Hobbies, renovations and other quarantine-at-home ideas

Metro Creative

As Santa Clarita Valley residents enter month six of the quarantine, it’s as if the pandemic has transported us back to an era where there’s endless time to fill. With many options exhausted, it’s the perfect time to embrace the shift and turn to some old-fashioned crafting.

Picking up an old craft or finding a new one can not only be an easy way to pass the time but can also get those creative wheels spinning, which can have a positive effect on your mood. 

In fact, a recent study conducted at Drexel University found that making art, in whatever form, can actually reduce stress hormones.

For Valencia resident Tarren Samuels, picking up a ball of yarn helped to ease her anxieties. 

“The more I knit, the easier it is for me to stop worrying about my troubles,” she said. “It’s like with every stitch, I dive deeper into my project and stop feeling so alone.” 

Samuels is in her 60s, and health conditions put her in the high-risk population, leaving her with lots of time to fill at home without her usual visitors. 

As everyone has a little bit of a different situation, there are a number of hobbies and pastimes you can pick up if you’re willing to be creative..

Fold some origami

While this Japanese craft may seem complicated, with each fold creating an intricate design, the challenge can actually help keep your brain sharp.

This craft may take some time to master, yet is accessible to any skill level, allowing you to progress from paper airplane to paper crane.

The best part is it requires just one piece of material — and a bit of patience.

Turn patterns into macramé

You’ve probably seen those hanging plant holders or intricately knotted wall tapestries, but what many don’t know is that it actually isn’t that hard to do, according to Canyon Country resident Hilary Love.

“It’s honestly just a bunch of knots,” Love said, chuckling. “If you can follow a pattern, you can make a macramé wall tapestry.” 

Love began her knotting journey about a month ago after seeing online tutorials while scrolling through social media. 

“It just looked like such a simple, yet stylish way to decorate my bare walls,” she added. “I grabbed some extra cord, and now I’ve got a whole herb garden hanging in my kitchen, along with a tapestry that covers my entire living room wall. I’ve even considered creating a little side business because it’s just so fun and I’m running out of wall space.” 

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Plant some herbs

Speaking of herb gardens, creating one is the perfect project for those who enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients.

That way, you have them within easy reach whenever you want to whip up a new recipe, nor will you have to waste those leftovers that you forgot about. 

Whether you’ve got a backyard or not, many herbs actually grow well in small pots by a sunny window, allowing you to start small and let your garden grow, like Saugus resident Christine Mezaki.

“I started with just one basil plant and was hooked,” Mezaki said, adding that oregano, cilantro and parsley plants quickly followed. “Not only does it taste better, but it’s so fun to tend to my little indoor garden.” 

Upgrade outdated furniture

Whether it’s an old bookshelf or kitchen chairs, there’s no reason to replace when you can just renew.

“My mom and I have been talking about refinishing our coffee table since I can remember,” 17-year-old Cassie Lyons said. “I can’t believe it took us this long to actually do it because it was so simple and looks like a new piece of furniture.” 

Now, Lyons and her mom have taken on the challenge of reupholstering the dining room chairs, which she said has been easier than she expected.

“I feel like we’ll have the whole house redone by the end of quarantine,” Lyons added. 

Just like that, you’ll have a fun project to tackle and furniture that’ll actually fit your style, so grab some sandpaper and paint and get to work.

Make your baths fizzy

Step aside Lush, it’s time for you to make your own bath bombs, as even those without any chemistry knowledge can make these fizzy bath treats with the use of baking soda and citric acid.

You can even customize them to be as simple or fancy as you’d like, simply by adding food coloring, Epsom salt or essential oils. 

Now, you can relax in your tub as you breathe in some of those essential oils to destress during the most stressful of times, making any bath feel like a spa experience. 

For those who don’t know where to start, there’s a number of local craft shops that have reopened and are starting to hold socially distanced workshops, along with the continuation of online programs or take-home DIY programs, including Barn and Charm and AR Workshop, among others.

Barn and Charm is located at 22700 Lyons Ave. in Newhall, while AR Workshop is located at 27916 Seco Canyon Road, Unit 204, in Saugus. 

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