Many of us have found that 2020 is providing us with more free time and hours spent at home that we had expected in the good old days of 2019. Whether you are staying at home or just in search of a fun new hobby, consider some of the many crafting hobbies that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Many of the creative hobbies listed below can be done either alone or with friends and loved ones, but no matter what crafting art form or DIY handmade endeavor you pursue, you are sure to find one from our guide that will provide you with hours of enjoyment while producing a new art form that may end up captivating not just you, but your whole family as well. Many of the materials or kits you might need to get started are available through online retailers like Amazon or are obtainable through any number of delivery services, so in some cases you may never even have to leave home.
#1 The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: The Art and Craft of Calligraphy and Hand Lettering
Calligraphy is the ancient practice of writing beautiful letters, and it has a place in both the fine art forums around the globe as well as among crafters who are looking for a fun hobby that can be elevated to its own art form. After the rise of the printing press in the 15th century, hand lettering and calligraphy eventually transitioned from being the primary method of documenting official treatises and transcribing religious manuscripts into the realm of archivists and artists who were drawn to this ancient art form.
Today, calligraphy and hand lettering is being taken up as one of the craft hobbies that can be learned by beginners while it also offers those who want to continue to develop their hand lettering skills a way to grow and build on their basic tools and knowledge acquired. There are tons of video tutorials available to help the novice calligrapher figure out what she needs to do to become the go to person in her family for creating hand lettered signs or elegantly drawn letter prints, and many of the tutorials also offer links to calligraphy kits, printables, and other tools needed for the crafter to begin trying her hand at this respected ancient art.
#2 Won’t You Come Up and See My Paintings? A Quick Guide to Acrylics, Watercolors, or Oils
If you are interested in painting but don’t know quite where to start, your best bet is to start with a simple project with low stakes like using acrylic paints to decorate rocks with cheery symbols and messages. This activity is a perfect one to do with beginning painters and children. You can then use the rocks to decorate your own home or garden, or you can place them along paths to bring a smile to the face of people who are passing by. If you are looking for something that’s a little more challenging, you can move from emojis and fruit to painting elaborate mandalas on smooth stones.
If acrylic paints are not quite your thing but you are not sure if you are ready for oil painting, consider watercolor painting kits. These are perfect for older children as well as adults of all ages, and a framed watercolor is often the wall art that can really tie a room together, not unlike the rug did for The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Watercolors also make great gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, or housewarming parties, and you don’t need to be John Singer Sargeant to produce a beautiful landscape as long as you do not mind putting a lot of time practicing this soothing art.
Perhaps the most elusive and nuanced of the painting options available for novice artists, a variety of oil painting kits are sold with the basic materials needed to put paint on canvas, and some kits offer DVDs, blogs, or online classes to support your oil painting journey.
#3 You’re Afraid of Needles, Sew What? Consider Trying Cross-stitch, Quilting, or Crocheting
For many many sewing projects, you do not even need a sewing machine. The art of cross-stitch, for example, allows the crafter to select from patterns that range from traditional bouquets to delightfully snarky sayings.
If the idea of sitting before a fire with a cross-stitch hoop in hand sounds like a lovely throwback to a simpler time, you may also find that quilting provides a similar experience. Perhaps you can even start your own quilting circle as a way to bring your friends together while producing a one of a kind, always practical quilt.
Or perhaps crocheting is more your speed? Start with crocheting soft, luxurious scarves or the simple dishcloth before working your way up to creating sweaters, winter caps, and increasingly elaborate wearable art.
#4 Come Se Dice? Wie Sagt Man? Learning a New Language Can Open Up New Worlds
While learning a new language is not technically your traditional crafting hobby, it is a great way to expand your mind and use your free time in a productive way. A quick Google search will reveal a plethora of options for learning a new language, and unless you are working on learning sign language, learning a new language is one of the few new skills you can pick that requires no hand eye coordination.
Expanding your knowledge by learning about a new culture, including how to speak in another language, is a great way to accomplish something meaningful that will carry you long beyond the new year. Learning a new language is also a good way to bond together as a family -- you can even have a family meal where no one is allowed to speak English to boost language skills.
#5 A Rose by Any Other Name, or The Art of Floral Arrangements
Whether you are working with blooms from your own garden, synthetic flowers, or a bundle of flowers from the local market, arranging flowers to their best advantage is not so easy as it seems. With tips from expert hostesses like Ina Garten or Martha Stewart, as well as through local classes available through florists and event planners, mastering the art of creating beautiful arrangments will make sure to wow guests. Artfully arranged flowers convey that you are a good host, and they also make excellent hostess gifts.
The Japanese call the art of floral arranging ikebana, or “making flowers alive,” and schools across Japan offer courses in ikebana because creating elegant arrangements that can grace altars or alcoves is part of the culture of refinement and serving as a good host. With a little effort, you will find yourself creating flower arrangements that reflect your own unique take based on the blooms you have at hand.
#6 Memories of the Way We Were: Scrapbooking Is a Perennial Favorite
Most DIY crafters have tried their hand at or at least considered scrapbooking and experienced scrapbookers know that with a few photos and mementos, they can create a unique way to remember special events or major transitions like weddings, baby’s first year, or even that awesome Disney vacation.
Do you have more photos on your phone than you’ll ever need? Want to create a personalized, one of kind gift that will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike? Do you want to tell a story without exactly writing one? If so, scrapbooking may provide you with a good way to document your own memories as well as those of your loved ones. Like most other hobbies, you can also find video tutorials or social media sites online that will provide you with all the tips and tools you need to get started.
#7 Won’t You Take Me to Sparkle Town? The Glitz and Glam of Diamond Painting
Thousands of crafters, DIYers, and folks looking for a new hobby have begun to explore the relatively new art of diamond painting. With diamond painting kits that include all the tools you need to get started on this glittering new art form, you can choose from themes that range from scenes inspired by anything from the richly imagined world of Disney to the swirling colors of fantastical nature scenes. As you work at diamond painting, you will likely find that attaching the diamond drills, which are glittering, deeply pigmented resin rhinestones, onto a canvas coded with DMC symbols, provides you with a pastime that is both absorbing and rewarding.
Accessing a good beginner’s guide to diamond painting from a respected retailer like VizuArts is the best way for you to gain familiarity with the terms and basic techniques you will need to create your first diamond painting masterpiece, and you will find a variety of online communities who are eager to share their own experiences and artwork.
Since diamond painting arts kits include canvases with sizes that range in sizes from 20 x 20 centimeters (8 x 8 inches) to some as wide as 90 centimeters (36 inches). They are also an affordable option, especially since diamond art kit prices range from $30 to $50 when you take advantage of coupons or online sales. In addition to the DMC coded canvas and individually packaged diamond drills, each diamond painting kit also includes the applicator tool (often referred to as a drill pen), wax applicator pad for picking up the diamond rhinestones, a grooved diamond tray, and a pair of super sharp tweezers.
Like other hobbies and craft forms, the art of painting with diamonds offers hidden advantages. These advantages include things like improving fine motor skills of children and aging adults, reducing the time spent with distracting technology like video games and cell phone apps, providing an avenue for your body and brain to ease into mindfully mindless relaxation, and, best of all, a way to have fun while creating your masterpiece.
#8 Fold, Fold, Fold, Crease, and Fold Once More: The Ancient Art of Origami
Just as the Japanese culture can teach the would-be crafter about the finer points of flower arranging through ikebana, the deeply nuanced culture of Japan also brings us the art of origami. Although almost any paper can be used, many retailers offer beautifully printed, pre-cut papers and kits for the novice origami artist. Once you have mastered the simple crane, you can go on to create elaborate paper flowers, multi-colored birds, dragons, and even faces.
Origami is one of the least expensive hobbies you can consider, and you will find that a simple origami crane or frog brings delight to the eyes of small children in the same way balloon animals do. Come to think of it, perhaps making balloon animals may be yet another hobby to consider.
#9 Beads and Baubles: Making Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings
Like crocheting, making jewelry is particularly rewarding because the end product is wearable. With a few jewelry making tools, like specially designed pliers, a soldering kit, and wire cutters, jewelry making is a great way to start a crafting journey that only involves learning a few basic skills.
Once you have learned some of the ins and outs of jewelry making, like soldering, knotting, and creating a wire loop, you are well on your way to creating a one of a kind statement necklace, a pair of earrings that dangle just the right length, or an intricate bracelet that will draw comments from strangers as well as friends.
#10 No Lye, Soapmaking is Making a Splash in the Crafting World: Spa Crafts
High-quality bath and spa products can cost a pretty penny when they are acquired from luxury retailers, but once you realize how simple creating your own soap or customized bath bombs can be, you may never cross the threshold of a Lush retailer again. Whether you go traditional with cold process soap making or take the shorter melt and pour route, or even just if you are just mixing up your own liquid soap from glycerin and essential oils, soap making is one of the cleanest hobbies around!
The next time you are out of ideas on what to get your co-worker, mother, or best friends, consider making them a handmade spa basket complete with lavender-scented soap, a glittering bath bomb, and perhaps even a soy wax candle you have poured yourself.
#11 If I Had a Hammer, I’d Hammer in the Morning: Woodworking
Who doesn’t need a functional birdhouse or a new storage bench? Maybe you should get a little sawdust on your shoes and get started on a woodworking project. Tap into your inner carpenter, slip on some safety glasses, and check out some of the kits available that will help you learn the basics before you graduate to more complicated designs.
Once you pick up that hammer and feel the satisfaction of creating something that is both tangible and functional, you may find yourself joining a community that is rich in tradition and community support. Among the makers of things, woodworkers are known for their attention to detail and problem-solving skills as each woodworking project comes with its own set of details to smooth out.
#12 Feely Groovy? Tie Dye is Making a Comeback
Tie dyed clothing is no longer the exclusive purview of flower children, and with a few tips you will be able to tie dye virtually anything that is in your closet. Have a shirt that fits well but is just a little … blah? With items you likely already have in your cabinets and closets, tie dye is a great way to refresh your summer wardrobe without ever leaving the house.
Tie dying is also a great project for a scout troop, a slumber party, or even a school field day. Once you have tie dyed a shirt or two, you will have the requisite know how to instruct others in their tie dye projects. What better way to have fun at an activity that is messy enough to draw in the most adventurous crafter and rewarding enough to appeal to anyone who appreciates a bit of color in their lives.
Which New Crafting Hobby is Right for You?
With all of the projects that are possible, how do you pick the one that is right for you? Perhaps you have spent a lot of time bullet journaling potential projects, sketching out detailed plans, or just taking notes on what you wish you were doing. The most important thing to remember when choosing your next crafting hobby is to pick something that appeals to you in terms of complexity, affordability, and exactly what type of art you wish to create!