By Katrina Ortman and Aysha Craig, Online Arts and Opinion Editor and Copy Editor
// Between Zoom sessions and mid-day naps, many Acalanes High School students find ample free time to explore hobbies and start new projects. For many, arts and crafts can provide happiness and relaxation during this stressful time.
Here are six easy do-it-yourself (DIY) projects to try using supplies found at home:
Homemade Bandana Mask
- A square piece of cloth, such as a bandana
- Two rubber bands
As more public health officials release mandates requiring everyone to wear masks in public areas, some families scramble to buy masks from stores. However, crafting a homemade mask is surprisingly easy and cost-efficient.
- Lay a bandana out on a flat surface.
- Pull in both the top quarter and bottom quarter of the cloth so that they meet at the midline of the bandana.
- Flip over the bandana; it should look like a rectangle. Take the two rubber bands and loop one over each side of the bandana. Pull in the rubber bands until they are about four inches away from their end of the cloth. It should look like the wrapper of a piece of hard candy.
- Flip the bandana over once again. Take the excess cloth hanging outside of the rubber bands, and fold it inward, tucking it into the slot in the middle of both the rubber bands. Press down to flatten it out.
- Grasp the rubber bands at each end, and slip the rubber bands over your ears to apply the mask.
Now you have a homemade mask! Wear this when leaving your house to stay safe.
- A large bowl of water
- Paint or spray paint
- Masking tape
- An item to dip
Hydro dipping is an easy way to create unique designs by dipping an item into water containing paint on the surface. Many different items can be hydro dipped, including shoes, clothing, water bottles, and much more. To customize the back of your phone case at home, you can hydro dip the case!
- Tape the inside of your phone case where your phone usually touches.
- Fill a big bowl with cold water. Pour paint or spray paint into the bowl. The paint should cover the surface of the water.
- Hold the outside of your phone case above the water, and dip it into the paint. Use swirling motions to move your phone case around in the water.
- Take your phone case out of the paint, wait for it to dry, and remove the tape on the inside.
Now you have your own unique phone case!
Customizing Clothes with Bleach
- Colored item of clothing (not white)
- Rubber bands
- Large bowl or bucket
- Plastic cup
- Large Ziplock bag
Do you want to tie-dye clothes but can’t seem to find the right supplies around your house? Another way to customize your clothes is with bleach, which is an alternative for the colored dye that allows for a very similar outcome.
- Start off with a colored piece of clothing that you would like to bleach; shirts work well.
- Pinch the center, and spiral the shirt. Continue outward until the ends of the shirt wrap around the bundle.
- Wrap two to four rubber bands around the bundled up shirt to secure its shape.
- In a plastic cup, mix half a cup of water with half a cup of bleach. Hold your shirt over an empty bucket, and drizzle the bleach-water solution onto it.
- Once bleach covers most parts of the shirt, place the shirt into a large Ziplock bag. Seal the Ziplock bag, and let it sit for one hour.
- After an hour has gone by, take the shirt out of the Ziplock, take off the rubber bands, and rinse it with cold water in a sink.
- Throw your shirt into the washing machine, and then let it air dry.
Now you have a tie-dye-inspired shirt that you can wear!
Egg Carton Gardening Boxes
- Empty egg carton
- Sharp object (pencil, pen, screwdriver, etc.)
- Seed starter soil
- Coffee grounds (optional)
With California’s warm, sunny weather, spring is the perfect time of year to start a garden. Although the task seems daunting, starting a garden is easy with this simple DIY. In a few months, you will enjoy tomatoes, peppers, or other veggies of your choice grown right out of your backyard!
- Use scissors to cut the top of the egg carton apart from the bottom half. Carefully use a sharp object to poke holes in the bottom of each egg cell, and place the bottom half into the top half; this creates a drainage system for your plants’ water.
- Now that your planter box is ready, mix soil and, if you have them, coffee grounds in a large container in a one-to-one ratio (the coffee grounds act as a nutrient boost for many types of plants). Firmly press this mixture into the egg carton planter box.
- Your planter box is fully prepared to grow some seedlings. Use your thumb to form small holes in each egg cell, pour two to three seeds into each hole, and cover them with soil. Usually, the packaging for your seeds contains further details on soil coverage, watering, and germination time. Keep the planter box in a warm place until the seeds germinate, and enjoy caring for a homemade garden!
Original Coloring Pages
- Blank paper
- Black pen
- Coloring tools (markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.)
- Printer with a scanner
This project is both simple, and also allows for self-expression and creativity. After all, there are not many things in the world more challenging and exciting to an innovative mind than a blank piece of paper.
- Use your pencil to sketch out your design on paper. Take all the time you need with this step, and let your personality shine through in what you draw. Some ideas for designs are hobbies, family, places you visit, favorite foods, or movie characters. Make sure to leave enough room in between lines for coloring, especially if you plan on using markers or pens to do so.
- Once you finalize the design, ink in the line art using a black pen, and erase the pencil lines. If your black pen bleeds a lot, wait a few minutes before erasing to ensure the eraser does not smear any of your line work.
- Color in your work using whatever medium you desire, whether that be pens, colored pencils, markers, or crayons. You can also keep it as a black and white piece. If you want, scan the paper using a printer, and email it to yourself as a PDF; now, you have a record of your artwork that you can color in as many times as you want and share it with your friends.
Fun quarantine bonding idea: have a friend do this project with you, swap coloring pages, and color in each other’s art!
- Painter’s tape
- Painting materials (brushes, paints, water, etc.)
A calculator may seem like just another tool to use in your math and science classes. However, with a little creativity and paint, you can spice up a calculator with custom designs to make schoolwork infinitely more fun!
- Choose the calculator that you want to customize, ideally one with a flat case that will be the easiest to paint. Remove the case from the calculator, and set the calculator aside; you do not want any paint splatter to land on it. Rip off pieces of the painter’s tape, and cover any part of the case you do not want to paint. Make sure that you seal the tape on tight so that it won’t fall off while you paint.
- Use your pencil to lightly sketch out a design on the case. Use your imagination, and keep in mind what colors you want to use while painting. Some calculator design inspirations are movies, landscapes, animals, and plants.
- Once you finish sketching out the design, it is time to bust out your brushes and start painting. Take your time with this step, and if you use layering techniques, be patient when waiting for the paint to dry. If you are short on time, you can use a hairdryer on a low setting to speed up the drying process.
- When the paint completely dries, peel off the painter’s tape, and have fun showing off your one-of-a-kind calculator!