During the coronavirus pandemic, for most people around the world stay-at-home orders have been synonymous with having more time on their hands. Some have been using this time to learn how to cook or sew, to catch up on the novel they’ve been meaning to finish, learn a new language or skill, or to simply stay in touch with friends and loved ones. There is certainly no shortage of options of things to do that might strike your fancy. And if you’re in the mood to work with your hands, there are lots of do-it-yourself (DIY) options for you as well.


Whether it’s an IKEA bookshelf for your university dorm room or a telescope you once bought on a whim, there are few things that are as satisfying as building something yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it for you. Psychological research suggests that whenever we pour our efforts (and frustrations) into building something physical, we ingrain these objects with an additional value that exceeds its actual value. This is popularly called the “IKEA effect,” where the increased value is placed on actually completing a project as well as the effort you put into creating it.


The list of potential projects to work on at home are endless. You can create most anything using the materials that you can find around your home. Here’s a list of a few projects that you can complete on your own without needing heavy-duty materials.

  • Turn an old shoe holder into a planter and grow some kitchen herbs or simply a lovely balcony wall.
  • Have a bunch of teacups or mugs lying around? Take a marker and etch a message or drawing on it that you can then give to a friend or relative.
  • Paint large stones that you find outside and etch positive messages for passers-by or use them to mark different areas of your garden.
  • Create a place for your jewellery by using screws to turn an unused hanger into a hanging storage area.
  • Use painter’s tape and washable markers to create a stained-glass window effect

…and the list goes on and on!


Whatever project you might fancy working on, make sure you have the right materials before you start getting your hands dirty. This is especially the case for any repair projects you might be embarking on that will require high-quality materials. For example, if you need to repair pots and pans or perhaps repair your bike, you’ll need the right adhesive in order to complete these jobs yourself. Most things you need you can probably find around your house, though, so make sure to stay creative!

If you’re hunkered down at home and running out of things to watch on Netflix, try some interesting DIY projects that will not only help you kill time, but which also may help you raise your self-esteem in the process.