Are you looking for creative hobbies to try out? There’s no better time than now, while we’re spending more time at home.
I’m a huge fan of creative hobbies: I fill my evenings and weekends with art, singing, guitar, scrapbooking, graphics design, making fonts… yeah I’m one of *those* people. I’ve never been able to stick with one hobby or passion. You might be the same as me, in which case feel free to try out many of these fun hobby ideas!
Why You Need a Creative Hobby
Creativity is good for you. I’d argue that it’s essential for wellbeing. A creative or artistic hobby helps your brain function and connects your feelings with your body. Do you feel wonderful after a good singing session, or after journaling your feelings? Me too.
The best part about having a creative outlet is that it’ll give you some “me time”. Cultivate those precious moments, where you get into the flow state, and stop focusing on the outside world. It’s excellent for self-care, mindfulness, and relaxation. If you struggle with saying no to people, here’s your excuse: “Sorry I can’t, I’m *insert hobby here* tonight”. You’re welcome!
Oh, and did I mention that having creative hobbies is also an excellent way to improve your skills? Maybe you’ll be able to sell those skills and start a side hustle. Maybe that’s why you’re here. Fair enough!
I will counter that a little bit by saying that you really do need something just for you. Enjoy the process, and don’t worry too much about whether you’re “good” at your creative outlet! Remember that no one needs to see your art or poetry if you don’t want them to. I share some of my art and music, but there are some things (like my terrible hand embroidery) that I keep entirely to myself.
“But what if I’m not creative?”
Whenever people say that they’re not creative, I just don’t believe them. Every human is creative, it’s a natural part of us! If you’ve ever been told you’re not a creative person, I strongly disagree. We’re all creative in different ways. Besides, you can’t please everyone. I’m sure some people would hate my music or art, but I like it! Use your creative energy for yourself, for wellbeing and joy.
Anyway, if you’re bored at home and want something to do, get ready. Here is a whopping list of 50 creative hobbies to try this year at home. Yes, fifty. Believe it or not, I actually had to curate this list down, because there are just so many creative things to do at home. Whether you’re a professional creative or a beginner, you’ll find a new artistic hobby here.
50 Creative Hobbies To Try At Home This Year
I’ve organised these creative hobby ideas into sections, based on how similar they are to each other. For example, hobbies that involve tech equipment, or plants! There are a few random fun ones at the end that I couldn’t categorise, just in case they take your fancy.
I really do hope you find a new creative outlet, or this reminds you of something you loved as a child and want to try again. It’s never too late to nourish your creativity or learn a new skill… welcome to my ultimate beginner’s guide!
Creative Hobbies Involving Paper
Fancy yourself the next Monet? Why not! Maybe you want to try watercolours or get fancy with oil paints. You could paint portraits, your pets, nature, still life, or something abstract. Anything goes. Painting can be incredibly therapeutic; there’s a reason art therapy exists.
I’m always drawing or doodling in my free time, while I’m on the phone or watching Netflix. I’m not particularly good at it, but drawing is a great activity for mindfulness, and it forces me to take breaks from social media. Besides, all you need is a pencil and some paper. It’s very economical!
If you don’t fancy learning to draw or paint, you could always start with some good ol’ colouring-in. Nowadays you can get absolutely beautiful adult colouring books. They’re perfect for absent-minded doodling, or moments when you don’t feel like doing anything else.
I have several colouring books, and I find myself drawn to them when I’m feeling anxious and want something to do with my hands. It helps! My favourites are the ones by Johanna Basford.
Origami is the beautiful Japanese art of paper folding. The great thing about origami is that all you need is paper and your hands. Use your old schoolwork or junk mail if you have to! Once you learn the basics, you’ll be making swans in no time.
This is one of the oldest arts and crafts in existence, supposedly originating from East Siberian tomb art! Decoupage is the art of applying a layer of paper cutouts to various surfaces. It’s simple and fun and it can be used in many different ways, from decorating furniture to creating book covers.
Yep, like writing in a diary. Journaling is a brilliant way to reflect on life and get out your feelings. I often find that writing down my thoughts, worries, or even a to-do list helps me to push it out of my mind.
Journaling can be an art form of itself: think of all those famous diarists like Samuel Pepys. Okay, maybe you won’t be the next Samuel Pepys… I hope not anyway, because I live in London and we do not want another Great Fire. I digress.
Since I treated myself to iPad Mini as a reward for finishing my Master’s degree, I’ve been creating a digital scrapbook using the Zinnia app. I still love a traditional scrapbook too; I’ve completed three scrapbooks filled with memories from my childhood and university years.
You could even make an ‘Adventure Book‘ inspired by the Pixar film UP!
Similar to scrapbooking, collaging is an art form that involves curating many elements into a single piece. The difference here is that scrapbooking usually focuses on creating a book of memories, whereas collage art can be a standalone piece, and might not be related to your memories at all.
As with scrapbooking, collage art can be created physically, with art supplies, random things you’ve collected, or it can be digital.
Lettering and Calligraphy
The difference between hand lettering and calligraphy can be a bit confusing. Essentially, lettering is where you essentially ‘draw’ letters, often with a brush pen, whereas calligraphy is a fancy writing technique, usually involving a fountain pen.
It takes a lot of practice, but once you learn the basics you’ll be able to create beautiful brush lettering or calligraphy art! I’ve followed some excellent tutorials on Skillshare to improve my lettering recently.
Make cute greetings cards to send your loved ones on special occasions, or just because!
Here’s a little cheeky plug for my own work: I’ve created a collection of greetings cards available exclusively with Thortful.
If you’ve always wanted a Cricut for papercrafts, this is your sign to give it a go!
Poetry, Essays, Short Stories, Fiction. There are so many options for unleashing your creative writing ability. Why not take a creative writing class on Skillshare?
Share your creative writing on your own blog, write on Medium, or self-publish with Amazon Kindle! Feel free to check out my blogging tools page for everything I use to manage this blog if you’re thinking about sharing your writing online.
Creative Hobbies Using Tech
Nowadays we can all work on our photography using a smartphone. Follow tutorials online, read a photography book, or just get out there and start snapping away.
If you want to get more technical, it might be worth investing in a DSLR and learning how to use different lenses… or even try out film cameras. I’ve enjoyed taking Lomography photographs in the past, I just need to get myself some more 35mm film.
Have you considered making entertaining videos, documentaries, family films, music videos or even full-length movies as a creative hobby? It’s more accessible than ever, with most smartphone cameras featuring the ability to film in HD or 4K.
Photo Editing and Photo Manipulation
This is truly an art form in itself, separate from photography. Lightroom is excellent for editing photos, and Photoshop is the best software for photo manipulation and more complex editing. I use both almost every day for various projects and for fun.
Feel free to just play around with a photo editing program if you like, but I do recommend following YouTube tutorials or Skillshare classes to learn the basic skills. I taught myself how to use both Photoshop and Lightroom as a teenager by following online tutorials. It’s a very useful skill to have!
You don’t even need to be a photographer for this, just grab some free stock photos from Unsplash and edit them to your heart’s content.
You can get both Photoshop and Lightroom on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
Graphic Design is a form of visual communication, often combining elements like illustration, photography, and typography into a final piece. It can be both functional and artistic at the same time, e.g. product design, album cover art, magazine layouts, or festival posters!
Feel free to start out on Canva, it’s a very simple platform for putting together posters, social media graphics etc. For advanced graphic design, you’ll want to use software like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. For my graphics, I use Photoshop, simply because that’s the tool I know how to use. I’m considering learning how to use InDesign too because it offers different features.
Making Fonts and Typography
I recommend watching Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix. There’s an entire episode about typography and how important it is! I found the whole series very inspiring.
Vector art is a form of digital illustration that can be scaled to any size without loss of quality.
A vector image is composed of an array or sequence of points, typically in two dimensions with the same number per dimension. The points are joined by lines and curves called paths. These paths are either filled or not filled, depending on their function.
It sounds a bit complex, but once you learn the basics of vector art, you’ll pick it up in no time.
Make your art move!
Animation can really bring your drawings to life. If you use a digital art app like Procreate, you can easily animate your layers to create a moving scene.
Animation can be as simple or as complex as you like. Start with the basics, for example animating some falling rain in a landscape, then study how to animate characters if you want to! Alternatively, you could try out stop motion animation.
I’ve been playing about with Float by Gal Shir (an incredibly talented digital artist) recently: it’s a really easy web app for making your digital artwork move.
If animation isn’t your thing, why not create some physical stickers to sell? Platforms like Redbubble make it easy to sell your designs as stickers: just upload your work and you’re done.
DIY and Crafting Creative Hobbies
I’m by no means a pro at sewing, but I’ve become quite proficient in fixing my old clothes and adding fun details like patches. I usually sew by hand, but I got a beginners sewing machine a while ago, mainly for hemming trousers! Sewing is such a useful skill to have: not only for fixing and tailoring clothes, but also as a creative pursuit too.
There’s nothing like the joy of having your outfit complimented by someone, then responding “thanks, I made it!”. Plus you can add pockets to your skirts and dresses… if you’re a woman, you’ll understand the struggle of finding clothes with decent-sized pockets!
Refashioning is the art of taking old clothes and turning them into new ones. It can be a really fun way to get creative with your wardrobe, as well as save money on clothing!
A really easy way to get started is to add patches to your denim. You can check out my denim jacket with patches and pins for inspiration if you like. It’s the most personalised clothing item I own, I add to it all the time.
Like refashioning, but with furniture! If I had the space, I’d love to try out furniture upcycling. The closest I’ve ever got to upcycling was painting some roses on my chest of drawers last year…
It’s amazing what some people have created from ugly old furniture. Plus it’s much better for the environment to improve something you already own (or picked up second-hand) compared to buying new furniture items.
Browse Pinterest for many brilliant upcycling ideas and tutorials!
Yep, knitting is still popular. I enjoyed learning to knit at school, but it’s been so long I’ve probably forgotten how to do it. If I ever find the time, I’d like to try out knitting again and make myself a cute scarf!
The great thing about knitting is that you can do it anywhere. Take your knitting on the train, to the park, or do it while you watch true crime shows on Netflix…
Crochet is a needlework technique where you use a hook to create loops of yarn or thread, then connect a series of loops.
Once you’ve created your first granny square, you can connect them to make scarves, blankets or cardigans.
Macrame is a type of craft that involves knotting yarn, cord or twine in order to create decorative patterns.
You can use macrame to decorate light fixtures, plant pots, create wall hangings… there are so many options I couldn’t possibly list them all. Get yourself some macrame twine, learn some knots, then create a cute decor piece!
Have you ever wanted to make your own quilt? It’s a great way to upcycle pieces of old fabric or clothes you don’t use any more. Alternatively, you could purchase fabrics that match to create a quilt around a specific theme or pattern.
You could make a quilt filled with memories, from concert or festival t-shirts, or sports jerseys!
Embroidery hoops are all the rage right now, and I can see why. They can vary from simple to very complex, and it’s a great mindful craft hobby you can pick up and do whenever you like.
I tried out embroidery last year, with a lovely botanical hoop from LoveCrafts. I featured the one pictured above in my blog post about 5 creative crafts to do at home, so give that a read if you want to find out more!
Cross-stitch is a form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a pattern are used to form a picture. Cross stitch is a very popular type of embroidery, and you’ll only need to learn basic sewing skills to try it out.
You can get inexpensive cross-stitch kits that comes with everything you need to create a lovely design.
Yes, we’re bringing this back. I love a good tie-dye, with all the rainbow colours. Did anyone else try this at school? Follow this simple tie-dye tutorial from Wikihow to create a unique psychedelic t-shirt!
Felt craft is a type of textile art that uses wool, yarn, and fabric scraps to create objects. They can be used as decorations or they can be functional items like napkin rings. Have you ever thought about making cute little toys from felt?
This hobby can be as simple or as complex as you like. You’ll need a fair amount of patience when it comes to jewellery making because it can be quite fiddly!
You can even get beginner jewellery making kits that come with everything you need, like the rose gold charm bracelet I made a few years ago.
Polymer Clay Art
Polymer clay became a huge crafting trend in 2020! It’s so satisfying to watch people creating with polymer clay on TikTok.
Polymer clay is a material that can be used as an alternative to clay or wax. What exactly is polymer clay? It consists of polyvinyl chloride, oil, water, white glue and pigment powder or liquid colourant. The ingredients are mixed together until the desired consistency is reached (thick) then rolled out on a surface such as wax paper with a rolling pin. Cut it into shapes (you can use cookie cutters if you like!), then bake it.
I wish I had a pottery wheel at home! I really enjoyed taking pottery classes at school, I loved how messy and tactile it was. There’s just something about working with your hands I guess.
Have you ever thought about taking a pottery class? Why not!
Have you ever thought about trying candle making? It could be the perfect creative hobby for you. Choosing scents with essential oils, colours, moulds, and jars sounds like a lot of fun. You could make some really unique candles.
Make some soap!
If candles aren’t your thing, you could always try making soap. The techniques and supplies needed are quite similar to candle making… essential oils for scent, moulds to set them in etc. In fact, you can get a book on candle and soap making, so this one is a two-in-one hobby!
Creative Hobbies To Do With Plants!
Fancy pretending to be a florist? Same. Give flower arranging a go! You can use real or faux flowers for this hobby, making it accessible to those who don’t have beautiful flowers growing in their garden (like me).
Make a Terrarium
A terrarium is a miniature ecosystem that can be placed on your desk or by the window. The idea behind this project is to provide a balance of water, air and nutrients for plants to live in an enclosed space.
You can make your own terrarium using old jars or containers with clear glass so you can see all the different layers inside! Make sure to choose plants that thrive together.
I made a terrarium a few years ago in a workshop, and I really enjoyed the experience. Terrariums make lovely home decor too!
If you don’t have any garden space (like me), you can always grow plants and herbs indoors!
I have a growing collection of cacti, succulents, a bonsai tree, and other random plants filling up our kitchen… I hope to have my own garden one day.
Make sure to read my post about how to create a witch garden, featuring 10 useful herbs to grow.
Flower pressing is a technique where flowers are pressed flat between two boards and placed under heavy weight. The idea is that the flower’s oils will be released into the paper, leaving behind an imprint of the petals in their original shape.
Collecting flowers is a lovely way to spend more time outdoors, or you could preserve flowers you’ve been gifted for the memories!
Flower pressing is something I loved during my childhood, and I’ve been meaning to get back into it. You can even create some beautiful framed art using your pressed flowers.
You can pick up a flower press (they’re cheap), or use heavy books instead. I’ve read that it’s possible to dry out flowers in a microwave too, but you need to be really careful if you try that!
Creative Hobbies That Involve Your Body
There are so many artistic hobbies that involve your body! I couldn’t possibly list them all, so here are a few of my favourites.
- Dancing. Get yourself moving, and try out a new form of dance. Join a beginners dance class, or just dance freely around your home. Whatever suits you!
- Makeup. Try recreating an editorial or vintage look, paint your face, follow a YouTube tutorial… The possibilities are endless.
- Nail Art. This is another fun hobby that can be as simple or complex as you like. Check out my Alice in Wonderland nails DIY for a really easy nail art idea.
- Playing a musical instrument and singing. Music is my all-time favourite hobby: I love to sing and play the guitar and piano. I played violin as a child, and would like to pick it up again someday! It’s never too late to learn a musical instrument – there are many online lessons and apps that can help.
- Cosplay. This is such a fun hobby, involving many different creative pursuits. Sewing, makeup, design, photography, even acting if you want! Cosplay has become huge in recent years, and I can see why. It’s a great way to get involved with a community, and share your love for fantasy worlds and your favourite TV and film universes. Does wearing my Kigurumi count as cosplay?!
More Creative Hobbies
I love to bake, particularly when I’m stressed. You can find so many easy recipes to try on Pinterest, I’m always finding new baking ideas on there.
Throughout lockdown, I’ve been loving my Baked-In subscription box (I’ll write a review soon). If you’re in the UK, it’s a great way to try your hand at baking, with the exact ingredient amounts sent in a little box each month. Get £5 off Baked-In with my referral link.
Why not learn the art of bread baking on Masterclass?
Learn how to play Chess!
Have you seen The Queen’s Gambit? Everyone and their Mum have been working on their chess skills after watching it.
Best of all, you don’t even need to own a chessboard: you can download a free app to practice.
Building with Lego is definitely a fun hobby for creatives. They’re great for helping children develop their imagination, but plenty of adults play with Lego too. There is no limit to what you could build with Lego.
Don’t underrate a good puzzle! They’re a great way to keep the mind active. Puzzles also make for an excellent solo or group activity that can be done at any age. As long as you have the right puzzle, it will provide hours of entertainment and a creative outlet for your mind.
I probably don’t have the patience for working with little figurines and tiny details… but you might! If you have children, this might be a fun creative activity to do together. Why not paint some dinosaurs? Everyone loves dinosaurs right?!
If you’re into Dungeons and Dragons or Warhammer, why not get creative and paint your own miniatures?
Interior Design and Home Decor
One of the most rewarding creative activities, in my opinion, is DIY home decor and home renovations. Why? You get to create a space that you love and live in it! I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on decorating my bedroom, and I’m glad I did. There’s just something about curating the perfect aesthetic for yourself.
Here are some easy student bedroom decor ideas if you’re low on budget and space. You could start a huge renovation project like my Mum did in 2020 (she completely remodelled her kitchen), or you could create small crafted home decor objects or art pieces for your home.
The benefits of having a creative hobby
If I still haven’t convinced you to try a creative hobby in 2021, here’s a quick list of reasons you should:
- Creative hobbies help reduce stress levels.
- Creativity gives you an outlet for your emotions.
- A creative hobby can get you into the flow state, where nothing else in the world matters and you feel ‘in the zone’.
- Improving your skills is always a good thing!
- Your creative hobby could become a side hustle, or even a career if you want it to.
- You can join a community and make friends with similar interests.
- You could make wonderful handmade gifts for your loved ones. I love creating and receiving DIY gifts: they just feel more sentimental and thoughtful than buying gifts.
Where To Learn Creative Hobby Skills
Finally, I just wanted to leave you with a few resources for learning creative skills.
I’ve always been a big fan of YouTube tutorials as a starting point, and books! Recently I have learned quite a few tips and tricks from TikTok, it’s particularly helpful for short Procreate tutorials. Don’t forget to browse Pinterest too.
Over the past year, I’ve also been taking quite a few online classes and courses to help improve my creative skills and pass my time during the lockdown. Here are the three main online learning platforms I recommend, and a quick comparison of their features.
- From $10.75 monthly for the Creator Pass (on the annual plan).
- Live classes can be watched for free when they’re ‘on air’.
- 1900+ classes available.
- 700+ instructors, including many experts: “best-selling authors, Grammy, Pulitzer, Oscar winners”.
- Categories include Photo, Video, Money, Life, Craft, Music, Art and Design.
- Offers a free two-week trial.
- $19.99 / £14 per month, or $99 / £84 for a year.
- Students with .edu email addresses can apply for 50% off.
- A huge catalogue of 22,000+ courses and classes.
- You can learn animation, photo and video, lifestyle, writing, crafts, business, and much more.
I wish you all the best in your creative pursuits, and I hope you found a great hobby to try out here!
P.S. if you’re in need of some self-care, make sure to grab my free printable featuring self-care activities to do at home.