so much more than just being able to draw, paint, or sculpt. No matter how “uncreative,” clumsy, or not-crafty you think you are, I promise that there’s something fun you can absolutely do!

What’s your favorite out-of-the-box way to be creative in quarantine?

 

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