April 01, 2020
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Self-quarantined and stuck inside? Here are 5 things you can try.

Sam Schipani | BDN
Sam Schipani | BDN
No-sew t-shirt bags.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, 23 Maine residents have been confirmed positive and nine others are presumed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

Between the recommended social distancing, self-isolation and self-quarantine due to COVID-19, many of us may be stuck inside for many more of our days than we’re used to. When you’re not working from home or bingeing TV shows, it may be worth busting your boredom by trying something new or developing a new skill.

Over the course of Sam Tries Things, I’ve done a number of activities in my own home. I can’t say I recommend them all ( DIY plantable seed paper is a farce, and I dare you to prove me otherwise), I have sincerely enjoyed many of them, and have even continued to re-try again and again after my deadline had passed. Here are some of my favorites that I think you will enjoy, too.

[Read our full coronavirus coverage here]

Sourdough starter

If you are stuck inside for days, why not try making sourdough bread from scratch? The secret ingredient is sourdough starter, which takes several days to develop, but all you need to get started is flour, water and a little bit of patience. If you are successful, you can use your starter delicious bread, waffles, pie crust, pretzels, pizza crust and other tasty treats.

No-sew t-shirt bags

Social isolation may have inspired you to get a headstart on your spring cleaning. If you have unearthed any unwearable old t-shirts with sentimental memories, turn them into reusable bags — no sewing required — for the next time you go out shopping. The process of tying the bag together is easy, methodical and relaxing.

Butter

You can make fresh butter at home with heavy cream, a little bit of salt and some elbow grease — no butter churn or other heavy machinery required. I was able to make my own butter both by agitating the cream in a jar like a Shake Weight and by “churning” it in my food processor. The results were equally delicious.

Beeswax food wraps

If you happen to have beeswax on hand (and, frankly, what good crafter doesn’t), these cute, handy beeswax food wraps are easy to make out of leftover scrap fabric. You can also get creative with the sizes, shapes and levels of personalization.

Upcycling thrift store finds

Ok, maybe now is not the best time to go rummaging around the thrift store, but I’m sure you have some tchotchkes laying around your house that are gathering dust. With a little bit of paint and some potting soil, I learned through this DIY that almost anything can become a cute decorative planter. I dare you to get creative with the limits of that.

Do you have any ways to chase the boredom blues away that you think Sam should try? Email her at sschipani@bangordailynews.com.

Watch: What you need to know about handwashing during coronavirus


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