23 Cool & Creative Hobbies to Do at Home (That You Likely Haven’t Tried Yet)

published Mar 10, 2024
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Clare O'Connell UK House Tour - Bedroom

For the duration of my twenties, life outside work and grad school revolved around comedy. Whether channeling group mind with my improv classmates or throwing together slapdash weekly sketch shows, I was never far from a theater. I never pursued comedy professionally, but I loved the creative outlet.

These days, I’m in need of a new hobby. I’ve explored more than a handful of fun things to do at home, hoping to find one or two activities to develop and refine over time — and a few have slowly evolved into hobbies. It’s been a delight to have a new practice that brings me joy and keeps me cozy at home. Whether you’re a homebody in need of a creative outlet or are looking for ways to save money on going out, here are some of my favorite hobbies to do at home

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1. Pick Up Cross-Stitching

Cross-stitching is all the rage right now, and happens to be a very accessible hobby to dive into. Once you get the hang of the art form, there are so many unique ways to add cross-stitching to your home. (If you’re looking for a similar but more free-form hobby, try your hand at these embroidery patterns.) 

2. Experiment with Oil Pastels

My mom recently found the oil pastels I used for high school art classes, and I’ve had a blast getting back into the pastel habit! This affordable medium can be quite forgiving for newbies, with bright colors and immediate results. As an impatient artist who’d rather produce bold markings than spend time intricately blending colors, oil pastels are particularly effective.

3. Create a Mythical Map

As I’ve been getting into Dungeons and Dragons, I’ve become more interested in mapmaking. This creator shares tips and tricks of the hand-drawn cartography trade. I’m looking forward to making maps for my loved ones’ children’s nurseries. 

Credit: RossHelen/ Shutterstock

4. Spend Some Time Pet Training

I have a very silly corgi at home, and spending time with her is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day. If you have a pet, consider dedicating some of your shared time to learning tricks, introducing and reinforcing good behavior, and providing enrichment. Your furry (or scaly?) friends will love your new hobby!

5. Get into Wreath-Making

My aunt Nancy is a wreath-making machine, and I’ve long admired her elaborate arrangements. I refer to myself as “Ain’t Nancy” because my wreath attempts have mainly resulted in laughable, pathetic, and/or concerning end products. (Although my monstrous crafting has never stopped me from showcasing my Wreath Witherspoon on my front door!) There’s a wreath for every season and occasion, meaning endless opportunities to hone your skills!

6. Deep Clean Your Home

One of my all-time favorite hobbies to do at home is the same activity that keeps the house in motion: cleaning. Some would argue that basic home maintenance doesn’t belong in the same category as knitting or solving puzzles. I beg to differ! Taking care of my home and belongings is soothing, and there’s nothing more satisfying than restoring the baseboards or a tarnished trinket to its original glory.

7. Design Graphics with Canva

I use my Canva subscription to create anything and everything: stationery, party invitations, holiday cards, emergency contact lists, WiFi login signs, and pet-sitting guides, to name a few. Consider what upcoming occasions require designed print materials or which print or digital resources you could use, and get designing.

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8. Document Your Life

I’m in the middle of sorting through all of my photo boxes and those I inherited from my late grandmother. It’s a lengthy process — not just due to the volume of photographs, but also because I’m relishing every moment with these memories. Activities like organizing photographs, putting together albums, digitizing photos, or creating scrapbooks can be paired with journaling or penning a memoir. This hobby can be just for you, or you can share it with your loved ones (or save them for future generations to inherit!) 

9. Mix Cocktails and Mocktails

My friend Kevin is a fantastic mixologist and even crafted a custom cocktail for my wedding. I’m always amazed by his bar cart of ingredients for both cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Experimenting with tastes and testing out classic and lesser-known drinks alike has been a source of joy and pride for Kevin (and I’ve loved sipping the results).

10. Upcycle a Dollhouse

I’ve become obsessed with TikTok creators who share their dollhouse makeover journey. Is it a niche hobby? Sure! But a project like this, when completed meticulously over weeks and months, can be incredibly gratifying. And even though I don’t have children of my own, I have plenty of friends with little ones who could make use of my carefully renovated, beloved dollhouse — even if the kiddos immediately destroy my handiwork.

Credit: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

11. Compose a Newsletter

If you love to write and stay connected with loved ones, and have a knack for curating a list of online oddities, you might consider developing a newsletter. I subscribe to several of my friends’ newsletters, and I enjoy reading their updates, relishing in their creativity, and having a special way to take part in their lives. 

12. Paint by Numbers

I have a handful of friends who swear by paint-by-numbers kits to manage their stress and even cope with neurodivergence. Plenty of modern kits offer aesthetic designs that are ideal for framing or gifting. But with crafting, it’s all about the journey, not the destination! 

Credit: Getty Images/ Maskot

13. Start Reading a Book Series

Right now, everyone I know is gobbling up series like Outlander and A Court of Thorns and Roses. While I tend to read more nonfiction and memoirs, I love the idea of slowly making my way through a long series, setting aside special blocks of time to curl up with the next book in the series and lose myself in the story. 

14. Make Holiday Ornaments

Whenever the holidays roll around, I’m already too far behind on planning to focus on reinvigorating my ornament collection. But I love making DIY ornaments for my tree and as gifts for others. An ongoing ornament crafting habit will make sure your tree is dazzling come December. And this isn’t just for winter — DIYing decor for any holiday puts me in the seasonal spirit no matter the time of year.

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15. Explore Skincare 

Serums, face masks, and gua sha aren’t reserved just for self-care or physical health. The practice of caring for one’s skin can also be joyful and engaging. Test out new skincare products, make your own products, and savor the time spent tending to your beautiful face. 

16. Arrange Dried Florals

I’m always amazed at how dried floral arrangements can be as radiant as fresh bouquets. Arranging dried flowers preserved under glass domes or cloches lets you act as nature’s architect. You have the freedom to utilize vertical space and include accents like gemstones, moss, and driftwood to construct a gorgeous floral ecosystem. They’re satisfying to create and visually stunning, making for an all-around delightful at-home hobby.

17. Get into Cosplay 

If you’ve got sewing skills (or are looking to develop some!) and have a devotion to any fictional characters, cosplay, aka “costume play,” is a creative way to engage those interests. Identifying a character, designing their costume, assembling the pieces, constructing the look, and then showcasing your work is an activity you can share with countless other cosplayers! 

18. Listen to Albums

My husband is a music-lover who enjoys listening to albums all the way through. I’m more of a shuffled playlist girl, but I’ve grown to love the experience of sitting down and enjoying an album in full, as it was likely meant to be experienced. Peek through your record collection or pull up a new-to-you artist or genre on Spotify and see where this musical journey takes you.

19. Learn a New Language

From your own couch, you can access YouTube tutorials, language apps, and other downloadable software to help you learn a new language. Whether focusing on a language that you’ll use frequently or perhaps the language of your family of origin, the benefits of learning a second language are practical and rewarding. 

20. Paint Miniatures or Figurines

My DnD Dungeon Master James recently hosted our party for a figurine painting session and it was oddly soothing. If tabletop RPG miniature painting isn’t exactly your brand of nerdy, I’ve found inspiration in the artwork of this creator who transforms Precious Moments figurines and another who upcycles these Willow Tree figurines into witchy miniatures.

Credit: Oliver Colthart/Shutterstock

21. Make Candles 

Channel your inner homesteader and get into the candle making groove! I love this hobby in particular because it’s so useful and practical. You can thrift and stockpile various vessels to utilize as holders for your melted wax creations.

22. Plant a Vegetable Garden

Whether planting vegetable seeds in your own yard or germinating veggies along your apartment windowsill, cultivating a vegetable garden is a hobby that requires diligence, patience, and an open mind. But the satisfaction of watching your veggies sprout (and dunking them in ranch for a delicious snack!) is worth the time and care.

23. Combine Watercolor and Technical Pen 

Watercolor painting is soothing, but can take a great deal of time and instruction to master. One introductory way to create art with watercolor is to combine the paints with technical pen sketches. This use of mixed media is a great way to develop your own sketch or doodle sensibilities.