23 Ideas to Keep Yourself Occupied During the COVID-19 Crisis

We’re all under COVID-19 lockdown together! Here are our best maker projects and quarantine activities ideas that we’re doing to keep from going stir-crazy (other than streaming television!):

Creative Endeavors

  • Make crafts.
    It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a kit. Challenge yourself to use whatever you’ve got and it will make your craft all the more special.

    This week, Geoff carved a tanuki out of an avocado pit using a utility knife and a cat castle out of cardboard (check our Instagram for the photos!). What will you do?

    How about knitting a dish scrubber from garden twine. Or sewing face masks. Creating greeting cards and envelopes from old magazines. Maybe you’re running short on supplies that you can make instead, like washable toilet paper or crafts for preppers.
  • Make art.
    You can make art digitally with apps like Paper53 or use whatever you’ve got: markers, paint, ink pen, pencil. Valerie loves the effortless focus of a paint-by-number kit!
  • Learn leathercraft.
    Get a free leather bookmark kit from Walnut Studiolo. Take our Free Leather 101 e-course. Breeze through a copy of the book we wrote, The Idiot’s Guide to Leather Crafts. Check out this new line of DIY leathercrafting kits.
  • Write.
    Writing can be therapeutic and even a form of meditative practice, even if it’s just a daily journal. Record this strange time. Write a letter to yourself to read later when this is all over. Set a pomodoro 20 minute timer and just free-write to a prompt (resources: 365 Creative Writing Prompts, r/writingprompts, NaNoWriMo prompts.) Unsure about getting started? Read an uplifting, motivating pep talk from a famous author you love, like Neil Gaiman.

Send Love

  • Send handmade care packages.
    Especially to elders and people living solo right now (maybe include some of the art or crafts you made!).
  • Stay connected with gifts.
    If you’re not feeling crafty, you can have wrapped gifts sent directly from your favorite online shopping places. Walnut is offering free gift wrap until this crisis is over and any package marked “gift” will get special care and attention from us.
  • Write letters.
    Send letters and postcards to your fellow socially-distanced friends.
  • Find a penpal.
    Here are some sources: Letterwriters, Penpal World, r/penpals
  • Meditate.
    Try listening to a dharma talk of vipassana (loving-kindness) meditation, sending your love out to the universe.
  • Schedule virtual hangouts.
    We ran out of citrus the other day, so here is a useful list of cocktails that use vinegar from the pantry instead of fresh citrus.

Tackle Projects

  • Sharpen your knives and tools!
    We personally like this kit, which can you find online. It can be used for sharpening tools, too.
  • Condition leather goods.
    If you didn’t do so at new years, use this time as a prompt to give your leather goods a little TLC. Leather conditioning treatments can be done with materials you probably already have around the house, such as mineral oil. How to condition leather.
  • Easy home remodel projects.
    Our leather drawer pulls make easy and satisfying house projects with only basic tools required (like, a screwdriver). Make over an IKEA cabinet or spruce up a hall closet with leather handles.
  • Give your bicycle a tune-up / makeover.
    The free online guru of bike maintenance online is Sheldon Brown, and our leather bar-wraps make a great afternoon project with a beautiful result. Watch the how-to videos on YouTube.
  • Garden indoors.
    We’ve been following the Peter Burke method of growing soil sprouts to supplement our food with fresh greens. We’ve grown radish sprouts in as little as 6 days and enjoy the feeling of getting our hands in the dirt! Read Peter’s book, Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening.


  • Play games.
    Here is our Top 8 List of easy-to-learn, quick-playing Family Games.
  • Keep sharp with puzzles.
    Whatever your flavor: jigsaw puzzles, building block kits, or word/number puzzles like crosswords or sudoku. The New York Times publishes a free mini crossword puzzle every day. We’ve been assembling a mini block kit of the Space Needle and working on a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

    Print our free (and pretty easy) Walnut-themed puzzles:

Keep Moving

  • Bike inside!
    Whether or not you should go outdoors for a bike ride probably depends on where you live. BikePortland is recommending against group rides, but in New York, a bike commute is safer than the subway for social distancing. If you can’t go for an outdoor bike ride, set up an indoor trainer to turn your commuter bike to an exercise bike. Prop a tablet or your phone on your handlebars to watch indoor cycling videos while you ride.
  • Exercise.
    Your favorite exercise programs are probably live-streaming free classes right now!
  • Cleaning the house
    It’s now double duty: keeping it sanitized and getting the blood flowing.
  • Stay-at-home dance party!

We’re all in this together! Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, STAY HOME and be well.

About Walnut Studiolo

Walnut Studiolo crafts original modern designs by hand in our Oregon workshop using only natural materials. We are a family-run company located on the North Oregon Coast. Learn more about us on our website: https://walnutstudiolo.com

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