Your new at-home creative practice

Online and mail-order ideas for art and craft without leaving the house.

While some don’t need an invitation to get creative, folks with fewer crafty bones in their body will appreciate those extended by some of the makers, movers and shakers we admire. Online and mail-order instruction abounds right now to help you while away the chilly season with a satisfying artistic project that provides a meaningful pastime, teaches you new tricks and results in stuff you can show off.
You could soon be hanging a wall-worthy painting thanks to tuition from Auckland-based artist and author Jen Sievers. Through her School of Art, Heart & Mind at, she goes back to basics with the Abstract Art Where to Start? course, for which you don’t need experience or fancy supplies — just curiosity, paint, brushes and a suitable surface. Complete this lesson in a day or take your sweet time, dipping in and out at your leisure. Side note: Jen also has a diploma in mindfulness for children and runs a fun course for a calmer, more connected family.
Also on our radar are local label Ruby’s sewing kits (available at, which let you run up garments from the fashion brand yourself. The selection of dress, skirt and top patterns caters to beginner, intermediate and advanced sewers. They’ll courier you the instructions; you sort the machine, fabric, pins and scissors, and you’ll soon be donning designer garb for next to nothing.

MAIN IMAGE In Jen Sievers’ abstract art classes, you’ll cover colour, composition, your creative power and more. ABOVE To progress your DIY from Julie D O’Rourke’s recipe, you might like to check out Auckland interior stylist Michelle Halford’s explorations at @thedesignchaser, for ideas on clay forms (she used Sculpey polymer clay) and how to style them.

Keen to get your hands slightly dirtier? Head to Julie D O’Rourke’s Instagram account, @rudyjude. Via IGTV, the founder of US fashion label Rudy Jude shares all kinds of simple activities to get up to with or without kids. Admire her sartorial prowess in pieces from her label crafted using organic, plant-dyed fabric, before playing around with her recipe for air-dried clay, say, made from only cornflour, baking soda and water. 

Words Philippa Prentice

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