Meryl's Notes Blog
Things wordy, geeky, and webby
Try to Do Something Creative: 35+ Ideas
by Meryl K Evans
I have an old, old (2001!) useless one-line post on creativity
that search engines somehow love. I feel bad for the folks who keep landing on the post only to find nothing of value. Let’s see if we can stop torturing folks by listing ideas for creative things to do. Some take a few minutes and some take hours. Some cost nothing. Some call for something you may have at home. Some may require a little shopping.
- Write a song. You could do just the lyrics, just the music or both. Go crazy.
- Create a paper airplane you’ve never done before. Most of us have done the basic style paper airplane. Alex’s Paper Airplanes provides how tos for all kinds of planes.
- Make origami. Sick of airplanes? Do a search for origami for lots of paper folding ideas.
- Write a short story. Fiction. Nonfiction. Or fiction using a nonfiction memory. Don’t worry about perfection. Just throw it up on the screen or on paper.
- Draw a picture. Use Crayons, paint, chalk (go draw on the sidewalk!), pencil, ballpoint pens, whatever writing instrument you have. Heck, use a graphic tablet.
- Write a poem. Try out a new poetic form if you’re sick of haikus. Here’s a list of forms of poetry and their definitions. Pick one you’ve never heard of and try it!
- Take pictures. Walk around your neighborhood. Capture something. Go to a nearby park or intriguing place. Put those photo-taking techniques you read about to work.
- Do ONE page in a scrapbook. Do you have scrapbooking materials that you have yet to use? I bought a package and never used it. The thought of trying to do a scrapbook overwhelms me, maybe it does for you, too. So go for ONE page. Pick three pictures and go!
- Make up a dance. Love Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance? You’ve seen lots of dancing, now try making up your own.
- Build a website. You don’t have to be in a business to have a website. Create one for your favorite hobby or activity.
- Create a Facebook page or group. Maybe your favorite nonprofit organization could use one. Love a band, hobby, activity? Before creating one, search Facebook to see if another group already exists. No sense in wasting time if an active group already covers the topic. Maybe you can narrow down the popular topic to create a niche group.
- Rearrange your home. Change up the environment. Move or swap pictures, move furniture even to a different room, remove some clutter. A little change can give you more energy.
- Paint a room. You can leave everything the same — just changing the color can make magic.
- Paint pottery. Go to one of those paint pottery places and make something.
- Make candles or soaps. I remember I had this arts and crafts book and I made a candle out of an egg shell. I was proud of myself especially since I have no eye for art. Lots and lots of resources for candlemaking help and ideas. And for soap ideas.
- Produce a video. My daughter loves to do this for school projects. She impressed me with her creativity. If you already have a video camera, you’re golden. The web has plenty of free apps and software for editing and producing videos. What to make a video about? OK, I’ll be nice and give you one idea: “What is a hero?” OK, I stole it from one of my daughter’s video projects. Heck, you can search for “video project ideas.”
- Learn how to knit, needlepoint, quilts or some other sewing craft. These projects can range from short to long. Take your pick. I used to do latch hook kits. Loved doing them and they’re so easy. I made a big Donald Duck picture and framed it for my dad that hangs in the office in my mom’s house (Dad passed away). @BJMuntain says, “Besides writing, I cross stitch. Great for people with patience and good attention to detail, like librarians or archaeologists.” I wish I had the ability to put together a quilt made of shirts. I had someone take all my old shirts and swetashirts and turned them into an awesome, memory-filled quilt.
- Decorate a plain picture frame. Find a fun picture and create a fun frame to go with it.
- Play chef. Create a new recipe. Do a twist on a favorite. Make candy, cookies, cupcakes or cakes and apply a new decorating technique. Turn on a food TV channel and you’ll be inspired that you want to make something. Or make a gingerbread house or something creative and use candy to decorate it. I just saw a roller coaster candy challenge where the winner added silver to peppermint patties and used them as rivets. Brilliant.
- Make jewelry. I’ve done the macramé thing in scouts, lanyard thing at camp and made bracelets. Go to an art supply store and you’ll find plenty of trinkets, beads and charms to motivate you.
- Learn a new craft technique. Try stenciling, stamping or etching.
- Make something with florals. I loved the centerpieces at a recent event. It was a small glass vase filled with clear gelatin. Put two little lights in the gelatin and then fill the vase with three short flowers. Simple yet elegant.
- Build a bear. Sure, it costs a pretty dollar, but it’s fun and you’ll feel like a kid again.
- Work on a book. Novel, nonfiction, whatever you desire. Don’t pressure yourself. Just do it here and there. From @KevinFenton: “Work on a novel. Craig Ferguson, who’d been working in film, called it punk rock –– you can do what you want with cheap supplies.” Love to draw? Do a children’s book with pictures.
- Create a photo show. Why wait until a special occasion when you’ll be too busy with the event? Create a photo show now while you have the time.
- Create or grow your garden. Plant flowers, herbs or vegetables to add color and personality to your yard.
- Put together a model plane, car or boat. I loved doing this as a kid. I chucked Barbie for model kits and race car tracks.
- Do a wood project. You can buy precut wood shapes, so you don’t have to start from scratch. I’ve made little signs and painted them. I made a wood napkin holder with my parents’ initial.
- Make pillows or blankets. Not all blankets call for knitting or quilting. A friend took two large pieces of material and tied them together into a perfect blanket for my first son. My mom had a pillow made out of my dad’s old ties.
- Organize yourself. I love building bookshelves and other organizers from kits that you get at Ikea or the Container Store. Not only you do something with your hands, but you also clean up.
- Play designer. Watch those shows (Yes, like Trading Spaces) where designers have a very small budget and do lots of crafts projects to change up the room’s look. It’s amazing what they come up with that even I can do.
- Design a shirt, bag, sneakers or other clothes. One of my proudest projects ever — painting a sweatshirt. That sweatshirt is on my quilt. It’s a sweatshirt of many logos from musicals. I couldn’t believe how precise many of the logos turned out. Oh, there’s a mistake in there, but I covered it up nicely.
- Explore other people’s works. Go to Etsy, Martha Stewart and similar sites with handmade products. You’re bound to get creative ideas you want to try yourself.
- Solve a problem. People invent things to solve problems. What annoys you? A shoelace that keeps coming untied, but you don’t want to double-knot it? A shirt tag? Bet a couple of ideas come to your mind.
- Create geek art. Turn an old mouse into a holiday decoration. Keyboard useless? Recycle the keys into art: earrings, cuff links, necklace, etc.
- Recycle old items. Instead of trashing useless items, turn them into something else like geek art.
What other creative things can you do?
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