Staycation Grab Bag: DIY Ideas and Inspiration for Your Big Days Inside

Autostraddle's International Staycation Spectacular

On March 14, we want our readers to stay in together as part of Autostraddle’s International Staycation Spectacular! Follow along with everyone’s hotel parties, spa days, and indoor picnics around the world with the hashtag #StaycationSpectacular, and join us on the day of for the A+ livestream!

Are you guys excited about Autostraddle’s International Staycation Spectacular? I’m basically exploding inside while I wait for my indoor picnic to happen. I offered up some ideas for staycation themes and activities in our launch post, but since I’m really devoted to helping you live your dreams, I thought I’d follow it up with some concrete steps to make them happen. Like DIY projects! And pretty pictures!

Here we go.

DIY Spa Day Supplies

+ DIY fizzy bath bombs! Because Laura knows that nothing is more fun that a fizzy bath bomb, and I concur.

laura's lavender moisturizing bath bombs

+ Also, the other delightfully crafty human named Laura who works here taught us how to make oatmeal and lavender soap once and I bet it’s amazing to rub all over your body.


+ Same with the body butter she made that time.


+ You could always wash your face with a bunch of oils, ps! Or you could scrub it with this sweet ‘n tough olive oil stuff.


+ Find more where this all came from in the DIY Beauty Bar.

+ These mini lavender cupcake bath melts are also adorable, maybe because the term “cupcake” is so adorable.


+ Make some rose water before you do anything else. It’s a staycation! Treat yo self.


+ Here’s some guidance on giving a back massage for you to hand to someone else on Saturday when they’re giving you a back massage.


+ I hope this nighty-night DIY bath salt stuff isn’t as creepy as its name is.


+ Three words: Tub Tea Time!


+ If you build this bathtub caddy, you might forget you’re not at a 5-star hotel. You might also wanna throw in these spa-like details, take some time to create a nice shower space, put together an at-home spa kit, and roll your towels like a pro for the full effect.


+ I won’t judge you for crocheting a bath pouf. Or spelling it poof, incidentally.

crochet bath pouf pattern

+ Take a motherf*cking detox bath. Or, add some of these 12 remedies to your bathtub and take a different kind of bath for a different purpose because who knew you even could!


+ Last but not least, light up an aromatherapy candle for good measure. Also for aromatherapy.


 Take a Seat


it's a hammock! a fort! and a bed!

it’s a hammock! a fort! and a bed!

+ This macramé hanging chair is making me rethink my entire life so that I can center it around building this chair.


+ Also, same for this hammock chair.


+ You could make one of these 25 DIY blankets for the beach, picnic, or pool and lounge on that. I am particularly devoted to this one, because chevron.


This DIY picnic blanket seems really on brand for you. Also, it’s the most portable thing ever.


+ I would sit on something called a “sit-upon” because that’s just too perfect a name in my eyes.


+ Here’s some low-budget outdoor (read: backyard) camping ideas including instructions for this DIY swing!


Put Something Over Your Head Maybe


+ Hello, can I make a hula hoop hideout or am I too old. I cannot handle the truth.


+ How about a “simple” DIY tent? I don’t know how to operate a sewing machine, but.


+ You could pitch this tent anywhere. Maybe the beach? I don’t know your life. Seems romantic.


+ Apartment Therapy’s DIY outdoor awning is, um, everything.


+ They told us how to make a treehouse once, too.


+ Actually no, I take it back. This indoor/outdoor fucking playhouse is everything. I want to live in this, I think. Eli could totes fit, right.


 For Tea Parties

+ Let’s make some teacup candles for our tea parties because tea is the best!


+ Use these fans, because you can and because you should and because have you looked at these, they are so cute.


+ Also, I think if you’re hosting a tea party you should probably read one of our myriad guides to the stuff.


+ I trust this HelloGiggles guide to the perfect picnic 100 percent. That is all.


It’s Almost Like You Went Outside

+ Oh, I’m sorry. Did you not want a mountain mural on your wall. It’s like a staycation you’ll never have to stop waking up in, y’all. Think about it.


+ Hang some DIY cloud lights for effect afterward and you may as well be at A-Camp in the early morning.


+ Mmmm. Natural room scents.


+ I hope “succulent gardens for small spaces” is eventually so relevant to my life it becomes a chapter in my memoir.


+ Ocean in a bottle, because now the song “Message In A Bottle” is stuck in your head, too. I can’t suffer alone.


+ Do you think Laneia would like a moss bath mat? I do.


+ These pressed herb candles might make me melt. See what I did there.


+ If your candles aren’t as pretty as all that, just toss ’em in a birch candle holder.

birch wood candle

 In My Rooooom

+ These 10 ideas will make a canopy bed possible for you, even if you don’t have a canopy bed, because if you believe in anything hard enough it comes true.


+ Got some Christmas lights? You totally do, you hipster. Hang ’em up! And hang ’em up right.


Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


    • every time i do a grab bag i’m like fuck, i need to become a pro at crafting and get my shit together. let’s do this thing, tristan. let’s become the people who complete these diy projects we wanna see in our lives.

  1. carmen I am so glad there is an entire section devoted to “almost like going outside,” like my dream is to have a bedroom so ~outdoorsy~ that I just have to open a window to feel like I’m communing with the Outside World

  2. i want nothing more than that mountain mural, but something tells me it won’t look like that if i do it myself.

  3. I mean, I’m over here just struggling to keep my dining room table clean. I really would like to hang fairy lights, but maybe I should hang one of our many unhung photos/paintings/art-things first…

    This grab bag is making me feel real ambitious though.

    • putting together this post made me want to change my entire life and especially build myself a chair, so.

  4. Woah. Just looking at this all brought me to a more peaceful state of mind.

    I’m a little weirded out by the idea of Jell-O in my bath, though.

  5. Unfortunately, I will be working a 12-h shift on the day of the staycation. But thank you for compiling such a brilliant list of DIY ideas. Especially the outdoors themed ones! That mountain mural is beautiful (though, I’m not quite ambitious enough right now to do it myself, and I’m not sure my landlord would allow it either). And the scented jars! I think I’ll try making one with all the fragrant cottonwood buds that seem to be covering the trails where I live (you know, the kind with sweet-smelling sticky sap that always fall to the ground in early spring?).

    Love the list of the 12 bath add-ins too. So easy and simple and comforting. I like easy and cheap. :)

    • i wanted to say “easy and cheap are my middle names!” but what if someone misread that.

Comments are closed.