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5 DIY Activities for Rainy Days at Home


Whether it’s raining or not, it’s always a constant struggle to pry our tweens and teens away from their electronic gadgets. In the summer months, while they’re cooped up inside avoiding the rain, engage their creative side using these five super fun DIYs that are sure to get them to look up from their smart phones:

1. Hula Hoop Chandelier

Take advantage of the dreary weather to spruce up your teen’s room with this beautiful light that is bound to make their friends jealous with just a few simple materials. Heck, after you see how amazing it looks, you’ll probably want to make one for yourself too!

What you’ll need:

  • Rolls of lace strips

  • Fairy/string lights (long)

  • Hot glue gun

  • Hula hoop



1.    Cover the hula hoop in lace so any previous pattern/color cannot be seen.

2.    Tie eight equal lengths of lace that are as long as the diameter of the hula hoop to the edge of the hoop.

3.    Tie all these pieces of lace together (this is where you can attach a hook to to hang it from).

4.    Secure the knot and the pieces of lace with hot glue.

5.    Wrap the fairy lights around the hula hoop.

2. Action Figure Lamp

This is the perfect DIY for your tween or teen to clear up some of their old toys, while creating something amazing in the process! Pull out those dusty action figures, some super glue, and some spray paint and you’ll have an amazing “new” lamp in no time. You can find spray paint from just ¥20 at Marie’s Art Shop (850 Xikang Lu, near Changping Lu) or alternatively you could always just paint it over with acrylic. 

What you’ll need:

  • An assortment of small/medium sized action figures (depends on size of lamp)

  • Masking tape

  • Lamp base

  • Sand paper

  • Super glue

  • Metallic finish spraypaint



1.    Use a bag to cover the lightbulb end of the lamp base.

2.    Scratch the length of the lamp base (just slightly to create a more adhesive surface).

3.    Assemble and glue action figures (use masking tape to keep them in place).

4.    You might have to sand the edges of the action figures down to make them easier to glue.

5.    Remove tape and fortify structure with more super glue.

6.    Tape off the cord end of the lamp base.

7.    Spray paint the entire lamp base, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies (may require multiple coats).

3. Rainbow Sharpie shoes

With just some colorful sharpies and a bit of rubbing alcohol, your teen can spruce up their old, dirty pair of white sneakers. No need for fabric paints or markers for this simple DIY.


What you’ll need:

  • Old pair of white canvas sneakers

  • Multicolored sharpies (bright colors work best)

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Dropper


1.    Scribble in with the sharpies the areas that you want colored.

2.    Use the dropper to apply rubbing alcohol to the areas where two colors meet.

3.    Use your fingers to blend if necessary.

4.    Throw in the dryer to heat treat the color.


4. Crystal Names

Your tween/teen is absolutely going to love this next DIY: growing crystals into the shape of their name! This DIY verges on science experiments, as it requires Borax (sodium tetraborate). Don’t worry though, borax is completely safe and you can find it on Taobao for less than ¥30. 

What you’ll need:

  • String

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Pencils

  • Glass or plastic containers (multiple, if doing more than one color)

  • Container large enough to hold your name (if doing in cursive)

  • Borax (see links below)

  • Scissors

  • Food coloring (optional, if you want colored letters to dye the borax)

  • Liquid measuring cup

  • Table spoon

  • Heat-safe mixing bowl


1.    Take the pipe cleaners and bend them into shape; be careful that the sides of the letters do not touch the edges of the container.

2.    Suspend the letter/word a few inches from the pencils using the string.

3.    Heat up 3 tbsp of borax per cup of hot water to fill your containers (cups of solution will vary on size/number of containers).

4.    Bring solution to boil and mix until combined and completely dissolved.

5.    Pour the solution into the container so that it can completely cover the pipe cleaner letters when submerged.

6.    (Optional), add a few drops of foodcoloring to each container to make colored crystals.

7.    Submerge the pipe cleaners, set aside, and wait overnight for the crystals to form then remove crystals from the solution and gently pat dry.

5. Yarn ball ornament

Another DIY for your tween/teen to accessorize their room, this yarn light ball fixture will save you the hour long trip to IKEA while keeping your tween/teen occupied for hours. For this DIY, you’ll be able to find most materials in your supply closet, but if you’re in need of modgepodge, you can find it on Taobao for ¥30 or for ¥40-80 RMB.

What you’ll need:

  • Modge podge

  • Coarse brush

  • Large spool of twine

  • Balloon

  • (Optional) lightbulb head and plug in



1.    Blow up the balloon and hang up so that it is not touching any surface.

2.    Cover the area below the balloon with newspaper to catch splatters.

3.    Wrap the twine around the balloon to get vertical wraps that are pretty secure; pull tight into the balloon’s elasticibility.

4.    Once you feel you have a secure base, just get wrapping as chaotically as you want.

5.    Stop once you have a still see through layer of twine around the balloon.

6.    (Optional) if you are planning on turning this into a light fixture, at this point move away some string around an area to create a hole to add the light into.

7.    Go nuts with the hodge podge: the more the better, and don’t be afraid to get some on the balloon. We recommend using your hands, though feel free to use a brush.

8.    Let dry for 24 hours, then check for spots that are uncovered by hodgepodge; give it another 24 hours after reapplying hodge podge.

9.    Pop the balloon (warning: will be messy as dried hodgepodge will scatter everywhere).

10. Use a q-tip to clear out gaps where hodgepodge didn’t break free.

11. (Optional) attach your light cord to the ball (you may have to widen the hole you made earlier to accomodate the lightbulb head).