Chances are you haven’t given much through to finding a new hobby or what excites you since you were a child. If so, you’re not alone — countless people enter their adult lives only to leave behind many things that made their lives fun and interesting in the first place.
But there’s good news: no matter how old you are or how long it’s been since you did something creative, it’s never too late to start a new hobby. If you’re ready to choose a new hobby and start pursuing it, here’s a list of exciting, useful ideas to help you get started.
Whether you had a fascination with art as a child, or you’ve always had a knack for small repairs, or you have no idea where to begin at all, at least one new hobby on this list should speak to you. Let’s get started!
When anyone mentions art, this is what probably comes to mind. Painting is an old and highly respected art form, but it’s not just for prestigious museums and high-minded artists. It’s also a medium through which countless ordinary people express their thoughts and feelings visually.
The thought of trying to paint as a new hobby may be more intimidating than exciting, however. After all, don’t you need to attend a fancy art school to be a painter?
The short answer is, no, absolutely not! You can learn to paint, and you can become quite good at it, whether you go to school for it or not. Even if you fall in love with painting and decide you want to pursue an advanced education in art, you will most likely need some independent experience and an existing portfolio in order to have your application accepted by a school. And if you do choose to pursue painting as more than just a hobby, online art competitions can be a great way to acquire fans and build an audience. Many of these competitions even offer very valuable prizes for winners.
While a detailed guide to learning to paint would go beyond the scope of this article, there’s at least one rule to keep in mind as you begin your research: above all else, paint for the experience of painting. Don’t do it just for the end result of having a masterpiece. Yes, if you apply yourself and keep at it, you will produce some absolutely stunning artwork. But that will probably come after at least a few months of careful practice. If the only thing you’re looking forward to is a finished masterpiece, what will you have to motivate you to push through the practice that comes first?
So whatever you do, try to enjoy the experience of doing it, even if you can’t do it perfectly yet. This applies to all hobbies, of course, but painters tend to feel more pressure than other hobbyists to excel. Don’t let that pressure get to you. If the only person besides you to ever see your art is your cat, that’s okay. And if you want to sell your art someday, even if it doesn’t look conventional or like anyone else’s, you can do that, too. Don’t give in to the pressure to be a certain way, or worse, to hide your work because it’s “not good enough.”
Maybe painting seems a bit too formal and structured for you, but you still feel artistically inclined. Well, there are lots of artsy things you can do without trying to make high art. Why not try crafts?
And no, arts and crafts are not just for kids! A new hobby is supposed to be done for the enjoyment of it, like a form of therapy. If you feel happiest or most relaxed with your fingers covered in paint while making a messy masterpiece, or using a hot glue gun to paste popsicle sticks together in fun shapes, then go for it!
Crafts aren’t necessarily just for fun, either. For dozens of creative people on platforms like Etsy, it’s a full-time income. You would be surprised by all the things that can be sold, even when they wouldn’t seem that difficult to make yourself.
Of course, there are as many types of crafts as there are crafters. Good places to look for inspiration are Etsy and Pinterest. Maybe you’ll use tiles or crushed shells from the ocean to make mosaics. Maybe you’ll make sculptures using recycled metal or plastic. Or maybe you’ll use stickers, yarn, and other crafting materials to make quirky designs for phone cases. When it comes to arts and crafts, there’s no end to the possibilities.
Make Your Own Fine Jewelry
Jewelry making could almost be considered the perfect combination of fine art and crafting. Buying jewelry and accessories can be prohibitively expensive, but when you make them yourself, you get to choose exactly what materials you use in them, and they don’t have to cost as much. Not only that, but when you design your own jewelry, you get to customize it perfectly to fit your tastes, personality, and wardrobe!
If you think that making jewelry sounds impossibly complicated, then chances are you’re thinking it requires advanced metalworking skills. The truth is there are many different styles of jewelry that you can make, and it doesn’t have to be any more costly or complicated than you want it to be. And we’re not talking about cheap-looking plastic beads on thread, either: you can make beautiful jewelry using special types of wire, string, glass beads, and much, much more.
A good way to get started in jewelry-making is by picking out a jewelry kit at an arts and crafts store. Depending on what kinds of materials you want to use, there should be lots of different kits available. These kits should come with basic instructions and ideas for how to make jewelry of your own, but once you get started, your only limit will be your imagination.
After you’ve experimented with basic jewelry making with a jewelry kit, you might decide you want to take your new hobby to the next level. Look for tutorials on YouTube for making more advanced types of jewelry, search the web for online courses, and check your favorite bookstore for books about jewelry construction and design. Not only will these resources provide you with valuable design inspiration, but they’ll teach you important skills and tricks of the trade that you’ll need to know to master advanced jewelry making. Besides being a truly fulfilling hobby, making jewelry could turn into a lucrative business idea. Before you know it, you may be running your own jewelry company!
Another new hobby idea that anyone can do is designing graphic tee shirts. Designing your own tee shirt can be a fun and engaging activity, and you don’t need a lot of skills to do it well. You can put a great design together using free software on your computer, then outsource the printing and manufacturing to one of the many print on demand companies selling custom tee shirts online. With heat pressed tee shirts and a hot iron, you could even do the printing yourself from home, although you would want special tools if you were to do it professionally.
To create your own tee shirt design, you should start by deciding what statement you want your shirt to make. Anytime a custom graphic tee is designed, it’s for the purpose of making a specific statement. Brands and businesses use tee-shirts to promote their products and services, while artists and individuals might use tee-shirts to show off their work or their personality. Maybe you want to design shirts with positive messages on them, or maybe you want to put jokes on tee-shirts to make people laugh. You might even have a photo or graphic you want to print onto a shirt — just make sure you own the rights to it first.
Once you know what purpose your shirt will serve, and you have an idea of what the graphic to print on it will be, it’ll be time to choose a color scheme. The colors you use will help make the statement: using only one color could imply simplicity or single-minded purpose; using red and black could suggest rage or power, and using a rainbow of colors usually implies harmony and diversity. Think about the way your colors will contrast with one another, as well as with the material of the shirt.
Next, you will use computer software to finish the design. Depending on how professional you want your shirt to look, you could completely overhaul the design in Photoshop. If you don’t want to deal with the complex software and don’t care too much about quality, you could always use a hand-drawn or painted image without editing it. Just make sure the size and resolution are appropriate for printing.
There’s a lot you can learn about designing and manufacturing graphic tee shirts, but it can be a highly fulfilling new hobby. And, like most of the other suggestions on this list, it can be turned into a very profitable business, too. You might want to research color theory, graphic design, and clothing product design as you create your shirt. Even if all you do is study basic tutorials on YouTube, you could learn a lot about making great tee shirt designs, which would dramatically improve your final product.
Decorate Your Own Custom Lawn Furniture
From vinyl Adirondack chairs to beautiful wooden benches, painting and decorating outdoor furniture could be the new hobby you’ve been looking for.
Maybe your lawn and patio furniture are started to lose their paint or develop rust, or maybe your furniture is mostly brand new but you want it to look more interesting. Whether for renovation or decoration, you can paint your outdoor furniture to make it look like new.
If you’re repainting furniture that’s old and worn out, the first thing you should do is ensure the structural integrity of the furniture is still up to snuff. If the wood is rotting and crumbling or the plastic is cracked, you would probably be better off starting over with new furniture.
Once you’ve made sure your furniture is still sturdy, you’ll need to consider the external condition of the furniture. If there’s rust or loose paint on the outside, you will want to remove this before doing any decorating. Rust can be removed with special power tools, chemicals, or sandpaper, depending on its severity. Loose paint can be removed using a paint scraper or putty knife and sandpaper.
Next, purchase paint in the color you want to use, but make sure it’s the right kind for the surface material you’ll be painting. There are different types of paint for different surfaces, such as metal, wood, and plastic. If you’re using brushes to apply paint, you’ll most likely need a primer as well, but spray paint can be applied without a primer.
Finally, the fun part begins: if you want to go beyond simply painting your furniture by decorating it, you can use waterproof, outdoor-grade craft paints to add pictures and little details to your furniture. It doesn’t have to be fancy: simple flowers, folk art, and even stick figures are perfectly acceptable for making your lawn furniture your own.
Volunteer for Senior Communities and Organizations
This new hobby idea is a little off the beaten path for personal projects. But if you’ve always had a soft spot for the elderly or you’re good at connecting with them, volunteering for senior communities and organizations could be both an uplifting new hobby for you as well as a significant contribution to your community.
As you can probably imagine, senior community living can become boring and lonely all too easily. Even seniors still living at home may not have it much better, as they might not have friends or family come to visit often. There are lots of ways you can volunteer your time and attention to help the elderly in your area. Simply listening and talking might be the biggest blessing you could give them. Bringing and sharing meals is another good way to volunteer that doesn’t require any skills. If you do have special skills, such as singing or playing an instrument, you could provide entertainment at any senior center — they’re always looking for volunteers to entertain, and while their standards aren’t typically high, it comes with the added bonus that you’ll get some practice performing for a live audience.
You don’t have to go through an organization to help the elderly in your community, of course. You may have several acquaintances who are seniors who may need company or assistance. Providing transportation to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store can really help someone who has difficulty driving or can’t drive at all.
Not only can you benefit others in this way, but you can benefit yourself as well. Volunteering with seniors is valuable information to place on a resume, and it can help you learn more about the world and the people in it.
Hopefully one of these ideas has sparked some interest for you. Wherever you are in life, you can easily find the perfect hobby for you.