Got an hour to spare and tired of sitting in front of a screen? Perhaps what you need is a practical project. We spend so much time laboring away at tasks for which we see no results that even a small DIY job can give us a satisfaction which we don’t get from the rest of the day. There is nothing quite like pointing at something you have made and thinking, ‘It may be a poor thing, but it is my poor thing.’
Keep Things Under Control
Small tasks often turn out bigger than expected, but there are plenty of jobs that can be accomplished in 60 minutes or less. These small projects are quiet and won’t disturb anyone—so you won’t end up having to install sound proof wallpaper around your room—and they don’t usually require any more equipment than you already have in the house.
Something for the Kids
If your child could use a personal tissue box, make a cardboard cover and stick some of those wooden discs from craft stores on the top to make it resemble a LEGO® brick. Cut a slot to pull out the tissues and paint it with bright LEGO® colors.
A neat way to wind up your earphone leads is to glue two clothes pins back to back. Decorate them with pretty tape and hey presto! No more untidy wires.
Fancy a bigger project? If you can get your hands on miniature pallets, these can be painted in jaunty colors. Then just glue them together in a stack to make a bookshelf or bedside table.
Perhaps you need a cheap and cheerful set of decorations to brighten a room. Making them yourself will add a whole new dimension to sparkly diamond structures constructed from drinking straws and string, and decorated with silver.
There’s something about leather for a stylish homemade gift. Little purses can be made out of soft leather circles gathered by a ribbon. You will need a hole puncher and some eyelets, but if you find you like working with leather it’s well worth it.
A neat way to use an old chopping board is to fix a Scrabble® tiles holder to the front and a wooden door-stopper wedge to the back. Put your tablet on it for an easy way to follow a downloaded recipe without covering your tablet in cake dough.
While you are dismantling the Scrabble® set, you could reward yourself with a quiet drink by sticking letter tiles to cork or ceramic squares to make coasters. You’ll need to find sixteen four-letter words (preferably with a drink related theme) in your set.
You don’t need to be an expert to find satisfying practical projects to fill an hour. Simple things can give a great deal of pleasure, and although your finished results may not last long, there will be something to show for those sixty minutes, and of how many hours can we say that?
*Sophie Little loves DIY but rarely finds the time for large-scale projects with 4 kids plus a daycare center to manage. Life is busy, crazy, hectic, but of course she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her article writing is a form of escapism, as she tucks herself away in her study for some quiet alone time!