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Ways to keep busy while social distancing


Check out this space for regular updates! We’re going to post to this every day with more content featuring ways to spend your time, DIY-publishing style.

Looking for ways you can keep busy while social distancing? We’ve got you covered! From DIY crafts and zine-making guides to comforting recipes and indie book recommendations, we’ve got lots to keep you occupied and positively engaged! Creative engagement is a proven health benefit to ward off stress and anxiety, so what better way to spend your time than to tap into your inner creative.

Make your first zine

Why not spend this time to start a new creative hobby? Making your first zine doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you may think. All you need is some paper and a pen and you’re ready to get started! Check out our ‘How to Make a Zine‘ post for everything you need to know to get going on your very first zine! Visit our resources section for more on how to make zines!

Zinester’s Toolkit: Collage-spiration 

If drawing isn’t your thing, don’t stress! Collage is also a great alternative to fill your zine with fun and meaningful visuals. Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, a Hamilton, ON based collage artist shares her step-by-step guide to collaging, along with some daily collage prompts to get you inspired.

Make your own Staple Stanley

In need of a companion to keep you company? Meet Staple Stanley, a sweet little guy plagued with anxiety and existential dread. If there’s one lesson we can learn from Stanley, it’s that when life gets you down, just plaster on your best smile and march on! Print him out and fold him up!

Triple Loop Paper Ball for Chasing Away the Winter Blahs

Or, how art therapy taught me the difference between do it yourself and do it together. Because what would winter be without a little arts and crafts?

Make Your Own Hermione Paper Puppet

Get your scissors out and get ready for a puppet show. Hermione celebrates her hairiness by decorating her thick tresses and beard with lovely satin ribbons. She is Jennifer Linton of Papercut Puppets’ beautiful creation.

Guerrilla gardening: Get started with seed bombs and seed pills

Get OUTSIDE! This recipe for seed pills is simple and fast so that you can make on-the-go seed pills and get planting!

DIY Cosplay: Make your own fantastical armour

Drew Eckhardt, an Ontario member of the Mandalorian Mercs costume club, has broken down a handy step-by-step list on making your first fantastical armour.

Make your own Webcomic

Want to make your own webcomic? Here’s some advice from creators and how to get started.


Comforting Recipes

Bomb Ass Chili Recipe 

From the files of Jonathan Valelly, two-time iconic champion of the Swarthmore United Methodist Church cook-off (2005 & 2006). This bomb ass chili recipe has something for everyone, including plenty of ideas to customize the recipe to your taste. Nothing beats a good’ol bowl of hearty chili to bring you comfort during these uncertain times.

Herb Infused Honey Recipe 

Prepare yourself to fight any cold or flu symptoms with some homemade herb-infused honey! The aromatic properties of plants lend themselves beautifully to honey. Herbal infused honey can be a basis for cough syrups or can be added to hot water for an instant tea.

The Winter Drink Awards 

All bevvies are loved, but are they all equal? This is how we make it through the season, drinking lots of yummy beverages that give us the will to carry on.

Love Your Lips. Scrub Your Lips.

Practice some self-care with this easy lip scrub that can help you shed all the crud that accrues in these cruel months.


Things to Read and Write

How to Get an Arts Grant for Your Indie Project (in Canada and Other Places)

Been putting off grant writing?? Nows the time!! Batten down the hatches, turn off your phone, unplug the internet and get to work!

Read some online exclusive fiction

After Happily Ever by M Lynx Qualey

Remember When We Were Kids

Sick by Joe Bongiorno

and much more!!!

Winter 2020 Indie Book Picks

Every summer and winter, Broken Pencil staff put together a list of the most exciting novels, stories, comics, nonfiction, and YA books coming out! Here are our 9 winter pick to cure that boredom.

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