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3 Quarantine Friendly Arts and Crafts Activities for All Ages

I know you'll all agree with me when I say this quarantine feels like it's been going on for 975 years. I may be an introvert, but y'all I miss hugging people. I'm not kidding, I think the first thing I'll do when the world announces that COVID-19 is officially cancelled is giving hugs to strangers. I want to hug EVERYBODY!

Until then, I'll share with you my family's top 3 quarantine friendly arts and crafts activities.

Bead making: This is gauranteed fun for hours whether you're 5 or 50. My kids, sisters, mom, mother in law and niece can easily spend a whole afternoon making bracelets, necklaces, key chains and even earrings with beads. You do not have to be a fashion designer or jewelery professional, just be yourself and design whatever makes you happy. In fact, my favorite part of this is watching my sisters create beautiful designs that I may have never thought of, and getting inspiration from them for my next peices. You can easily find affordable and diverse bead designs at Michael's (you know you're going there anyway so might as well). The best thing about this activity is that you end up with our own custom made and very cute jewelry peices to add to your wardrobe.

Cost: This can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. I bought an organizer full of beads and separators, plus the string for around $120 at Michael's. You can really detailed and go to professional bead shops like the Gem and Bead Gallery in Rice Village; spending hundreds of dollars on real pearl, beautiful stones and proper equipment.

Tip: Start small, think of a theme (I started with light pinks and whites), get a few bead strings and create a couple designs before you go wild. Try to match the theme with some outfits that you wear, and look up bracelet or necklace designs on Pinterest before you get started.

Painting: Repeat after me, everyone is an artist. I don't care what your experience level is or how "badly" you paint, just do it. It's always good for your soul to create, and if you have no idea what to paint, print out a drawing and trace it onto the canvas, make an abstract painting or as my art loving friends Sara and Farah say, just start painting and see where it takes you. I always have small rectangular and square canvases at home and a drawer full of acrylic colors, paint brushes and sponges. I like to use acrylic paint on canvas but you can also work with water colors on a sketch pad. Every person in your family, no matter what age they are, will enjoy doing this.

Cost: You can find canvas boards for a few dollars at Michael's or you can buy a pack of 12 for $15 from Amazon). Acrylic paint tubes at Michael's can cost anwhere between $4.99 and $12.99 a peice. I know this sounds pricey if you're thinking you need 10 or so colors but the tubes are a good size and they'll last you months. You can also start with basic colors that you can mix to create other colors (store new colors in airtight container).

Tip: Use newspapers or plastic table covering to cover your work surface. Wear your least favorite t-shirt. Have a plan: look up paintings you like, styles, or even print out a picture you want to trace. For kids, give them stickers, glitter and small cut out shapes with glue to take their art to the next level.

Puzzles Making: You might think, ermmm puzzles? I came here for this? Be honest, when was the last time you actually solved a puzzle? A 750 peice one? Or a 2000 peice one? Probably a while. A good puzzle can take a family a whole day to complete or a week if you're going at it by yourself. I personally love complicated ones with beautiful scenes like a French country cobblestone street lined with flower shops. I remember spending hours with my sister competitively trying to complete our own corners of a 1500 peice jig saw puzzle that took us well over a week to finish. You can find puzzles at Barnes and Noble, Michael's, Amazon and other stores.

Cost: Expect to pay around $14.99 for a good 1000 peice puzzle from Michael's. That's $14.99 for a week of fun if you're dedicating an hour a day.

Tip: Dedicate a surface like a section of your dining room for the puzzle. If you're like me, then half the table is being used for laundry anyway so might as well leave a corner for a puzzle. Put on some good music and make yourself a drink, this is can easily become a bonding experience with your loved ones.


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