During distressing times, it can be challenging to restrain worry and rumination. When our problems seem out of our control, sometimes it's helpful to step away and task ourselves with something distracting. So what's one to do? Many crafters agree that DIY projects are mentally soothing for one reason or another.
Remember, any craft or hobby that you enjoy can provide stress relief. However, if you draw a blank, take a deep breath, and follow along with our favorite calming crafts. If a project speaks to you, tackle it mindfully. Hopefully, you'll feel some relief during the project and after you've made something beautiful.
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Start a Gratitude Journal
It's no secret that a gratitude practice can help alleviate stress. However, sometimes stress makes this practice significantly more difficult. Set aside some time to gather and print off your favorite family photos. Then, follow along with A Beautiful Mess and create your own Thankful Journal. The process will become easier and more uplifting the more you do it.
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Practice Your Painting Skills
Painting is a stress-relieving process so long as you are not hard on yourself if you "don't do it right." Remember, one key component of mindful living is non-judgment. Even if you're not an artist, you can focus your attention on a painting tutorial and find a sense of calm. Follow along with this tutorial from A Piece of Rainbow or check out some of these beginner painting tutorials.
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Fold Paper Into Heart Shapes
So many people get into origami as a hobby, and they find it to be entertaining and distracting. To take this soothing DIY one step further, write messages to your loved ones on the inside of each origami heart. This practice will help you tune into some positive feelings you have about your family and friends.
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Mold Clay With Your Hands
Have you ever heard the old expression, "idle hands are the devil's workshop"? If you're feeling overly anxious or distressed, try to get out of your head and into a project that uses your hands. For this DIY project, focus on the sensations of the clay while you're molding. Is it smooth, soft, cool, warm?Continue to 5 of 16 below.
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Create a Vision Board for the Future
When we are stressed out or unhappy, it's easy to fall into thinking that this feeling will last forever. While the distress might be around for a while, it will pass. Give yourself this reminder by creating a vision board for the future. Include things that inspire you and messages that are uplifting, even if you don't fully believe the messages yet.
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Learn How to Do Calligraphy
Even if you have the worst handwriting, you can train yourself to do calligraphy with the right amount of practice. The great thing about this craft is that you won't need a lot of supplies to get started. Head over to Dawn Nicole to get some free templates and printables.
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Start a Distracting Embroidery Project
Embroidery requires focus and attention, especially for beginners. While this craft takes time, that time spent will be worth it if you notice that embroidery helps calm your thoughts. Want to give this a try? Create a mandala-like piece of art like this one using the Kasuti embroidery method.
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Color These Free Adult Coloring Pages
Adult coloring has been marketed heavily as a stress-relieving craft. And while that is true, you don't need a coloring book to reap the rewards. Many sites, including The Spruce Crafts, have a large collection of free printable coloring pages. Once you're done coloring them, sit back and read a book to unwind further.Continue to 9 of 16 below.
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Transform an Adult Coloring Book Page into a Letter
If you have some adult coloring books already, think about using the pages for another purpose. For instance, turn one page into an envelope, and then write a letter to a loved one. If you don't have anyone to write a letter to, write a letter to your future self instead. The process of coloring and writing can be very helpful during hard times.
Three Easy Ways to Use Coloring Pages from Hello Little Home
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Punch Needle a Hopeful Rainbow
The process of punch needling can be therapeutic, but it's even more therapeutic when the end result is an image of something positive. Check out this tutorial for more details on how to get started with this rainbow craft.
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Hand Knit a Cozy, Bright-Colored Blanket
Keep those hands working with this finger knit blanket project. Not only will you keep yourself distracted, you'll end up with something you can cuddle up with while you continue to destress.
How to Finger Knit a Checkered Blanket from It's Always Autumn
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Add Some Handmade Greenery to Your Home
Real houseplants might detoxify the air, but any type of greenery can add a spirit of livelihood to your home. If you love paper crafts, check out this tutorial from Lia Griffith and spend some time making this paper plant.Continue to 13 of 16 below.
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Make a Letter Board for Inspiring Mantras
Letter boards are popular DIY projects, but how can they be stress-relieving? Once you go through the process of making your board, search for quote inspiration. Try to change out your letter board a few times a week with an uplifting message.
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Weave and Crochet This Soft Pillow Case
Any type of yarn project can be stress relieving because you can easily get lost in the process. This pillow cover includes two of those crafts: crochet and weaving. The tutorial is easy to follow and should be easy enough for a beginner with basic skills.
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Start Your Own 'Choose Happiness' Quilt
Quilts are not meant to be completed in one sitting. They are pieced together throughout time and represent hours and hours of work. If you find the process to be stress-relieving, check out this quilt project from Polkadot Chair. Each month, they release one block of their Choose Happiness quilt. Readers can join the quilting community and engage with others who are also making this intentional quilt.
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Make Your Own Weighted Blanket
There's something so powerful about how helpful and calming weighted blankets can be for many people. Instead of purchasing one, you can design and make your very own with little materials. Wrap yourself up for a nice nap or keep calm at night when anxious thoughts tend to pile up.