Monday, 26 August 2019

Five relaxing crafts to boost your mental health

relaxing creative project ideas, DIY and crafting ideas to boost good mental health and aid wellbeing. From sewing and macrame to drawing and colouring and woodwork, all these projects are designed to have a positive impact on your mindset and mental health.

I turn to crafting in the same way I also turn to my dressing gown (stick with me) Feeling down? Make something. Had an exhausting week? Get the paintbrushes out. Cold? Well that one might be a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea. In the same way that coming home and getting straight into my dressing gown instantly makes me feel better, DIY and crafting has become by go-to support network when everything gets too much - never underestimate the power of a creative outlet. 


But I'm not the only one. It's long been proved that taking part in a craft can have a positive impact on your mental health. Creative projects are often used as therapy, and their benefits are well-known. So I thought I'd share some relaxing craft ideas which will not only give you a creative focus, but will work to boost your mental health too. These are all perfect for beginners, and each has a particular focus, so there'll hopefully be something for everyone here. And not only that, but you'll also be rewarded with a handmade item afterwards. Win win. 

Mental health boosting craft No.1: Upcycling 

Project idea: Upcycle something small like a side table or chair to get started 

relaxing creative project ideas, DIY and crafting ideas to boost good mental health and aid wellbeing. From sewing and macrame to drawing and colouring and woodwork, all these projects are designed to have a positive impact on your mindset and mental health.

The perfect creative outlet for me. I'm starting with this one as my love for an upcycle is well known - I shared what DIY means to me here - but there's something to be said for the satisfaction of transforming an item that's past its prime using your own two hands. Not only that but upcycling means you can fill your home with things you love, without the need for buying new. Not tried your hand at this before? There's really nothing to it - my Beginners Guide to Upcycling can be found here. 

Ideal for: The sense of accomplishment you'll get afterwards knowing you’ve brought something back to life 

Mental health boosting craft No.2: Knitting/crocheting  

Project idea: Make yourself a boho-inspired macrame wall hanging to give pride of place in your home 

relaxing creative project ideas, DIY and crafting ideas to boost good mental health and aid wellbeing. From sewing and macrame to drawing and colouring and woodwork, all these projects are designed to have a positive impact on your mindset and mental health.

Proven to aid with depression and anxiety, knitting or crocheting is the perfect mental health-boosting project. You can dip in and out of a small project like this, picking it up when you need a ten-minute breather. Not only that, but its the perfect size to carry around with you ready for whipping out on the bus. The repetitive nature of crocheting or knitting makes it an ideal focus too, distracting you from outside factors. 

Ideal for: Dipping in and out of meaning there's no pressure to complete within a certain time frame 

Mental health boosting craft No.3: Sewing 

Project idea: DIY pom pom cushion cover - the calming nature of making items such as pom poms and tassels from wool will be perfect for relaxing your mind before bedtime 

relaxing creative project ideas, DIY and crafting ideas to boost good mental health and aid wellbeing. From sewing and macrame to drawing and colouring and woodwork, all these projects are designed to have a positive impact on your mindset and mental health.

This is a great one for completing just before you go to bed. Why not keep a a small project on your bedside table which you can pick up and work on for 10-15 minutes before you go to sleep? It’ll help you relax and lower any stress levels, perfect for aiding a good nights sleep. 

Ideal for: An alternative to screen time before bed, vital to enabling a peaceful sleep - meaning this one is the ultimate relaxing craft 

Mental health boosting craft No.4: Woodwork 

Project idea: Wall panelling - a complete room transformation at its finest, this is the ultimate big project to submerge yourself into 

relaxing creative project ideas, DIY and crafting ideas to boost good mental health and aid wellbeing. From sewing and macrame to drawing and colouring and woodwork, all these projects are designed to have a positive impact on your mindset and mental health.

Year six Sam would never have gone for this one - she used to persuade the boys in her Woodwork class (yes I am that old!) to use the jigsaw for her - but twenty years on I've finally got over my fear of machinery and absolutely love making something out of a piece of plywood. This one requires you to get your hands dirty, but the rewards are massive. Who knew a few pieces of MDF could bring such joy? 

Ideal for: Being something that requires you to focus all your concentration on. You literally can't complete this one while on the bus, or sitting in bed, meaning you have to make time for an afternoon of well being.  

Mental health boosting craft No.5: Drawing  

Project idea: Create yourself a hand-written piece of typology to frame in your home   


relaxing creative project ideas, DIY and crafting ideas to boost good mental health and aid wellbeing. From sewing and macrame to drawing and colouring and woodwork, all these projects are designed to have a positive impact on your mindset and mental health.

And finally, the classic mental health-boosting craft - drawing is no longer just for the under-fives, with the positive impact of a peaceful activity like this being long proven. Adult colouring books have been big news for a few years now, and are the perfect place to start. Colouring not your thing? Why not try your hand at brush lettering or calligraphy and create yourself a piece of typography which can be the centre point of a gallery wall.  

Ideal for: An easy, simple creative outlet - the perfect start for getting your creative juices flowing 

Looking for more craft projects to try your hand at? Every Friday I share a new DIY tutorial in my 'Weekend Mini-Makes' series. All designed to be something you can complete in an hour or less over the weekend, these are projects that are perfect for boosting your mental health. You can have a look at my previous makes here.  

Do you enjoy crafting? Do you think it's had a positive impact on your mental health? 

Thanks for reading, 
Sam Xx 


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