In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have found themselves spending much more time at home, and with plenty of time to fill, are looking for new hobbies and activities. With psychologists suggesting that creativity can be therapeutic in all sorts of ways, now could be the perfect time to learn a new artistic or crafty skill and turn your time at home into something really positive.

Crafts involving being surrounded by color are good for lifting mood, and activities that absorb you completely are great for mindfulness. In producing something beautiful for someone else, you benefit from the sense of satisfaction coupled with the feeling of making connections. The team at Lifton Home Elevators have put together a top ten of creative project ideas to help you feel uplifted and productive at home.

1. Painting
The first thing most people think when you talk about creativity is putting paint to paper or canvas. Painting is well known for its therapeutic effects, but it is also time-consuming, so many people ‘never get around to it’. Now is the perfect opportunity to dust off your paint brushes, or order new supplies online, choose a subject, and let your creative juices flow. Remember practice makes perfect, so if you’re rusty to begin with just keep trying, and plan to enjoy the process, rather than aiming for perfection. Set yourself a daily or weekly challenge to make sure you don’t give up too soon.

2. Coloring
If painting is a bit too involved, or too messy, but the idea of enjoying brush strokes to help elevate stress appeals, why not try coloring books for adults? There are a huge range of books to choose from with different subjects or intricate patterns. Treat yourself to a good quality tin of coloring pencils or markers, and enjoy the mindful activity of staying within the lines.

3. Baking
Cooking meals every day is very different to the art of baking. The process of measuring and mixing, followed by wonderful cooking smells can be very satisfying. There are a multitude of recipes to try, for every level of ability, and every taste, sweet or savory. If you are a novice start with something easy like cookies, and work your way up to more involved bakes. Once you have mastered the basics you can put your own twist on your recipes to create new delicacies. The bonus of baking is that afterwards you and your household can enjoy what you’ve made and you can share your treats with your neighbors too.

4. Knitting
Knitting as a creative hobby recently made a comeback in younger generations. Models waiting on photoshoots, and commuters on their daily journeys have been known to carry their knitting projects with them. There are plenty of great tutorials and patterns online to get started and all that you need is wool and a good pair of knitting needles. Choose a color you love for a simple scarf, and by fall you could be wearing your very own creation.

5. Up-cycling
If you enjoy the idea of a useful creative project, you could try your hand at up-cycling an old piece of furniture so that it fits within a new scheme. Whether it’s an old chest of drawers that has seen better days or a night stand that would work perfectly in another color in the family-room, the sky’s the limit. Paint, varnish, or even decoupage, using old maps, or pictures of flowers, you can create a beautiful center-piece to a room that is truly unique.

6. Cross stitch
Detailed and careful work, cross stitch is a great way to fill your days and produce a beautiful piece of artwork which can be framed and hung on a wall or maybe turned into a cushion. You can buy the basics online from a good sewing or craft shop: needle, embroidery thread or wool, fabric and instructions, and a good cross stitch hoop is also recommended to keep your work taught. Cross stitch pictures make wonderful gifts for others, knowing that love has gone into every single stitch.

7. Quilting
A traditional craft of the United States, quilting evokes the idea of mothers sitting with their children making quilts that will be cherished by the family for generations. Handmade quilts are special because not only are they are comforting when it’s cold, depending on the fabrics selected, they can tell a story of a family or a moment in time.

8. Pebble painting
Like regular painting, pebble painting can be extremely therapeutic. However, the size of the rock you choose dictates the size of the painting, so it can be like painting in miniature. With tiny brushes you can achieve a great amount of detail. These rocks can be used as decorative paper weights, or if large enough can be used as door stops.

9. Sewing
If you have an old unused sewing machine, now could be the perfect time to dust it off and see what you can make with it. Cushion covers or simple tote bags could be a great place to start. Once you are more advanced, you could consider making clothes or drapes. Many people across the world are using their sewing machines to turn scraps of nice fabric into pretty, personalized, reusable cloth face masks.

10. Friendship bracelet making
Sometimes returning to a childhood craft can be comforting and fun too! Friendship bracelets made by braiding lengths of colored threads together are often loved by kids and teens, but the process of knotting and braiding is just as therapeutic when you’re an adult. You can even upgrade the bracelets you make by including silver fastenings or pretty beads. Sending a bracelet to an old friend can be a sweet way to remind them that you’re thinking of them.