Arts / Culture

Here are 8 DIY projects to lose yourself in while we wait out this lockdown

Deep in the doldrums of another lockdown, you may find yourself unmoored by the endless days stretching out before you. We're here to help. Here at RUSSH we've learned there's nothing quite as grounding or good for the soul like using your hands to embrace a new project. Whether that is painting, sewing or cooking, the realm of Do It Yourself deserves a lot of kudos; namely for the mental health benefits it offers and purely because it truly is so much fun. So here are 8 DIY projects to lose yourself in while we wait out another lockdown.


Sew your own face mask

From where we're standing (at home, of course) it doesn't look like we'll be packing our masks away any time soon. In fact, we're almost certain they're going to be a permanent fixture in our lives. So if you don't as of yet have a favourite reusable mask, or for some reason you're in need of another, why not try sewing one yourself? All you need is some fabric and well, a sewing machine like this one from PFAFF. And seeing as we're all going to be cooped up indoors for a little while longer, there's no time like the present to take on this new project.

Learn how to give your hair a basic trim

Lord knows we could all do with a trip to the salon. Two months strong into Sydney's lockdown and the state of my head is an undeniable casualty. For the brave among us willing to take a pair of scissors to their locks, Nina from Extra Silky will guide you through your at-home hair trim step-by-step; a blessing for those of us dangerously eyeing off the clippers.


Ferment your own Kimchi

There's no denying that most DIY projects revolve around the kitchen. After all, in some ways they offer the greatest reward — who is going to object to a few measly minutes in the kitchen if it means a gooey chocolate cake at the end of it all? For those among us ready to tackle a lengthier challenge in the realm of foodstuff, there's no project more absorbing than learning how to ferment. But before you add The Noma Guide to Fermentation to your cart, start small with the wonder that is Kimchi. Maangchi has an easy-to-follow recipe for both the napa and radish kinds.


Show your nails some love

Aside from our hair, the next tragicomedy in the beauty domain is definitely our nails. Chipped, bitten and desperately needing attention, why not turn your Friday night into a nail DIY session — if your nails could talk I know they'd thank you for it. And it's all too easy to do so thanks to Victoria Houllis at Mannequin Hands. As I'm sure you're well aware, nail salons are closed right now, so Vic is doing the public a great service by hand-crafting individual press-on nail sets for us to apply at home.


Craft your own ceramics

There's something grounding about moulding and shaping clay between your two hands. No doubt it has to do with clay being of the earth. For those of us yearning for quiet and stillness, you may just find this in ceramics. Time-consuming, yes. But time is something we now have plenty of! And it'll all be worth it when you have a set of mugs, bowls or whatever really, lined up, every piece a reminder of your own perseverance and creativity.

Get started in Indigo Dyeing

Begin your journey with Shibori this lockdown. What is Shibori you ask? It's a Japanese technique of resist-dyeing that involves a lot of wringing and pressing. It's up there with one of the most therapeutic things you can do with your hands. Luckily Shibori textiles agency has assembled an Indigo dyeing kit to equip you while you take to Shibori. The possibilities are endless.


Bead your own jewellery

Amble down memory lane and invest in a jewellery making kit; not only will you be able to craft some Bottega-like necklaces (san the hefty price tag) but it really is just fun, plain and simple. Opt for this one by beading queen Susan Alexandra for a joyful selection of beads in all colours and shapes — fingers crossed you get one of the cute lil' whales. Put on your favourite podcast, lay on your belly under a sun-drenched window and enjoy!


Construct a top from hosiery

Finally getting around to sorting through your overflowing underwear and sock drawers? Before you toss those hardly-worn pairs of stockings in the bin, take this as a case for turning them into a party top instead. For RUSSH Weekend, Agnes Choi took us through a simple tutorial where she reimagined our condemned stockings. The result? A series of halter-necks and rave-type tops that'll have you dancing the night away. For the first time the sight of a ladder will fill you with joy instead of panic.

Stay inspired, follow us.

Images: One, Two, Three, Four (supplied)