DIY Skills you Can Learn While in Quarantine

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Quarantine has certainly been strange, but it doesn't have to be boring. If you can work from home, you'll likely find that you have to put in less time and can get more done because you've escaped interruptions. While you're home, you can build a new skillset to improve your life.

Frugal Skills

Sewing is one of those skills many people wish they had. However, sewing garments can be difficult, and making a mistake can be frustrating. If you're just starting out, try making a reversible tote bag that you can put to use in daily shopping or on a fun day at the beach.

Making the bag reversible gives you endless flexibility. You can use a solid vs. a pattern, and since the top of the bag is open, the right color combination can make for a gorgeous as well as a usable accessory. The pattern recommends double seaming, which is great practice if you haven't spent much time using a sewing machine. Laying down two sets of stitches, side by side takes a little bit of focus and will create a much stronger bag.

This tote bag has a simple gusset at the bottom to give it a square off feel and some stability. With a little ingenuity, you can design a gusset at the top and turn your tote bag into pillows. By using a basic pattern and sewing a square or a rectangle, you can turn ordinary fabric into useful, creative, and one of a kind items.

Money-Making Skills

If you have space, try making some window boxes for your home or porch rail. These can easily be customized to utilize the wood you have. A bit of scavenging may give you access to pallets. Reclaimed pallet wood is visually interesting and porous, so you can stain it as you find it, or sand it and paint it.

These boxes can be easily mounted to a porch rail. Once in place, you can load them up with decorative annual flowers, or plant seeds for lettuce or spinach. Make sure to keep the plants in these boxes well-watered, and consider adding fertilizer for blooming plants to keep things pretty. Your wooden flower box will likely need a plastic liner if you're going to mount it to your home and keep soil from washing away.

Once you have the construction process down, you can easily turn this skill into a product you can sell at farmer's markets, flea markets, and craft shows. If you're not interested in sitting at a booth all day, check out local farmer's markets and look for people selling live plants. While they will likely charge a fee to manage your flower box sales, you could work out a partnership that could let you build while they handle the sales.

Don't Forget the Fun!

If you've always wanted to tinker in the garage but have never had the time to focus, seize the moment! Tune-up the lawnmower and make sure the weed eater is properly gassed up. Once the chores are done, consider treating yourself to some open-air riding.

ATV's, motorcycles and dirt bikes can be a great way to enjoy some fresh air and build your mechanical skills. If you can find a bike to play with and experiment on, dirt bike parts for a variety of models aren't hard to find. Take the time to work your way through the bike, taking things apart, cleaning up or replacing as you go, and reassemble it. Breaking things and putting them back together is actually a great way to learn a new skill.

If mechanized bikes don't appeal, pull your bicycle out of storage and put it work. If you don't have a bicycle, check for private sales on Facebook marketplace and other on-line options. You can use this time to learn to maintain a bike, get some exercise, and enjoy some fresh air.

Quarantine has certainly limited our mobility, but it doesn't have to limit your imagination or creativity. There are many things each of us can learn while we're at home. We don't have to be stuck. Take a look around your house to see what you have, what works, and what doesn't, and changes you can make for the better.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.