The ongoing pandemic has confined millions of people all over the world to their homes.
With no bars, restaurants, and movie theaters open, with entire tourist cities closed down, with museums, galleries, even the art collections hosted in casinos off-limits for visitors (and their virtual versions simply not doing the trick), many of us have found ourselves with a ton of free time and nothing to do with it.
Binge-watching Netflix and browsing social media can only keep us occupied for so long. Perhaps it’s time to try some new crafts that don’t require any special materials and are easy to do at home.
The ancient Japanese art of paper folding goes back to the Edo period (1603-1867), with the first book presenting techniques of this craft published in 1797.
The models usually start with a square piece of paper that can then be folded into a variety of shapes, from the best-known crane to more complex, abstract, colorful shapes.
Origami is the perfect pastime while you’re stuck at home because it only needs paper – perhaps a few tools that you can also easily craft at home.
There are types of special origami paper available in shops but if you have none, you can use regular paper you have at hand.
Aside from giving you the chance to fold unique decorations for your home, origami has also been shown to relieve stress, giving both your hand and your mind something to do.
Where there are kids, there are almost always crayons – either boxes of unopened ones or broken, discarded pieces they grew bored of.
These crayons can be used in a variety of ways – they can even be turned into emergency candles if the power goes out.
Discarded crayons can be used in a variety of ways. Mixed with candle wax, they can be recycled as colorful candles. Mixed with coconut oil, they can serve as a pigment for lip gloss.
Melted, they can be used as paint. Melted and mixed with a series of other ingredients, they can be repurposed as homemade play-dough. And broken crayons can be melted and recycled as… crayons, too.
One of the ancient crafts that were almost forgotten today is making rag rugs. These rugs were commonplace in the mid-20th century but they were mostly superseded by their factory-made counterparts.
Perhaps self-isolation is the best time to revive this long-running tradition.
The best thing about rag rugs is that the materials needed are almost always at hand: they can be made of clothes you don’t wear anymore. So, you won’t even need to leave home to get them.
Making rag rugs is a great way to keep your hands occupied while you’re binge-watching your favorite Netflix series for the nth time. If you need some tips on how to get started, check out this tutorial for the basics.