trending DIY projects to boost your mental health


Photo by: Lisa Helland, Painting by: Sara Hill

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on mental health. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that out of 195 students, 138 indicated increased anxiety and stress due to the pandemic. Whether on campus or at home, it’s easy to feel isolated from your peers. As students mourn the loss of their college experience, most also have to manage their jobs and schoolwork while trying to maintain their health and safe visits with friends. 

In these unprecedented times, it’s important to take a step back and practice self-care techniques. A series of studies from Psychology Today in 2015 found that creativity increases positive emotions, lessens depressive symptoms and reduces stress and anxiety. Creative activities can have a calming effect similar to meditation, allowing the mind to focus and rejuvenate. This therapeutic process can help students struggling with their mental health. 

To help give our readers a mental health boost, we’ve compiled a list of trending DIY tutorials that are fun, easy and affordable. Just put on your favorite relaxation playlist and bring out your inner artist!

Chunky Knit Blankets

These blankets have been on trend; they’re all over Pinterest and Etsy. Luckily, they’re also very easy to make! They also make the perfect gift. 

Faux Ceramic Vases

Terracotta pots are a design staple and you can make faux ones with just three things: thrifted glass vases, baking soda and old paint. This tutorial has multiple techniques to make the perfect home decor element you didn’t know you were missing.

Embroidered T-Shirts

Although it may seem intimidating at first, embroidery is a great way to channel stress into making something beautiful. This video has some great designs to use for inspiration and techniques for getting started. Consider embroidering hats, thrifted clothing and even masks! 

Macramé Tapestry 

Just like bell bottoms, macrame is a ‘70s trend that’s coming back. There are plenty of videos explaining different styles of knots that are incorporated into macramé pieces. The tutorial linked above is easy to follow and great for beginners. You can also try making macramé drink coasters or plant hangers.


Have some extra fabric lying around? Scrunchies are super easy to make and don’t require a lot of material. This tutorial has both sew and no-sew options. You can make a fashion statement by making a matching mask and scrunchie set. 

Hair Barrettes

Hair barrettes and large hair clips have been very popular in the fashion world lately. Add your own personal touch to your hair accessories by DIY-ing them. They’re very inexpensive and fun to make by yourself or with friends! (While social distancing, of course.)

Minimalist Canvas Art

There’s something innately therapeutic about painting. You can boost your mental health and experiment with your creativity by creating canvas art for your dorm, apartment or room at home. You can also try out different signature styles, such as mid-century modern or boho.

Want some more craft ideas? This video has tutorials for more creative projects. At A Magazine, we know how important mental health is. If you’re struggling during this time, don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend, professor or Counseling and Psychological Services. We’re all in this together. 

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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor-in-chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.