From cocktail-making to baking: 15 free tutorials to try during self-isolation

There’s only so much TV one can watch in self-isolation, regardless of how many streaming channels there are.


So put your mind and body to good use and learn a new skill to ease the boredom.


We’ve found some amazing activities that you can do while sat at home twiddling your thumbs after the working day ends.


From learning how to make cocktails to baking, knitting and trimming your beard with skill, here are a range of tutorials to try.


And they’re all free.


Make your own macramé


Once you get bored of knitting, try your hand at its lesser-known cousin, macramé.


Basically, you use knotting techniques on textiles to turn them into beautiful decorations or interior items, like plant-hangers, for instance.


Independent retailer Two Me already has free tutorials uploaded to its site, with instructions on how to make wall hangings, earrings and coasters, but there’s more in store.


Keep your eye on the brand’s Instagram page, with weekly free video tutorials planned for kids and families to enjoy together.



Learn how to make cocktails


Depending on how long the UK’s pubs and bars will be closed, it’s likely that you’ll eventually get bored of your standard G&T or vodka soda.


It’s time to become your own cocktail bartender.


Ryan Chetiyawardana, the bartending genius also known as Mr Lyan, is offering his skills to the public for free with master classes on his Instagram page.


It will include everything from how to ferment ingredients to shake, stir and build cocktails.


First up is the classic Martini.


Learn how to bake


There’s no shortage of baking tutorials online, including weekly video sessions with experts in all things baked goods, Bread Ahead.


For the rest of March, the bakery, which has closed its doors in Borough Market, will be sharing recipes and instructions live on its Instagram stories.


Learn how to make everything from chocolate brownies (tomorrow, 24 March) to bagels and pretzels (28 March) and even scones and shortbread (31 March).


It’s going to be a carb-filled week.


Learn how to trim your beard properly


Is your beard starting to look scruffy yet?


By all means, do use this time to grow a majestic beard that will shock the office as you return when coronavirus is over – but if you do fancy keeping the mane in check, Ruffians is teaching people how to do so with skill.


The grooming brand has closed its four barbershops in London, as well as the one in Edinburgh but will be taking to – you guessed it – Instagram to showcase grooming techniques and hair growth tips on a daily basis.


Do a beer tasting


With pubs shut for the foreseeable future, how about joining a beer tasting at home?


Brian Dickson from Northern Monk beers will be teaching anyone who wants to listen everything about beer, as well as taking questions from the audience.


Tune in to Instagram with some mates and do a Zoom session (which is now the equivalent of grabbing a pint down the pub).


And if you didn’t manage to grab any beers before the stockpiling began (please, people, stop stockpiling), you can order a beer box and have a musician deliver it for you.


Learn how to pipe your cakes with flair


Some baking fails are truly hilarious – like the unicorn cake that was so bad it ended up in a court case.


If you’re guilty of making treats that deserve to be in the ugly cakes hall of fame, baker Emma Page is here to teach you some things about piping your baked goods.


The independent wedding cake business owner is hosting regular decoration classes on her Instagram page, and many of them can be done with minimal tools.


Put on Great British Bake Off in the background and pretend you’re a contestant.


Take an art class


Fancy yourself the next Picasso?


Let’s Day Out, an app that aims to bring people together through experiences and events, is rebranding to Let’s Day In.


As part of the campaign, the company is hosting a range of group-themed activities to encourage people to socialise including art classes, live-cooking demonstrations and virtual parties, date nights and video group chats.


Every session is free, but you have the option to donate £1 to the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, if you want.


Check out the ‘Experiences’ tab on the app for more information on when the classes will take place.


Make your own health foods


If you’re already starting to get tired of tinned soups and pasta with pesto, it might be time to mix things up.


Quite literally, learn how to make some dishes that have the added benefit of being healthy.


(In case you didn’t know, some foods are believed to boost the immune system and ward off viruses).


Every Friday at 5pm, Rude Health will share a random cooking video on its Facebook and Instagram channels, starting with Sauerkraut this week (27 March).


Take a dance class


If you want stay fit while in self-isolation, but don’t want to join a morning yoga session and don’t own a Peloton bike, how about just, as Taylor Swift says, shaking it off?


Charlotte Stripling from the Simply Dance studio in Nottingham is putting together digital dance classes over coming weeks.


She particularly wants to get kids involved, so grab your little ones and bust a move.


Learn or improve knitting skills


OK, so we’re cheating with this one.


Technically, Stitch & Story isn’t offering a live tutorial, but the brand already has videos uploading to its website with tips on how to knit and crochet for beginners.


And you can even download PDF patterns, if you need some inspiration.


Learn first aid


Safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment.


Coronavirus precautions aside, it could be useful to learn first aid and thankfully, one mum is offering classes.


Kate Ball, who has six children and is the founder of Mini First Aid is hosting a two-hour course that you can learn in your home (and you don’t even need a dummy to practice on).


Unfortunately, this is the only item on our list that isn’t free: it costs £20 per person, but the class covers a wide range of areas including CPR, choking, bumps, burns, breaks, bleeding, febrile seizures and meningitis awareness.


If your newly-acquired skills will put your mind a bit more at ease, it might be worth the money.


Make your own accessories and clothes


Since you’re probably living out of your pyjamas most days (because, really, why would you get dressed?) shopping new clothes is quite far down the to-do-list.


But how about making your own?


Practice sustainability with the ethical fashion brand Mayamiko, which is launching a series of tutorials together with local artisans from the company’s trust on things like how to make scrunchies from scraps of clothing and upcycle old items that you no longer use.


Get a break from the kids while they enjoy a storytelling session


Author Nicola J Rowley isn’t technically teaching others how to do something, but her storytelling sessions are free and will keep the kids entertained while you learn your other new skills.


So, really, it’s a win-win.


Her children’s storytelling sessions will take place twice a day at 11am for newborns to seven-year-olds and at 2pm for those aged between 7-11.


Listen in on Facebook.


Perfect your skincare


Do you have sensitive skin, eczema or skin allergies?


Stay on top of your beauty routine with the help of health coach Camille Knowles, who will be holding live Instagram sessions every morning at 7am on everything from skincare to journaling and setting positive affirmations. 


It’s a bit Insta-glam, but then again, it’s free.


Learn about nutrition


If you’re worried that you’re not getting the right nutrition while in self-isolation or need some tips on easy recipes, Jenny Tschieche, a nutrition expert, is doing live videos sharing her top tips.


The online workshops will take place on her Facebook page, aptly named The Lunchbox Doctor, and there will be a new recipe every day at 10.15am.


Stay healthy – and above all, stay inside.




Almara Abgarian

Published on Metro

Press team contact:

Lois North