In Isolation

You won’t be surprised to know that the printmaking classes and Print Club at Slamseys aren’t running during this Coronavirus pandemic. On the website there’s a list of classes that will run when life is back to normal and you can be the first to know the schedule by subscribing to the Slamseys newsletter.

Creative Craft distractions if you're stuck at home text on blue textured background

Meanwhile, just in case you find yourself marooned alone in isolation or unexpectedly at home with a bunch of children for longer than the anticipated two week Easter holidays, here are a few distractions to pass the time.


Download our free e-book “How to Find Creative Inspiration” which is filled with ideas, prompts and strategies for being creative. You may have to skip some of the suggestions for a while but there’s plenty of activities that you can do without leaving home.


table set out in home printmaking space for cutting rubber stamps

If you’re anything like me, lurking in the cupboard are the ‘special’ pieces of paper, the fabric that’s being saved for a mythical project or just stuff. Now’s the time to take it out, sort it and use it, bin it or quietly return it to the cupboard but in a neater pile.

Find space at home for printmaking with these ideas for organisation, storage and workflows.


If you’ve cleared out your craft area and now have a stack of paper and a pile of neatly folded fabric that you trip over every time you cross the room, try some creative ways to recycle.

Napkin made with fabric printed with lemon

Cut and hem some fabric squares for drying hands or fruit, mending clothes, to use as napkins or paintbrush wipers. Even for wiping noses. Don’t roll your eyes at that last one. Use it, toss it in the wash and use a clean one next time. If you can’t get hold of loo roll … just saying.

Use strips of scrap fabric to wrap around washing line to make pretty fabric baskets of all sizes.

Make decorative (Washi style) tape with scrap paper or fabric and use it with these quick ideas.

Use scraps of paper, less than perfect prints or magazine and book pages to make collages. If you need inspiration look at the work by Clover Robin  Clare Youngs and Mark Hearld.

If you run out of paper for your collages, make some paste papers. Paste papers are great for collage but also used – as they were originally – as end papers for books.


Let’s face it, you aren’t going on holiday anywhere for a few weeks, so use your imagination and go nowhere. Or everywhere.

One summer, when the children were small, we spent some of the holidays pretending to visit other countries. The children ‘flew’ upstairs at night and the next morning descended in a different country. We ate the food, tried to speak the language at mealtimes, made postcards and read books about the country. Almost thirty years later, they still talk about it.

You could go to the moon. All you need is some cardboard to make a rocket …


Obviously, not coronavirus.

I worry that so much today is digital (and password protected) and that maybe we’ve been a bit too enthusiastic throwing out anything that doesn’t spark joy so that we have fewer physical things to pass on to future generations. Read Something to Hold, especially the comments at the end.

Hand sewn patchwork quilt

Perhaps now’s the time to start making something physical to pass on. You could write your autobiography with stories from your life, sharing what makes you the person you are. Collect photos and stories from other people to make a family book to share. Make a quilt with fabric that means something to you.

Help the children print their own notepaper, postcards or greetings cards and write to someone who’s self isolating. Decorate the envelope and cheer up the postman too.

There are ideas and links for making envelopes and stationery in Make Mail Art.


While the printmaking classes are suspended and we have a little more time on our hands, we’ll try to show up here a little more frequently with projects and ideas. Meanwhile, hang on in there and stay safe.


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