Free and inexpensive things to do while you’re
stuck …safe at home.
I know, you’ve been seeing a lot of these ideas. According to my Facebook stream I should have accomplished one thousand things after being quarantined for weeks. But to be honest, my house is still a little bit of a mess, and my flower beds still have weeds.
Yes, even though I’m safe at home with time on my hands, I’m still the same person. I’m still doing the things I really want to do most, the things that bring me joy. I hope you are too!
I’ve been doing some major projects, like my pine box refinish and upcycle, and some smaller projects too. Without the ability to get to the store, I’ve been using up items and supplies I already have. You know what they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Maybe one of these ideas will be something you’d like to do, or maybe they will spark your imagination for something else you’d love to do.
1. Re-imagine a Floral Arrangement
I had a silk hydrangea arrangement from several years ago. I really like it, but thought maybe it needed a new look. So I took it apart and turned it into a spring wreath for my front door. I used some bamboo sticks I had left over from a previous project.
It’s a little different. I’m still not sure about it, but it was fun. I’ll probably re-imagine it again next year!
Here’s my new spring wreath:
2. Make Pom-Poms
Many of us have leftover yarn, string or floss. It’s kind of relaxing to sit around in the evening (whilst binge-watching a new season of whatever…thank you Netflix and Amazon!! ) making some pom-poms and tassels.
I like to use them in places where I want to quickly find something…like the switch to a lamp. I don’t have to grab around in the dark looking for it.
Now I have a stash of pompoms and tassels for future projects. Pillow trim, edging for a throw or a blanket, and tassels for curtain tiebacks are a few ideas that come to mind. You can easily use up remnants like I did in the blue pom-pom above.
3. Embellish Things You Already Have
If you have a hot glue gun and any kind of plain item, you’re in business! Pillows can always use some more bling. Add ribbon, beads, old jewelry pieces, lace, silk flowers, or braid, etc… to a plain box, lamp shade, scarf, placemat, blouse…anything is fair game.
If you like to embroider or do cross stitch, it’s easy to add some X-es to the edge of a table cloth or napkin, or to a pillow or throw. Add X’es to your pillow cases and sheets. Add flowers to a T-shirt.
If you have colored string or floss, why not wrap those tassels you made up above. Add a couple of dangle earrings that you don’t really wear anymore. You can make some bling for your purse handle or coat zipper.
4. Rearrange Something
Art, furniture, wall hangings, blankets, pillows…anything you have. These kinds of changes can make a room look entirely new. And the price is zero dollars. The best thing is, if you don’t like it, then you can put it back, lol.
5. Get Your Garden Ready
Plant a few seeds for your garden. You don’t have to buy anything fancy. I used yogurt containers, toilet paper rolls and drink containers to plant my seeds.
I’ve got tomatoes and hot peppers for home made salsa. I’ve got beans and limas, lettuce, squash, cucumbers and peas. Can’t wait until May! If you’re planting a garden, check out the Farmer’s Almanac Planting Calendar for your zip code.
6. Pick up Sticks
As spring weather usually brings high winds, if you have trees, you may have branches and limbs falling. Gather them for a free trellis for your beans. Even better if you have some twine.
I also have my eyes out for the perfect branch for a future macrame or weaving project. Since I don’t have those supplies on hand, I’ve got plenty of time to plan and peruse Pinterest for ideas and tutorials. Follow me on Pinterest, I’d love to follow you.
7. Use Up Your Scraps in a Collage
Paper, glue, scissors, trims, ribbons, string, yarn, thread, old jewelry, paint, stickers, …I could go on. The wonderful thing about a collage is that it can be anything you want it to be. You can use anything you want to…there are no rules. Here is a Pinterest board of the “Best Collage Tutorials”:
8. Bring Living Things Inside
It doesn’t matter what it is, whether flowers, branches, flowering trees, stems, or twigs…plants add life to your home. I went for a walk around my neighborhood and found these succulents growing over the side of the road. They sit perfectly in a wooden bowl I’ve had for years. They’re so cute!
9. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Go through your storage closets, attic and basement. Look through photo albums. Dig up old treasures and sort through them. It’s a great time to remind yourself of precious memories.
I found this nice article and video “Old Photos – How to Print, Share and Display them” on Real Simple.
You might find some things you want to add to your shelves or decor. Or, you might find some items you are ready to pitch. You may discover books you’ve never read, or books you want to read again. You might find old forgotten projects you want to renew. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt!
10. Make Some Time For You
Even though “we’re in this together”, make some time for you, your mental health. Make time for relaxation, reflection, music, journaling, whatever you do to fill your bucket.
If you don’t know how yet, learn how to use tools like Zoom and have a face-to-face with friends and family. My husband and I and our four grown children are all apart and have been having bi-weekly hangouts. It’s so good for this mom to see their faces, even though I can’t hug them right now.
Personally, I don’t feel like I have to “use this time”. Not in any particular way that my Facebook stream is pressuring me, lol. While I do appreciate having time that I usually never do, I refuse to succumb to outside pressure. I’m doing what I want. It happens to be crafts and projects because that makes me happy.
By presenting my list of “Ten Things to Do”, I’m not intending to put any pressure on anyone to perform. I hope you are happy, healthy and safe at home…and are able to do a little bit of what brings you joy.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you are doing.
Categories: Do It Yourself