Crafting gains popularity as people seek to escape boredom during lockdown

As COVID-19 forces the community to stay home, many turn to DIY crafts to pass the time

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KATE FERNANDEZ/GraniteBayToday.org photo

Karly Fernandez’s doll which she sewed during quarantine using a sewing machine from her grandma.

   Staying locked indoors indefinitely is bound to result in serious cabin fever. As California residents search for ways to ride out the state-wide self-quarantine order from Gov. Gavin Newsom, many turn to fun “Do it Yourself” or DIY projects and crafts. 

   Inspired by the warm weather, some have chosen to take on projects to improve or decorate their gardens or even start one. Decorating pots and stones with paint and embellishments has become an increasingly popular trend for gardens. 

   Quirky, playful planters may have cute messages such as “we’re rooting for you!” or  even simple polka-dot patterns that grace the previously plain pots. No matter the style, the handmade aspect and effort put in is what makes the difference for those looking to escape the feeling of being cooped-up. 

   For those that are interested in supporting local businesses and are looking for a more guided project, businesses such as “Gather Studio and Marketplace” sell kits with materials and instructions for crafts. The kits were created to support the business during closure. Customers can purchase kits for DIY tote bags, painting, bath and body, wood signs, succulents, and macrame with prices ranging from $15-$40.

  “We haven’t sold a lot, maybe 15-20,” said Melaya Walker, the owner of Gather. “We just created them about a week ago and are hoping to sell more to pay our monthly bills and keep our brick and mortar location. We also have gift kits to send loved ones as well as a bunch of other ways to support our business.” 

   Although the business usually hosts classes and workshops at their Granite Bay location, they have rescheduled all upcoming events and classes. “I think it helps people take their mind off everything going on and helps keep the kids occupied,” Walker said.

I did enjoy it! It was fun to work on a project and get a cool product out of it.”

— Karly Fernandez

   Learning a new crafting skill such as sewing or embroidery makes for a great escape from boredom.

“My grandma got me a sewing machine a couple years ago and I had only used it a couple times, so I decided to try to get back into it since I don’t have much else to do,” said junior Karly Fernandez, who decided to use her spare time to sew a doll. “My aunt sewed some stuffed animals and posted on instagram about it, so I decided to try and make my own without a guide.” 

   The doll project was a positive experience for Fernandez.

“I did enjoy it! It was fun to work on a project and get a cool product out of it,” Fernandez said. “It definitely helped because I felt productive and it was nice to do something a little different than what I normally do when I’m bored.”

   Another popular project during the lockdown is reorganizing and redecorating home living spaces. From bedrooms to closets to kitchen pantries, people find that revamping their home with their spare time is a great way to be productive indoors. 

   “I’ve been wanting to redo my room for a while, I just never had the time so now was a good opportunity ,” said senior Jess Fayer. “I finished painting my walls and I put up some temporary shelves. I’m planning making a different bed frame and putting up curtains within the next few days. I have to wait for stores to open back up to go get some furniture.”

   Fayer also expressed the satisfactory benefits that accompany her project to redo her room. “It’s kept me busy and it’s kind of calming to have something to do and organize my things,” Fayer said. “I do enjoy it, I’ve painted before but I’ve never fully redone my room by myself so that’s new.”

   Despite the challenging times, DIY crafts and projects present a productive distraction and motivation to remain indoors and stay optimistic.

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