Jessica Ryan
Jessica Ryan

Happy syllabus week, nerds! While it's nice not to have a ton of homework or reading for class this week, it can be sort of under-stimulating, brain-wise. What are you supposed to do with your afternoons and evenings if you're not writing a paper or diluting solutions?

Well, here's your answer: crafternoons.

I know what you're thinking: crafts are for suburban housewives and sorority girls getting ready for bid day. What does that have to do with being nerdy?

But DIY is totes nerdy; cosplaying is just crafting on a way more intense level. And who among us hasn't made our own Harry Potter wand or lightsaber?

Here are some nifty skills to hone while you're waiting for classes to get a bit more exciting.

Ah, friendship bracelets... the most ubiquitous of crafts. While the name implies you're supposed to make them for a friend, getting a little greedy and keeping your genius creations is totally allowed. Teenage girls have a lot of time on their hands and are way more talented than me, and they've created thousands of different friendship bracelet designs - no matter your flavor of nerd, there's a design for you.

Whovian? Wrap your wrists in Tardis. Love yourself some Sherlock? The damask wallpaper of 221B makes for nice arm candy. Trekkie? You bet Starfleet's being repped all around the world.


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There are a ton of friendship bracelet sites, but I think friendship-bracelets.net is an excellent starting point, where you can search by pattern, number of colors and more. Can't find a design you like? You can even make your own using their pattern generator.

Pinterest is crawling with Sharpie mugs - a crazy simple way to make custom, awesome containers for your morning cuppa. Grab yourself a blank ceramic mug and a Sharpie (or a few, ain't nothing wrong with a bit of color). Write your favorite Monty Python quote, sketch out theDeathly Hallows, or get crazy with an intricate diagram of the Death Star.

When you're done with your undoubtedly magnificent creations, place your mug in the oven and bake it at 350 degrees for half an hour. Let it cool, and slap some finishing spray on there. Voila! You've got yourself some nerdy swag for your coffee or tea.

And since you don't want to ruin your über-classy Ikea coffee table with water rings, why not pair your mug with some crafty coasters? With ceramic coasters, you can follow the same method as above, and just buy some cork board to glue on underneath.

Don't feel like drawing? You can also print out or draw a design on paper and Mod Podge it into oblivion - just make sure the Mod Podge is completely dry before you start sticking things on them. Take individual panels from an "xkcd" or "A Softer World" comic and make yourself a set!

Learning to crochet or knit is a great way to improve your motor skills, takes your mind off that B in calc for a little while, and is just sort of amazing - I mean, you're making hats and bags and laptop cases and scarves out of string. Whaaaat? Sites like Ravelry are crawling with nerdy patterns, from Jayne Cobb hats to Cthulhu balaclavas. Start learning now, and by Christmas you'll probably have the skills to make your own Weasley sweater.

Jessica Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. twitter/JessicaLRyan.