A lifelong struggle with anxiety and burnout from an early career spent in the fast-paced tech world - which didn't align with my values - led me to seek emotional and mental balance in the grounding practice of yoga and to tune into hobbies of DIY and pottery making as a creative outlet that offered similar anxiety relief.
Not only do DIY crafts boost your mental health, but they also get your creative juices flowing. Spring is the perfect time to try something new and do some pretty cool things with what you already have at home. Bonus: these tips are all eco-friendly!
Here are 6 of my favorite DIY ideas:
DIY pottery egg or jewelry holder. Use a plastic egg carton as a pottery mold to make your own reusable, clay egg holder - it also works great as a jewelry holder! Don’t eat eggs/have a plastic carton? Hit up your local “Buy Nothing Group” on Facebook to snag one. Don't have clay or paint? Grab yourself one of our DIY home pottery kits.
Grab a rolling pin + some chopsticks to ensure even thickness when you roll out your clay. Place the egg carton bottom-side up and lay your rolled out clay over the carton. Using your fingers, gently press + smooth the clay onto the carton - if you poke holes, don't worry, you can just fill it in with more clay! Leave the clay on the carton + flip both over so you can smooth the edges.
Hate those tangled necklaces? If you've ever traveled with a necklace in a jewelry pouch or box, you probably know the frustration of trying to untangle it!
Instead of tossing your necklaces in a pouch or box, string them in a reusable silicone or stainless steel straw to keep them from tangling when you are on the move. Wide boba (bubble tea) straws work great for thicker necklaces!
From Kitchen to tie dye. Keep food scraps to do natural tie dye.
- Yellow or purple onion skins: orange-ish yellow
- Turmeric: yellow
- Avocado skins/pit: peachy pink
Gather your materials: 100% natural fabric to dye (cotton or linen works well), rubber bands or string, pot(s), water, white vinegar + natural dying medium (onion skin, tumeric, etc).
Soak your fabric in a pot of water for an hour-ish. Then move it to the stove + add a cup of white vinegar which will help the dye bind to the fabric. Let simmer for 1-2 hours.
Meanwhile prepare your dye bath. For onion skins, put them in a pot submerged in water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.
After simmering is done, remove your fabric from the pot + wring it out. If you want to make a pattern, grab your rubber bands or string to tie your fabric up. Submerge your fabric in the dye bath. Let sit overnight off heat or for 3-5 hours with stove on very low heat.
Rinse the fabric off in the sink + remove rubber bands or string. Hang in the shade to dry.
Regrow green onions. Keep the white part with roots attached, put them in a container w/ some water root-side down. Leave them in a sunny spot, change the water at least 1x each week + watch them grow. I like to start them in a tiny espresso cup, which helps them stand up when small. Then I upgrade them to a larger cup when they have grown.
Then after about two weeks, after they have regrown, use them to cook. You can do this 3 to 4 times with the same roots.
More plant nutrients with some home cookin. Making hardboiled eggs? Don't toss out the water you used to boil them.
After boiling eggs, let the water cool to room temp and then use it to water the garden. You can also crush the shells and add them to the potting soil. This adds some calcium, which plants love, to the soil + keeps the water/shells from going to waste.
Secrets to homemade veggie scrap broth. Keep veggie + herb scraps (peelings, leaves, stalks, veggies about to go bad) to make homemade broth...store veggie scraps in a freezer friendly container or bag, avoid putting in cruciferous veggies and starchy veggies - I'm talking about you broccoli + potatoes.
Once the bag is full, empty it into a large pot. If you didn't put in many scraps from celery, onion, carrot + garlic, add some fresh. Cover the veggies with water. Add a couple of bay leaves, some coriander seeds + peppercorn (optional). Cover the pot + bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the cover, decrease the heat to low + let simmer for 1 hour.
Let the veggie broth cool before transferring it to freezer safe containers for storage. Put the containers in the fridge to cool completely before moving them to the freezer for longer storage.
P.S. If you are using mason jars make sure to leave a few inches of space so the broth can expand as it freezes. Otherwise the glass container might crack.