The world of hobbies goes beyond the Sunday afternoon’s of stamp collecting, a hobby you enjoy can help improve talents or realise passions. While it can be argued that nothing beats sitting down and reading a good book, there are plenty of things out there to try which can even be hands-on. The perfect present can be made from crafting items such as homemade candles or beauty products. Don’t fear that you’re not skilled enough, the main joy of trying a hobby is finding something to play with that can relax you or take your mind off things.
Below is a list of hobbies that you can try out:
Creative hobbies are the classic ones, which can range from sewing to paper craft. The first and most simple step into a creative hobby requires buying some paints, paper and brushes. Watercolour sets can be a great way to start getting into painting, as they are easy to use and relatively cheap. Any art shop or even local stationary shop will have some watercolours and brushes. The next step is chosing your subject, it’s best to paint from life at the start to get a sense of what shapes and colours you enjoy experimenting with. From there feel free to get more abstract or conceptual releasing your inner Mondrian.
Other possible paints are acrylic and oil. Acrylic is also a good choice for beginners and can be applied more thickly. Oil paints cost a bit more and require practice to get the hang of, but once mastered is an extremely enjoyable medium to use. You also don’t have to rely on paint brushes! Anything can be used to put paint to paper, such as ping pong balls and the base of old glass bottles. Whatever junk you have lying around the house may come in handy.
On the inside of antique books there is often a page dedicated to a print of marbled ink, these mesmerizing prints are surprisingly easy to create yourself. Not only is it a calming activity but it can be great for making your own cards or home decorations. A number of tutorials can be found on youtube or websites. Marbling sets can also be picked up from art shops but if you plan to make the hobby more longterm you can buy the parts yourself. What is needed:
- Oil pants
- Turpentine (Keep this away from children and always use with an open window)
- Uncoated paper
- Baking tray or any other shallow rectangular tub.
- Rubber gloves
- Items with which you can mix the paint – old combs, tooth picks or tips of paint brushes.
You then pour a little water in the tray, about an inch. Mix your oil paints with a little turpentine (wearing gloves is advised), and the ration is a teaspoon of turpentine for every half a teaspoon of oil paint. Pour your paints in the water, and mix away until patterns you like are formed in the water. Lay a piece of paper gently across the water and once it is completely flat across the top quickly remove. Lay flat to dry and voila, you have a marble design.
This can be all manners of things, and is a fantastic activity for kids as well as adults. Papier-Mâché is used in primary schools for good reason, it is easy and relaxing. There’s a lot on online about how to begin Papier-Mâché from creating the pulp to possible designs.
Paper can also be used to make three-d sculptures, with a number of videos on youtube showing how to make honeycomb structures and paper vases. Origami is also an excellent hobby and there are more than enough brilliant origami folders out there to learn from. You can begin with the site papercraftsmag.com, offering extensive projects and downloads.
A step up from Papier-Mâché, sculpting can be done at home or in workshops. Lots of places have pottery workshops or other sculpting workshops with equipment that can be so readily brought for home. Unless you plan on buying a ‘firing’ oven. However, for home sculpting, oil-based modelling clay can be easily brought. It may not appear to be the most refined and difficult for detailed work, but it is easily workable and stays soft whilst being manipulated.
Whistle while you whittle, there are all kinds of high end equipment you can purchase for advanced wooodwork but you can also begin at basics. At home you can make wooden candle holders or simple boxes which you could later paint and decorate. A drill and shaping tools are essential items for anyone wishing to begin woodwork. Local hardware stores are more than happy to help in advising beginners so that you can swiftly start to make your own furniture and abandon Ikea for good.
Linocuts are a perfect harmony between sculpting and painting, they require a focus and detail which may not result in a 3-dimensional object but you can create deep lines and depth. The choice of how deep you cut into the linoleum affects the shade and detail of the picture you wish to print. Art shops and craft shops will supply the necessary linoleum sheets and tools, from there it is up to you. The beauty of linocuts is that even the most simple design can come out looking incredible, the resulting prints can be great gifts.
Finally, if the creative crafts aren’t so appealing for you then there are many practical options to take up. Become a master of chess of start learning a language. Not only are there websites for such activities but also books that can be picked up at second hand shops, following that it is a case of practice makes perfect. Making your own soap and candles is a skill anyone can pick up with a bit of patience. the foundation of both these is picking essential oils and scents that you like. Homemade candles can even be made from using leftover candle wax from old candles. Fortnum & Mason’s of London began on the idea of selling left over candlewax from Queen Anne’s household.
Most importantly make sure to have fun with which ever hoppy you select and not to turn it into a chore.