5 things you can DIY at home during MCO


Everything from food, hobbies, crafts and self-improvement, there’s something to DIY while staying home during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

#stayhome sign

Stay home and try these DIY projects out! © Jacek Dudzinski | 123rf

By this time, we are sure that most Malaysians are slowly getting used to staying home and working from home. That said, it definitely can’t be getting any easier with the periodic MCO extensions (recently extended to 12 May 2020) and we believe most of you are slowly running out of things to do after staying home for over a month now (after all, how many times can one declutter, right?). 

Thanks to the internet, we can access a myriad of how-to’s and tutorials to learn new skills or craft something new. 

1. Grow food from your food scraps

grow vegetables

Regrowing food from kitchen scraps only requires water and patience! © Mehriban Aliyeva | 123rf

Gone are the days where we can just hop by the supermarket to grab something whenever we like. With the MCO and social distancing measures in place, long waits are expected to enter most major supermarkets and travelling through roadblocks can be quite a hassle. Thankfully, most kitchen scraps can be regrown.

For example, spring onions are a staple in most Malaysian households but can quickly run out if you’re not grocery shopping often enough. Placing the discarded bottom section of the spring onion in water can actually yield new growth in a weeks’ time, or you can even try using a small onion bulb. The bottoms of bok choy can also be placed in water to spawn an extra yield of baby bok choy.

Other veggies you can try the water propagating method with: rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, sweet potato (for its delicious, edible leaves), spinach, mint and even ulam raja. You can turn this into a mini project that would soon turn your kitchen into a functional, edible garden.

Bring this project to the next level by learning about simple hydroponic systems to grow your own endless supply of greens.

Read more: 6 cheap and fail-proof balcony plants you can grow

2. Try out some food micro-trends you’ve seen your friends do

dalgona coffee

You are one whisk away from TikTok fame! © Ruslan Galiullin | 123rf

Not a fan of dancing on TikTok? Well, how about trying some of the allegedly ‘easy’ food trends that are creeping all over social media. Let’s start off with the easiest one: dalgona coffee. It’s a deceptively simple recipe of 1:1:1 ratio of coffee powder, sugar and water that you need to whisk till it gets to a thick and creamy consistency, which you then pour over the milk. Sounds easy, right? With a mix of success and fail stories out there, we’ll leave it to you to decide.

The other trend we’ve been seeing everywhere? Sourdough bread. With the lockdown in place, more and more Malaysians are actually searching for bread recipes and learning how to bake their own due to the scarcity of bread in supermarkets (no doubt snatched up by panic buyers). Take note, it has a long proofing time of 24 hours, but since you have all the time in the world at home, why not try your hand at making some?

Other food trends you may want to try: rice cooker cake, burnt cheesecake, apam balik, KFC rice (yes, it requires you to order some actual Kentucky fried chicken) and banana bread.

3. Upcycle the items you plan to trash 

woman working on craft

Anything old can be made into something new again. © Dinis Tolipov | 123rf

Remember the first half of MCO where everyone was so busy Marie Kondo-ing their home (as seen on social media)? These items may still be sitting around in bags, waiting to be dumped or donated after MCO has lifted. Why not take a second look at them and see if anything can be upcycled into something new altogether? Here are some ideas:

READ MORE: Decluttering your home: 5 alternatives to the KonMari method

4. Make your seasonal cards ahead of time

art and craft

Turn your scraps and paper bits into a greeting art. © lightfieldstudios | 123rf

It’s never too late to plan for 2020’s Halloween, Christmas, Hari Raya and Thanksgiving. With all the time you have, why not DIY your own greeting cards this year instead of relying on Hallmark or e-cards on Whatsapp? This way, you can add a personal touch to whomever you are sending to, and they would definitely be extremely grateful for it.

Short on supplies? No worries, there are a couple of Malaysian art supplies stores who are still delivering orders to customers during the MCO. Get your kids involved, and get creative!

5. Make something out of your time by using the skills you already have

family play time

Keep those fingers limber while staying at home. © Sutthinon Sanyakup | 123rf

Are you a painter, musician, baker, dancer or even a hula-hooper? Whatever your skills may be, the MCO is the perfect opportunity for you to practice, practice, practice. Create a painting for your wall, build something from woodworking or even create entertaining videos through your performance art. If you play an instrument, it’s the perfect time to shake off the rust and get back into practice – and why not open a window and throw a mini-concert for your neighbours?

Too often, we complain about not having enough time to perfect certain skills, but that’s no longer a legit excuse to be lazy anymore. Even if you don’t have a specific skill yet, you can always use this time to learn from experts online as there are so many courses being offered for free or cheap, right now!

Remember, it is a privilege to be staying home and being safe, so use the given time wisely and get something great out of it.

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