Popularized by social media, the concept celebrates the simple pleasures of a bygone era and surrounds humble tasks in a dreamy glow. You can enjoy the same nostalgia at home with these six activities.

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Picture a place where the sun always shines, blooming wildflowers sway in the breeze, and fresh-baked bread is a daily delight. It might sound too good to be true, but that idyllic place does, in fact, exist (at least in some form) in a corner of the Internet labeled "cottagecore."

Although the concept has existed on other social media channels, including Tumblr and Instagram, for a few years now, cottagecore has recently skyrocketed in popularity thanks to TikTok, where posts with the hashtag #cottagecore currently have a combined 218 million views. The videos often feature baking montages, sunny picnic lunches, vintage-inspired clothing, and country scenes dotted with frolicking animals, all set to a peaceful soundtrack and enhanced with a warm-tinted filter.

Consider cottagecore a soothing antidote to the fast-paced, plugged-in existence in which most of us currently function and a welcome respite from the chaotic state of the world. The aesthetic filters rural life through a romanticized lens, offering an escape to a simpler time where domestic duties and homespun activities, such as tending an herb garden or making violet syrup, are enjoyed at a leisurely pace (often in a billowing, floral-patterned prairie dress).

long stem country style floral bouquet mason jar
Credit: Studio Au

The videos and images are certainly dreamy to look at, but cottagecore's greatest appeal might be its accessibility. You don't need to live in a countryside cottage or obtain any special skills or equipment to take part. Basking in the sun's warmth or gathering a handful of wildflowers, for example, are humble pursuits most can enjoy for free. If you want to get a taste for the simple pleasures of cottagecore yourself, here are a few back-to-basics activities to get you started.

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread
Credit: Andy Lyons

1. Bake Homemade Bread

Requiring only flour, water, and patience, baking homemade sourdough bread is the ultimate cottagecore activity. The kneading and rising can be time-consuming, but that's part of the appeal. When your loaf is done baking, pack it for a picnic lunch and find a sunny spot to enjoy your efforts.

2. Take Up a Needle and Thread

Tap into the nostalgia of the cottagecore trend with traditional crafts, such as embroidery, knitting, and crocheting. These relaxing activities can help reduce stress while you create something beautiful. If this is your first time stitching with a needle and thread, brush up on some sewing basics first or try an embroidery kit with a pre-made pattern to get started.

3. Forage for Mushrooms

Foraging for wild mushrooms is a fun outdoor activity and an easy way to flavor your plate naturally. Venture into the woods to hunt for the tasty fungi, taking care to pick only the edible variety. If you're lucky enough to find some, sauté your bounty with a bit of butter for a simple side dish.

assorted herbs on white wood block
Credit: Carson Downing

4. Start an Herb Garden

Whether you plant them in a backyard garden or in pots on a windowsill, fresh herbs are easy to grow and use in the kitchen. Choose herbs such as mint or lavender to flavor a homegrown cup of tea, or pick varieties to complement your favorite dishes. Start them from seeds and they'll be ready to snip in a few weeks.

5. Preserve Fresh Flowers

Gather a bunch of wildflowers from a field nearby (or grab a bouquet from the supermarket, we won't tell) and preserve the blooms to display. Dry bundles of flowers upside-down to place in a vase or tuck into a wreath. Alternatively, remove the stems and press the blooms to create framed artwork.

Mantel with floral decor
Credit: Carson Downing

6. Decorate with Cottage Elements

Embrace the cottagecore aesthetic more permanently by incorporating it into your decor. Arrange a vase of fresh-picked flowers on your mantel, or set the dinner table with your grandmother's china. Choose floral-patterned textiles for throw pillows, curtains, or furniture, and look for ruffles or lace details for a feminine touch. Antiques or vintage-style pieces are also welcome additions that add character.

Whichever activity you choose, remember that cottagecore is about finding joy in these simple activities. So slow down, take a breath of fresh air, and appreciate the beauty that's already around you.

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