9 DIY Projects Do To When You Need A Mood Boost

by Sarah Fielding and Emma McGowan
Originally Published: 
A woman embroiders strawberries onto plain fabric. These 9 DIY projects help when you're sad and nee...
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When you're feeling sad it can be tempting to crawl into bed and wallow in your feelings. You feel worn down and distraught, so why do anything else? While this outlook is tempting, and there can be benefits to wallowing, it's also important to take action to cope with your emotions. So what should you do when you're feeling down? One idea that could give you a pick me up is completing a DIY project.

Whether you are dealing with bouts of sadness or trying to manage your depression, DIY projects can be a great coping mechanism. As a form of art therapy, they allow for real decompression from how you're feeling.

"When you are creating, your depression becomes temporarily suspended because you’re enhancing your dopamine levels," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of relationship blog, You're Just A Dumbass, tells Bustle. "The act of creating not only provides this neurochemical benefit, it also improves self-efficacy, self-confidence, and self-esteem. In a sense, your finished product and process mirrored your transformation to a non-depressed version of you."

"I find interacting with crafts or other forms of art therapy completely cathartic," Elyse Fox, a mental health activist, tells Bustle. "Art therapy provides an outlet for expression that you may not have been able to put into words. When I'm feeling sad I like to edit personal photos and include quotes, colors, and graphics that uplift me."

Ready to get started? Here are some awesome DIY projects to try out the next time you're feeling down.

1. Let Succulents Climb Your Walls

Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

If you're up for a plant-related challenge, why not make a vertical garden? This one features cute little succulents, which are easy to take care of and adorable. Wouldn't your living room just feel happier with these little guys on your wall?

See the full tutorial at Sunset.

2. Brighten Your Room With Flowers

Vitamini Handmade

When you DIY paper flowers, you can have them in spring, summer, fall, and winter. These magnolia blossoms look challenging, but the step-by-step process is actually quite simple. With a little paint, some scissors and a few branches you can create an everlasting display of flowers that are sure to add cheer wherever you put them.

See the full tutorial at Vitamini Handmade.

3. Lighten Up

A Beautiful Mess

Are you constantly tempted by those $50 candles all over your Instagram feed? Resist! Resist! Instead, create your own soy candles at home. Customize the scent, the jar, and know that you're saving serious money by not giving in to that impulse buy the other day. Bonus: These also make great (and affordable!) gifts!

See the full tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

4. Put Some Fresh Paint Up

Studio DIY/Jeff Mindell

Been staring at the same walls for years? It's time for a change. This DIY ombre walls project is very simple and a great way to relax. Plus, the calming colors are sure to give you a boost.

See the full tutorial at Studio DIY.

5. Make Your Own Dance Party

A Beautiful Mess

This project is a little more involved, but the result is so worth it. Made of metallic foil adhesive vinyl, this multi-colored disco ball is amazing. Hang it up and dance it out whenever you're feeling down. Because, really, who doesn't want to make their living room the club?

See the full tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

6. Get Scrunched

A Beautiful Mess

We all know that Carrie hated hard on scrunchies on Sex and the City, but it's been a couple decades and these babies are BACK! They're also another trend that can set you back way more money than is reasonable (see those soy candles, above), so why not take a little time and DIY? It's a project that's great for beginner and expert sewists alike.

See the full tutorial at A Beautiful Mess.

7. Create A Great Pop Of Color

Studio DIY

Bored with your dishes but not interested in dropping the money for a whole new set? Be financially and environmentally responsible by upcycling the ones you already have with this fun color-edged plates tutorial.

Each plate only takes 10 minutes to make. Whether you use them for dessert or a meal, these plates will become your go-to option.

See the full tutorial at Studio DIY.

8. Embroider Everything

Embroidery is the craft that keeps on giving, because once you start you won't want to stop. If you've always dreamed of a dope jean jacket with the perfect cactus embroidered on the back or you can't help getting up close and personal whenever you see some stitching, then now is the time to get to it!

Learn the basic embroidery stitches from a master, with Sublime Stitching's stitch-by-stitch tutorial. She also offers all the tools you need, as well as some really inspiring patterns.

See the full tutorial at Sublime Stitching.

9. Marble It Up

Jane Khomi/Moment/Getty Images

Whether it's custom stationary, wrapping paper, or the cover to a new journal, this DIY marbled paper is sure to make you smile. It's also super easy and can be made with items you have in your house right now!

See the full tutorial at Honestly WTF.

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