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6 Therapeutic Art Projects to Help You Relax and De-Stress at Home

Relaxing Art Projects

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You probably have childhood memories of sculpting with clay and painting with your fingers, but as adults, we rarely allow ourselves the time to get messy with artistic materials. Creating art freely and working with our hands is proven to be therapeutic and a great way to rewind and recharge—even for those who don’t consider themselves particularly artistically talented.

The current COVID-19 pandemic means that many of us are staying indoors, struggling to pass the time, and feeling anxious about what the future brings. Although we can’t show you a crystal ball, we can help to ease your mind by suggesting some relaxing art projects to try at home. From creating your own bath bombs to updating old furniture, here are some useful and fun activities to keep yourself calm.

 

Create Your Own Bath Bombs

During stressful times, a little ritual like running a warm bubble bath can help to make a bad day feel slightly better. And if you’re a fan of fizzy bath bombs with relaxing scents, you’ll be happy to know that making your own is surprisingly easy. You might even find you already have some of the ingredients at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of baking soda (this, along with the citric acid is what creates the fizz)
  • 3/4 cup of citric acid
  • 3/4 cup of Epsom salts (for soothing achy muscles)
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (for keeping your skin moisturized)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 10-12 drops of your chosen essential oil (we suggest lavender for it’s anti-stress properties)
  • Metal bath bomb molds
  • Natural food coloring

Directions

  1. Combine the baking soda, citric acid, and Epsom salts in a mixing bowl.
  2. If want to make bath bombs in multiple colors, separate the dry ingredients into equal parts in different bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring at a time, mix the color into the dry mixture using your hands. The more drops you use, the more saturated the color will become.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil and the essential oil of your choice.
  4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the baking soda mixture. Use the spray bottle to add a bit of water, one spray at a time.
  5. Use a spoon to slowly combine the ingredients. The mixture should resemble the texture of wet sand.
  6. Fill both sides of the mold and press together firmly. Both pieces of the mold should close together tightly.
  7. Drop in a warm tub and relax!
Relaxing Art Projects

Stock Photos from kobeza/Shutterstock

 

Design Your Own Tabletop Zen Garden

A zen garden is part of Japanese tradition, which involves creating a small, stylized landscape composed of carefully composed rocks, sand or gravel, and foliage. Although they’re intended to be enjoyed outside, you can create your own, miniature desktop zen garden to bring calm and mindfulness to your home.

The meditative nature of arranging a zen garden helps you focus and clear your mind. And there’s also plenty of opportunity to get creative with your designs. All you need is a container, some sand, and a few hand-picked rocks or shells. Add a touch of greenery with air plants or succulents, and use a mini rake or fork to create patterns in the sand. Here are some examples below; and if DIYing isn’t your thing, check out the kits we would recommend.

 

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In case you want the therapeutic rewards of having a zen garden without having to actually make one yourself, here are some ready-made zen garden kits.

Zen Garden

BangBangDa | $25.99

Zen Garden

Zen Life | $19.95

 

Update Old Furniture

If you’re spending a lot of time at home right now, you might have spotted a few items of furniture that could do with a little TLC. Chalk paint is the perfect medium for modernizing old chairs, sideboards, and tables, as it’s easy to use and creates a soft, matte appearance once it’s dry.

You can buy chalk paint online, but it’s also easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. Check out this tutorial below and scroll down for some of our favorite chalk-painted items we’ve found online.

 

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Feeling inspired? Check out how people are using chalk paint to upcycle well-loved furniture and decor.

 

Try Rock Painting

Painting on anything can be therapeutic, as it allows us to focus on one activity while relieving stress of the mind and body. And the great thing about painting on rocks is that the canvas doesn’t cost a thing. You paint on what you find and if it doesn’t turn out as planned, just grab the next stone and start again. You’ll end up with a tiny sculpture that will fit into the palm of your hand. All you need is your favorite set of paint brushes, acrylic paint, and stones foraged from your garden. If you can’t make it outside, Amazon sells small to large-sized stones that have a smooth surface ready for you to paint.

Rock Painting

Stock Photos from 13Smile/Shutterstock

Want to give it a try? Here’s 25+ rock painting ideas to transform ordinary stones into dazzling art.

 

Customize Old Clothing

When it comes to reorganizing your closet, there’s no time like the present. But don’t be quick to throw away that old pair of jeans or that jacket you never wear. Why not give those pre-loved garments a new lease on life by customizing them with iron-on patches? And with so many talented artists turning their illustrations into embroidered appliqués, there’s plenty of embellishments to choose from. Here’s our step-by-step guide for how to iron on patches:

Step 1: Set your hand iron to the hottest temperature setting. Note: Do not use steam during application.
Step 2: Place your embroidered patch on the desired position and place a rag cloth (such as a handkerchief, sheet or pillowcase fabric) on top.
Step 3: Press the iron straight down on the rag cloth for 35-45 seconds with as much constant pressure as possible. Avoid moving the iron back and forth.
Step 4: Turn the garment inside-out and repeat step 3.
Step 5: Allow the embroidered patch to cool down, and voila!

Customize Clothing

Stock Photos from Yuriy Golub/Shutterstock

Want to customize your old clothes? Check out these creative iron-on patches.

 

Start a Doodle Diary

Drawing is proven to relieve stress, but rather than pressure yourself to produce a masterpiece, doodling allows your mind to relax and your imagination to flow. Each day, why not scribble down whatever comes to mind in a sketchbook or journal? These quick and often mindless drawings allow you to focus your mind and improve your artistic skill over time.

Sketchbook Drawing

Stock Photos from Golubovy/Shutterstock

Got your sketchbook ready? Here’s 50+ doodle ideas that everyone will have fun sketching.

 

Related Articles:

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20 Calming Gifts for the Stressed-Out Person in Your Life

LEGO Is Releasing Stress-Relieving Sets for Adults to Build and Relax

20+ Adult Coloring Books to Help You Combat Stress

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.

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