Here are the best creative lockdown activities: Student edition

Creative outlets on a student budget for when the coursework gets a little much

With still a week left of lockdown 2.0 and the prospect of tiered regional lockdowns after that, we need to find new and creative ways to ignore our endless online lectures but reasonably excuse ourselves by still being productive.

Being a fan of all things arts and crafts I know that, as well as how much fun they can be, they can also provide serious benefits to our mental well being. This is something that is becoming increasingly crucial with the constant changes in society regarding lockdown rules and the potential loneliness and boredom that can come with it.

Having said this, some crafts can also come with a pretty hefty price tag, so below I’ve done my best to find the cheapest options available with an expense rating provided for each activity.

Enjoying my freshly died sheets

Tie dye: £

What with there being a variety of kits available online, and with varying price ranges, it’s pretty easy to find a set that’s decent value for money. Even Aldi came out with their own range of tie dye kits a while ago, but you don’t necessarily need to purchase anything in order to try this out.

Tie dye can easily be recreated with household ingredients – I’m talking as basic as bleach here. Reverse tie dye is done by using bleach to strip away the colour from an item in order to create a tie dye look. The best bit about this is that you don’t even need to buy new clothes, you can just pick any coloured item from your current wardrobe to create this effect.

As well as bleach, turmeric is also a great way to tie dye, with the results being a gorgeous yellow colour. Just remember that whatever the chosen method, gloves are always useful, and then go on to get creative with the many tie dye patterns out there.

Treasure hunts: ££

These are brilliant fun with housemates. Invest a bag of sweets to use as treats along the way, or use obscure household items if you’re really low on cash. To make things seem a little more interesting, perhaps introduce the element of alcohol.

In order to get the next clue your hunters must answer a question, get it wrong and its time for a shot. Perhaps a maximum of two wrong answers per clue before giving in, we don’t want anyone passing out before the game has even properly started.

You got me, this one is shop bought

Pamper night: ££

Whilst you can easily grab a face mask pack at Superdrug or Boots for as little as 99p, go the extra mile and make your own at home. You’ve got the time to spare and it’s a fun activity to do together with friends or family.

My top suggestions for face mask ingredients are honey, bananas, oats, turmeric, and yoghurt. Whilst hair masks can be made with eggs, olive, banana, yoghurt, and honey. The crossover of ingredients means you shouldn’t have to spend too much.

Dan admiring our creations

Ceramic painting: £££

Definitely a more expensive creative outlet, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Ceramic painting is great fun to do, plus you can come out of it with something useful like a mug, or a mixing bowl for the face and hair masks above.

Due to Covid, many ceramic painting studios, including Pot n Kettle in Beeston, are offering take out kits where you simply pick up your chosen item to paint and do so in the comfort of your own home. This means you can really make a day of it. Order in a take away for a pit stop, open that bottle of beer in the fridge, and have a creative weekend. Definitely worth the money spent.

The finished product

Get musical: £

I’m not talking about spending lots of money on a new musical instruments, though that is the dream, but a few glasses of water and a fork or any other chosen utensil. Fill each of the glasses up with different levels of water and tap them to hear different notes.

In no time you’ll be tapping out Britney Spears’ Toxic in open defiance of corona and could also be the next internet sensation.

Sign Language: ££

Currently as little as £3 for students, the is offering signing courses with a certificate that is recognised by the CPD on completion of the course. Not only is this a useful and caring skill to pick up, it’s also something for the CV.

Painting: £££

There is little else more creatively freeing than running a paintbrush over paper, but not all of us are brimming with a natural artistic talent. Therefore. I’d highly recommend a painting by numbers kit.

They are great fun and a nice way to spend a Sunday morning along with a hot coffee to wind down before another week spent partaking in online lectures. These kits can be found on sites such as Amazon and Etsy, or just google for websites that specialise in this craft.

World records: £

I could not tell you why but I spent the majority of our first lockdown attempting, and succeeding, to beat the world record for the fastest solved sudoku. I challenge you to find the weirdest world records and compete with your housemates as to who can do their best job in taking the title as the world record holder.

Hilarious, I told you

Cross stitch: ££

This is another craft favourite of mine, and with kits available on Etsy for as little as £4 or £5, it’s hard not to pick it up as a hobby. Not just for your Grandma, you can find some pretty fun phrases and images to stitch. The world wide web is a large place with a pretty decent sense of humour, so you’re sure to find something you like.

Or you could just get on with your university work. I’m here writing this article to avoid mine, and you’re here reading it to avoid yours, good luck!

Related articles recommended by this author:

• The best things to do when you’re stuck in your student house

• How to stay motivated in lockdown 2.0

• We made a Crisis at home, all thanks to corona