Creative Hobbies, Arts and Crafts for Adults: A Complete Guide for 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jun 21, 2022 •  Guides

To get you inspired, in this article, you will find the most exhaustive list of creative hobbies, arts and crafts for adults. Have fun exploring and happy crafting!

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Table of Contents

I get asked a lot about what kinds of creative hobbies adults can do at home. Of course I’ve heard this question a lot more in the last couple of years, with people spending more and more time at their houses, but really for years now all kinds of arts and crafts activities have been really on the rise in popularity, and the idea of doing something creative at home is really attractive to so many different people.

While I love to write in-depth about lots of different creative hobbies and crafting activities, really getting into specific instructions, tips and techniques, project ideas and inspirations, today I am going to approach it from a different angle, with an exhaustive listicle of all of the different creative hobbies I know, and only very short explanations of what each is.

And I mean really, really exhaustive – I aimed to have the most complete list of creative hobbies, arts and crafts available on the web, and at last count have reached 150+ individual entries, and, with different forms, focuses, variations and techniques, even way more!

This long listicle of creative hobbies should appeal to anybody who:

How Is This Complete List of Creative Hobbies, Arts and Crafts Organized?

I originally thought I’d put the many, many arts and crafts listed below into some main categories, like:

…but that didn’t really work out so well for me. Turns out that when I tried to organize all the different crafts I could pretty quickly see that this or that particular craft might use either or both paper and fabric, or might involve both a computer and physical stuff. 

And so I ended up just listing them all out alphabetically, from A to Z. There are some larger groupings with a few subsets underneath, in bullet form, like Body Art, which includes body painting, henna and temporary tattoos as sub-headings, or fabric art, which includes something like 18 sub-categories. Digital art, food art, music and paper arts are other categories with a lot of sub-listings bulleted below the main entry.

But mostly they are alphabetical, and one by one and if you are looking for a specific craft – like ice sculpting – it may be easiest to simply search the page (ctrl-F for most Windows browsers and cmd-F for Apple) and type in “ice sculpting” – or, as a little tip, “ice sculpt” which will lead to sculpting, sculpture or sculptor. Or, I guess, sculpin, a bottom dwelling fish which has absolutely nothing to do with our list…

What Types of Arts, Crafts and Creative Hobbies are Included on the List?

One more quick note before we get into it, about what I did and didn’t include. I had also originally intended to include only things that are in the realm of more traditional crafting – that is, creative projects for which you use not just your imagination, but your hands and some tools and materials as well. 

Then I realized that this could technically include creative writing, with hand firmly grasping pen, but would exclude dancing and singing – both noble and very creative hobbies. Well this seemed a bit arbitrary, and even unfair, and so in the end I decided to just throw them all in! 

Now to be sure, even though I’ve devoted much of my life trying and practicing all different kinds of creative crafts, I’ve almost certainly forgotten or neglected some pretty important, fun and rewarding ones – so please let me know!

After the list, at the end of this article, I will answer some frequently asked questions about the different kinds of creative hobbies and arts and crafts activities, but first I proudly present Art Side of Life’s list of 151 great creative hobbies for adults – not to mention children and even inner children!

A Complete List of Art and Craft Hobbies in 2022

In alphabetical order:

3D-Printing-Art-Side-of-Life

3D Printing

An amazing, still relatively new way to create pretty much anything – from an action figure to a pair of shoes – using your own home computer and 3D printer.

3D Pen – and don’t forget about the even newer, and possibly even a little more amazing, 3D pen, which lets you create so many different nifty plastic items freehand.


Adult-Coloring-Books-Art-Side-of-Life

Adult Coloring Books

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A relaxing stress-buster, hugely popular these days, that lets you be creative and make really beautiful pictures with amazing colors.

Get our recommendation for the best coloring supplies in these articles:


Aquascaping-Art-Side-of-Life

Aquascaping

Making underwater landscapes, including aquatic plants, stones, driftwood and other elements, usually, but not always, without fish.


Balloon-Sculptures-Art-Side-of-Life

Balloon Art / Balloon Sculptures

From the simple and delightful animals, you see at kids’ parties to intricate sculptures – fun and easy to learn, and you’ll be a big hit at every birthday party in your neighborhood!


Bath-Bombs-Art-Side-of-Life

Bath Bombs

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Not just bath bombs, which are really popular these days, but also bath salts, bubble bath formulas, soothing and healthful bath oils, and other mixtures can be easily, and often quite inexpensively, made in your home. And when you’re done making them … [splash :)]


Body-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Body Art

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A general term that can include body painting, temporary or permanent tattoos, jewelry and piercings, hair styling and coloring, intentional scarring, and a lot more.

Body Painting – the use of semi-permanent paints designed for safe use on the face and body, for costumes, special effects, photography, clubbing or pure art.

Henna – an ancient body painting art most associated with India, with natural pigment used on skin and hair, and known for its beautiful earthy tones.

Temporary Tattoos – temporary tattoos often look just like their permanent counterparts, but in fully removable or semi-permanent form.


Bone-Carving-Art-Side-of-Life

Bone Carving

The crafting of art pieces, tools or other decorative or utile pieces from animal bones, antlers or horns. Often a special knife and other tools are used, and skill is developed over time, and many carvings are incredibly ornate and beautiful.


Bonsai-Art-Side-of-Life

Bonsai / Bonkei / Bonseki

Japanese scenic arts which are related but use different materials to somewhat different effects. All three can be incredibly calming and deeply relaxing.

Bonkei – the art of depicting three-dimensional landscape scenes using sand, rock, paper mache and other elements.

Bonsai – the art of miniature tree sculpting.

Bonseki – the art of scene painting using sand, pebbles and rocks on a black tray, meant to be temporary and easily “erased” and redone.


Book-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Bookmaking

An ancient craft process that can utilize materials found around the house, including normal paper and repurposed cloth, or expensive or carefully prepared papers and leather bindings.


Bow-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Bow Making

The creation of lovely bows for hair, dresses, gift wrapping, home or Christmas tree decoration or any other use. Not to be confused with making bows to be used with arrows, which are nice but just look big and awkward in the hair.


Button-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Button Art

The fun and usually quite inexpensive hobby of making pictures and scenes from buttons – have any lying around?


Calligraphy-Art-Side-of-Life

Calligraphy

The art of beautiful lettering, as well as its placement on a page and in an overall layout. An ancient art, with many established character sets and exact designs, calligraphy also has a modern version which allows for a lot more creativity – or at least a different kind of creativity.


Candle-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Candle Making

Making candles from scratch, using wax, wicks and some sort of mold – a fun creative hobby which is inexpensive and pretty easy and yields beautiful and useful candles. great for the home or as gifts.


Card-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Card Making

Making greeting cards (especially), calling cards, business cards, playing cards or any other type, usually with high quality stock and in any style from minimal to highly decorative.

Get our recommendations for the best cardstock printer in this article:


Fabric-Crafts-Art-Side-of-Life

Cloth and Fabric Crafts

A general term that can include any manner of sewing, knitting, weaving, dying, or decorating of cloth and clothing. It includes:

Crochet – creating textiles by looping and interlocking yarn or long strands of other materials using a crochet hook.

Cross Stitch – a form of embroidery, or decorating cloth with thread, which   uses x-shaped stitches to form patterns, designs or pictures.

Embroidery – a generic term for decorating cloth with thread sewn through it, using cross stitching or other techniques, to create pictures, lettering and/or designs, encompassing a wide range of styles and embroidery projects.

Fashion Design – the art and business of designing clothing in individual pieces, outfits or entire lines.

Felting – the process of creating fabric, or felt, from (most usually) natural animal fibers like wool.

Knitting – making open weave textiles by stitching loops together using knitting needles and specific techniques.

Lace Making – the process of twisting and braiding together thread, usually kept on bobbins, to create intricate patterns.

Lucet – an ancient craft of creating sometimes intricate cords, and the tool used to do so.

Macrame – a way of making textiles, like knitting or weaving, but using knotting techniques instead.

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Needlepoint – a form of embroidery using half cross stitches on heavier fabric, often canvas. 

Patchwork – making the top layer of a quilt by piecing together small sections, or patches, of fabric.

Quilting – creating a blanket or throw by sewing together usually three layers – the top, the middle wadding and the liner.

Samplers – needlework pieces including a variety of elements – lettering, pictures and designs – meant to demonstrate the skill of the embroiderer.

Sewing – making your own clothes, repairing or alteration of clothing and other textiles using basic stitches or advanced techniques, needle and thread, and either by hand or with a sewing machine.

Soft Sculptures – the design and assembly of figurines, objects, designs or even scenes using fabric and foam or other fillings. 

Tapestry – an ancient form of pictorial art weaving thread into an often heavy textile to create pictures and scenes.

Tatting – a form of lace making that produces particularly strong and durable lace, to make doilies, collars and edges on clothing, even jewelry and other pieces.

Tie Dye – a way to dye clothing and other fabric by first tying it, creating fun and colorful circular patterns.


Collage-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Collage Art

A great hobby that has always been popular, collage art is the creation of a larger artwork or decorative piece by assembling smaller elements, like photos, ribbons, magazine clippings, buttons, stones and lots of other personal, decorative or found objects.


Concrete-Crafting-Art-Side-of-Life

Concrete Crafting

The use of cement to create all kinds of objects, from vases to planters, benches and even abstract art pieces, concrete art is surprisingly easy and inexpensive and doesn’t necessarily require a lot of knowledge or special tools.


Cosmetics-Art-Side-of-Life

Cosmetics

Here I mean the making of your own makeup and beauty products – just make sure your ingredients are safe, non-irritating, non-toxic and hypoallergenic!


Cosplay-Art-Side-of-Life

Cosplay

Costume play, an enormously popular hobby which involves the design, creation and wearing of sometimes wild and imaginative costumes, often taken from comics, anime, movies or even games.

LARP (live action role playing) – dressing up in cosplay-type outfits and participating in role playing games.


Dance-Art-Side-of-Life

Dance

From the exceptional discipline and skill of ballet and modern dance to the huge cathartic release of ecstatic dance or simply moving your body when the rhythm demands it.


Decoupage-Art-Side-of-Life

Decoupage

The application of special paper and other elements to objects for a beautiful decorative effect.


Die-Cutting-Art-Side-of-Life

Die Cutting

Using a die – or often, in crafting, a machine like a Cricut – to cut special shapes, patterns, pictures or your own designs out of paper, fabric or other materials.


Digital-Hobbies-Art-Side-of-Life

Digital Hobbies / Computer Arts

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A broad term for any artwork, art process or other creative work using a computer – desktop, laptop, tablet, even smartphone – and often specialized software.

3D Modeling & Rendering – the often complex and time-consuming process of creating realistic three dimensional objects on a computer (modeling) and incorporating them into other art or projects (rendering).

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Animation – making artwork – paintings or drawings – come to life and move about, and here especially the use of a computer, which can make the process much faster and easier.

Get our recommendations for the best laptop and tablet for animation in these articles:

Coding / Pure Digital Art – a very specialized form of programming which uses pure computer code to create unique and beautiful art.

Digital Publication – creating books, magazines and other print or online media using a computer in conjunction with writing, graphics and layout software.

Digital Painting / Drawing / Illustration – the various kinds of software and basic art processes available on a computer, using popular programs such as Procreate, Illustrator, Photoshop, and others.

Photo Editing and Manipulation – editing, correcting, enhancing and altering photographs – either taken by digital cameras or scanned in – using software like Adobe Photoshop or the like.

Web Design – the often creative and aesthetically effective design of web pages and internet sites.

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Doll-Houses-Art-Side-of-Life

Doll Houses

The design and construction of miniature houses of various sizes, and the design and construction of furniture, model appliances, draperies and floor coverings and other elements which are used for decorating.


Doll-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Doll Making

The creation of dolls using various materials for body, hair, skin and filling, as well as the making of clothing and accessories for dolls. 


Drawing-Art-Side-of-Life

Drawing

Here I mean the physical (as opposed to digital) method of using pencils, pens, markers or other tools on paper or other media to create pictures of things – images, scenes, designs or other illustrative work.

Get our recommendations for the best art supplies for drawing:


Dream-Catchers-Art-Side-of-Life

Dream Catchers

Beautiful woven pieces, often made from string, wood and natural objects, which are inspired by Native American lore and thought to have special spiritual or even magical qualities.


Encaustic-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Encaustic Art

Pouring melted wax, either already colored or to which colored pigment has been added, onto wood or other surfaces to create portraits, scenes, designs, abstract images or other artworks.


Food-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Food Art

A wide-ranging area which involves the planning and preparation of food items, recipes and meals, in creative and beautiful ways. There are a thousand ways to express your creative side through food, and these are just a very few of them:

Baking – an art form which can involve anything from the perfect recipe to unusual and creative shapes or artistic decoration.

Cake / Cookie Decorating – related to baking, specifically the use of frosting, icing, sprinkles and other usually edible elements in various shapes and colors on cakes, cookies and other baked goods.

Dinner Parties – an often highly creative endeavor which involves meal preparation, decoration, entertainment and even the perfect guest list.

Fruit and Vegetable Carving – creating amazing and beautiful objects of all shapes and sizes just by taking a sharp knife to an apple or a radish.

Gingerbread Houses – for Christmas or any other time, the forming of delicious gingerbread into cute houses, men and women or other shapes.

Meal Planning – as artistic as cooking itself, the perfect meal involves balanced food and flavors, timing and presentation, optimized wine or drink pairings, even nutrition and physical effects, among many other elements.

Plating and Food Sculpture – really different things, these both refer to the artistic arrangement and presentation of food, the first always for eating and the second usually just for art’s sake.

Sushi – I want to give some special love to the highly underappreciated art of sushi preparation, which involves perfect ingredients, precise cutting, optimal and complementary combinations of flavor and texture, perfect presentation and a lot more.


Film-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Film

Although the film can mean any old-school emulsion film used for photography, here I mean the making of movies – often involving scriptwriting, acting, directing, lighting, camera work and lots of other production elements.


Flower-Arranging-Art-Side-of-Life

Flower Arranging

A seemingly simple artistic process which actually involves a great deal of understanding of color theory, textures, balance and placement, and is often greatly underappreciated – even if the results are not.


Flower-Pressing-Art-Side-of-Life

Flower Pressing

An ancient traditional craft that involves a lot more than just closing a book onto a rose, proper flower pressing considers the form and flow of the flower and preserves its beauty, and can even involve special parchment and heat pressing.


Foil-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Foil Art

Actually a  bunch of different kinds of craft, including painting or drawing on foil, embossing foil by rubbing or other methods, cutting and applying plain or colored foil to other media or artwork, and more.

Foraging-Art-Side-of-Life

Foraging

A work with a lot of different meanings, here we specifically mean going into nature, or into a dusty old storage area or anywhere else, and finding objects to use in any kind of art like, as one good and typical example, collaging.


Upholstery-Art-Side-of-Life

Furniture / Upholstery

The making, covering or refinishing of furniture pieces, a process often requiring high levels of knowledge, skill and craft, but that can also be very simple and basic, even primitive.


Gardening-Art-Side-of-Life

Gardening

Growing fruit, vegetables, flowers or other edible, practical or decorative plants, indoors or outdoors, often involving a beautiful or effective physical layout as well as the understanding and application of proper watering, nutritional and environmental considerations.


Gift-Wrapping-Art-Side-of-Life

Gift Wrapping

From paper-making and ribbon-making to design, skilled folding and taping, hand coloring and illustrating, applying ribbon, bows, flowers or other elements, and any other craft or method to make beautiful, fun and enticing packages.


Glass-Blowing-Art-Side-of-Life

Glass Blowing

The highly skilled art of using heat and special tools to blow glass into beautiful and/or utile forms.


Hair-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Hair Art

A wide range of creative activities including hair styling, cutting, coloring and dying, braiding, decoration and more, to make hair beautiful, and/or to complement a style, costume or outfit.


Hair-Styling-Art-Side-of-Life

Hairstyling

Here more the specific work or art of cutting, styling and sometimes coloring, treating and conditioning hair.


Homebrewing-Art-Side-of-Life

Home Brewing

The making of craft beers, and also of kombucha, ciders and other (often lightly alcoholic) beverages.


Ice-Sculptures-Art-Side-of-Life

Ice Sculpting

The creation of necessarily temporary sculptures from blocks of ice, often using special tools and techniques and associated with special events.


Instrument-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Instrument Design and Making

The art of making musical instruments, either established types like a guitar or violin or new inventions and designs, and ranging from simple and even crude pieces to fine instruments.


Interior-Design-Art-Side-of-Life

Interior Decorating

The aesthetic preparation of a room or interior space using colors, furniture, art, wall hangings, other objects and decorations, and considering space, flow, utility and function, and other things – including even energetic/spiritual concepts such as feng shui.


Jewelry-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Jewelry Making

The creation of jewelry and body art and adornment pieces, sometimes from precious metals and stones but also from simple, inexpensive and common materials including found objects, common metals, cloth and string.


Journal-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Journal Making

A popular creative hobby that can be similar to book making, but usually with blank pages, or at least pages with room for personal journal writing. Homemade journals can range from very simple to densely or lavishly decorated, and can use a wide variety of materials and even objects. Especially popular right now are the bullet journal and bullet journaling, and art journals and art journaling have always been big among creatives like us.

Keepsake-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Keepsake Art

A very old creative art form gaining again in popularity, which uses personal touches – like baby booties, handprints or fingerprints, photographs or the like – as elements in craft pieces of many different types.


Landscaping-Art-Side-of-Life

Landscaping

Related to gardening, above, and in fact often incorporating garden spaces, this is the usually aesthetically focused planning and laying out of outdoor spaces – domestic, commercial, public or even industrial – for beauty and utility.


Lapidary-Art-Side-of-Life

Lapidary

Stone cutting and polishing, sometimes just for the beauty of the stone itself but also to incorporate into jewelry, clothing or leatherwork, or other arts and crafts projects or pieces.


Leatherwork-Art-Side-of-Life

Leatherwork

The cutting, dyeing, finishing, decoration and sewing/assembling of pieces of leather to make clothing, belts, boots and shoes, and other objects like horse saddles, knife sheaves and lots more – or sometimes just as individual art pieces.


Makeup-Art-Side-of-Life

Makeup

A form of cosmetology that focuses on the application of cosmetic products to the skin – often the face – to color, highlight, cover and repair blemishes, complement a style, outfit or costume, or for more purely artistic reasons. Also the preparation of these cosmetic products as a creative hobby at home. 


Miniatures-Art-Side-of-Life

Miniatures

The design and making of small pieces of all types – often furniture, dollhouse items or figurines, the pieces can really be anything, and are often quite detailed and realistic.


Mixology-Art-Side-of-Life

Mixology

The art and craft of preparing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, either as established recipes, modifications or improvements, or totally new inventions.


Model-Building-Art-Side-of-Life

Model Building

Modeling can refer to a type of sculpting using flexible clay, but here I mean specifically the making of models of things, like automobiles, airplanes or ships, buildings, landscapes, and other natural or human-made objects. This is often done from kits, like plastic car models, assembled with glue and then painted and decorated, but you can also start from scratch and use a wide variety of materials.


Music-Art-Side-of-Life

Music

A general area of art, creative hobbies and personal expression using rhythm, melody and harmony, musical phrasing, dynamics and possibly lyrics.

DJ / MC – playing music in public, for parties, special events or meetings, and often focusing on the tastes of the audience, the mood of the event and the combination and flow of the musical tracks. Often also involves entertaining or informative dialogue.

Electronic Composition – the use of computers or other electronic instruments or devices to make musical compositions.

Mix Tapes / Playlists – the creative, often quite personal assembly of a selection of songs or musical tracks, for one’s own use, as a gift or to be played in specific places or events.

Remixes – reworking of already recorded music, of your own or done by others, usually involving the alteration or augmentation of the music and/or the combination of different musics.

Singing – just open your heart, open your mouth and do it – like you’re in the shower, like nobody can hear you!

Writing Music – just as it sounds, the writing of new musical compositions, from simple songs to vast symphonies. In this we can include writing both music and lyrics, especially those specifically intended for songs.


Nail-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Nail Art

The painting, shaping and decoration of fingernails, often very creatively and beautifully, for specific effect or to complement an outfit or costume.


Oil-Mixtures-Art-Side-of-Life

Oil Mixtures

It may seem simple, but the precise recipes for mixing essential oils – for aromatherapy and health, for relaxation and enjoyment, or to freshen a room – is a learned skill, though there is also a lot of room for experimentation and fun!


Painting-Art-Side-of-Life

Painting

One of the best known of traditional art mediums, the application of pigment, in the form of paint media like watercolors, acrylics, oils or pastels, to canvas, paper, wood, glass or other materials. Painting can also be done digitally, as well as physically with other kinds of “paint” like wax (encaustic art), foil, yarn or lots more.


Paper-Crafts-Art-Side-of-Life

Paper Crafts

A wide range of creative hobbies involving making, manipulating and shaping or otherwise using paper. 

Origami – the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding to make birds and animals, flowers and plants or other shapes.

Paper Making – a beautiful creative hobby where you create your own paper, often of very high quality, or with lovely colors or textures, from recycled papers or other materials, for writing, drawing or painting, to use in crafts or for other purposes.

Paper Flowers – just one example of the creative use of new or repurposed used paper to make beautiful objects, in this case often involving intricate folding patterns and/or special techniques.

Papier Mâché -a paste made from paper, water and some sort of binder like glue, and the creative hobby of making items from that paste.

Quilling – using strips of paper that are rolled into coils and then secured into set shapes, and then assembled to make beautiful three-dimensional pictures on flat surfaces or even 3D figures and models.

Scrapbooking – related to journaling, scrapbooking is the assembling of personal items and artifacts from your life into a book or box, often handmade, in an individual and artistic way.


Party-Planning-Art-Side-of-Life

Party Planning

The art of planning, producing and throwing parties of all types, including food and drink planning, preparation and presentation, space selection, preparation and decoration, guest list and invitations, entertainment and pastimes, themes and other elements.


Pet-Grooming-Art-Side-of-Life

Pet Grooming

Either purely for maintenance or sometimes wildly creative and artistic, the grooming of domestic pets like dogs and cats, including cutting and styling their fur, decorative elements like collars and ribbons and even costumes or other items.


Photography-Art-Side-of-Life

Photography

The use of a camera to record images onto film or digital sensors, either still images or moving images like movies. Photography is extremely popular, especially with the multitude of high quality smartphone cameras, and can also often be a highly personal and artistic art form. There are literally hundreds of types of photography, but here are some of the most popular:

Black and White Photography – the use of black and white (not color) film and/or print paper in any kind of photography, which often forces the photographer to concentrate on other aspects of the art, like light and shadow, composition and flow.

Landscape Photography -a focus of art photography in which you capture natural landscape scenes, usually in beautiful and high quality photographs – often contrasted with cityscape photography, although there are many shared methods and similar results.

Lomography – a special type of photography using inexpensive and characteristically low quality cameras for special effects or moods. Originally based on the Lomo cameras, lomographers now use lots of different cameras, including toys.

Portraiture – the specific use of cameras and photography to take pictures of people, trying to capture something of their personality or style, and using lighting, poses, makeup, clothing and other accessories and more to do so.


Pottery-Art-Side-of-Life

Pottery

The general term for making pots, vases, bowls and other vessels, as well as art objects, from clay. Pottery, which is actually the same thing as ceramics, includes at least three basic types – earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, all of which can be done at home (though often requiring specialized equipment like a potter’s wheel or kiln).


Perfume-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Perfume Making

The creation of fragrant oils or waters, often using flower or plant extracts and other elements, or the mixture of pre-prepared fragrant oils in special complementary combinations, usually to apply to the body.


Potpourri-Art-Side-of-Life

Potpourri

The selection, drying, and the optimal mixture of fragrant plant materials, and their aesthetic placement in a bowl or other vessel – a seemingly simple craft that can lead in countless directions.


Printmaking-Art-Side-of-Life

Printmaking

Though this phrase can mean various things, here I mean the highly skilled and quite remarkable art of creating printing plates, through etching or other methods, in order to make beautiful and very high quality prints on a variety of media. Though this can be quite an exalted craft, it is surprisingly easy to get started and make basic prints.


Puppet-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Puppet Making

The creation of puppets, which are either soft or hard figurines which may be articulated or somehow controllable and used for puppet shows, plays or story-telling or other forms of entertainment. Puppets can be highly stylized and quite beautiful, and people often spend a lifetime exploring the creative possibilities and perfecting their craft.


Puppeteering-Art-Side-of-Life

Puppeteering

An ancient art involving the use of puppets, through some sort of manipulation and movement, to make them appear to be alive, in order to entertain, tell stories or put on shows.


Pyrography-Art-Side-of-Life

Pyrography

Applying heat to wood, leather or other materials, using a tool like a heater poker or electric craft iron, to make pictures of objects, animals, scenes, portraits or other art.


Resin-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Resin Art

The use of resin, a material that can be set into different shapes and is usually clear or transparent and often a reddish-brown color, in arts and crafts – often to suspend items like stones or found objects. It is extremely important to understand that many resins are dangerous to use, and to use only safe resins (like reactive resins from natural sources) for arts and crafts.


Robotics-Art-Side-of-Life

Robotics

Building and using robots – either making purely ornamental statues of robots for display, or fully working robot models which can be used for specific tasks, in competitions or to annoy your cats.


Rug-Carpet-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Rug and Carpet Making

The ancient handicraft of making rugs and carpets from various textiles and/or other materials, in various styles, colors and textures, using weaving or other methods, often for use but also displaying high levels of skill and beauty.


Sand-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Sand Art

Actually a variety of different arts and crafts methods, like painting with colored sand onto a surface prepared with glue, arranging colored sand into a clear vessel like a vase or aquarium, or even mandala sand art – the creation of oten highly intricate designs in a purposefully temporary way, to later sweep away in a spiritual act of non-attachment.


Sculpting-Art-Side-of-Life

Sculpting

Sculpting can refer to the use of soft and malleable clay to create vases, bowls, figurines or other objects, the carving of harder materials, like stone, marble or even ice, or really any method of forming material into a specific shape for a variety of reasons.


Shadowgraphy-Art-Side-of-Life

Shadowgraphy

Meaning literally “writing with shadows,” shadowgraphy is the art of hand shadows – creating animated birds and animals or other objects by holding your hands in a particular way and using them to cast shadows onto a wall or backdrop. Shadowgraphy can also employ cut-outs or other items, and is used for entertainment and storytelling.


Soap-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Soap Making

A surprisingly simple and inexpensive creative hobby using basic materials, like water, lye, oils and perfumes, to create beautiful and useful soaps, for a wonderful personal indulgence or as great gifts.


Stained-Glass-Art-Side-of-Life

Stained Glass

Creating and assembling colored glass (or other materials like plastic) pieces to create decorative windows, lampshades, window art and hangings, ornaments, jewelry or other items, often with scenes or pictures, or just abstract designs, and striking in the beautiful way they refract light.


Street-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Street Art

A generic term for art meant for the streets or for public display. While there are some ethical questions about the use (or even destruction) of public or private property and spaces for street art, many forms – like graffiti and flash mobs – are nonetheless highly popular.


String-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

String Art

A fun and inexpensive hobby involving the making of pictures or designs, usually by hammering nails into a board or other suitable surface and wrapping often colorful string or yarn around them.


Sugar-Craft-Art-Side-of-Life

Sugar Craft

Though you might hope this is about making cookies or candy, sugar art is actually a way to melt and form sugar in often highly intricate ways, to form beautiful sculptures that may or may not be for consumption, or even edible.


Taxidermy-Art-Side-of-Life

Taxidermy

The preservation of an animal’s body, using various preparation and presentation methods including chemicals and treatments, stuffing, posing and mounting, for display or study.


Terrariums-Art-Side-of-Life

Terrariums

Sometimes described as an aquarium without fish or water, a terrarium is a beautiful landscape contained in a glass container – an aquarium tank, bowl or really anything – that consists of plants, soil and other elements – even the occasional spider or snake – and is easily opened for watering and maintenance.


Theatre-Art-Side-of-Life

Theater

The use of actors, scripts, props and/or stages and scenery to tell a story. In fact, theater in its most pure form doesn’t actually require scripts or any form of props, but can just be humans telling stories, even fully improvised ones, for dramatic or narrative effect. A great form of family entertainment and bonding, you can write a story together, stage a small play in your home, and also enjoy the arts and crafts aspect of making sets, scenery and costumes.


Upcycling-Art-Side-of-Life

Upcycling

Upcycling can actually involve almost any art, craft or creative hobby, and simply refers to the use of discarded, recycled or repurposed objects and materials in your projects.


Vlogging-Art-Side-of-Life

Video Production

The overall term for all sorts of video, film and content production, either for old-school presentation with a projector and film reel or, much more popularly, through digital playback, either locally or through online platforms like YouTube or TikTok.

It includes:

Content Creation – a somewhat vague or all-encompassing phrase that refers to creating video programming for online viewing, again like on YouTube or TikTok.

Vlogging – a subset of video production, vlogging is a kind of video journaling, which started out as having very similar intent and content to other personal journaling but has expanded to include all kinds of video content, not always even that personal, usually produced and posted on a regular basis.


Welding-Art-Side-of-Life

Welding

A specialized, fairly expensive and highly skilled method of creation, construction or repair which uses very high heat, from a welding torch or gun, to fuse metal together. Used in industry and in many different applications, as well as in making sculpture and other art pieces.


Wigs-Art-Side-of-Life

Wig Making

Related to fashion design, costume design and cosplay, and to makeup and cosmetology in general, wig making is the production of hair wigs, of either natural or synthetic fibers, for beautification, costumes and character depiction, fashion, theater and film, art and creative projects, and to hide or compensate for hair loss or other issues. Often a highly expressive art form, wig making can be a great way to express both your talent and craft but also your own unique personality.


Wildcrafting-Art-Side-of-Life

Wildcrafting

The practice of collecting, harvesting or even cultivating wild plants for use in medicine or food, but also for creative hobbies. The production of tinctures and herbal formulas can be both medicinal and creative, of course, but more and more people tend to also include as wildcrafting the search for and gathering of any natural found object for arts and crafts projects of all types.


Wine-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Wine Making

Like home brewing, wine making is a way to make really high quality, often low cost and sometimes unique and characteristic small batches of wine in your own home. Although the process is fairly complex, with a lot of variables, winemakers tend to enjoy very good results after only a little practice.


Woodworking-Art-Side-of-Life

Woodworking

Woodworking is a word which can refer to many different creative hobbies, as well as commercial activities. This can include wood carving and whittling, wood sculptures and other wood objects, furniture making, mosaic making, flooring and home carpentry (interior and exterior), and even pyrography, all of which nicely combine craft and creative expression.


Wreath-Making-Art-Side-of-Life

Wreath Making

Just as it sounds, the production of wreaths, for Christmas or seasonal celebrations and decorations, for general home decoration, for gifts or awards, or for other purposes. Wreath making can use a huge variety of materials and objects, styles and techniques, although many wreath makers tend to prefer natural stuff and more traditional styles.


Writing-Art-Side-of-Life

Writing

Using words and language to communicate, specifically when written down on paper or other physical media, or created and then displayed and/or stored on electronic devices like computers. This can include storytelling and fiction writing, poetry, prose poetry and prose fiction, screenwriting and playwriting, non-fiction prose, technical writing and many other genres and subgenres, and in the last few decades has been increasingly connected with online writing, including articles, blogs and ezines.


Yarn-Art-Art-Side-of-Life

Yarn Art

A general term that can include knitting, weaving and crocheting with a crochet hook, but also creative variations and techniques such as felting, rug making, wig making, yarn painting and even the artistic dyeing of yarn.


Frequently Asked Questions about Creative Hobbies, Arts and Crafts

What are some fun creative hobbies or crafts?

This is a tough one, because I tend to think they are all fun! Still, crafts like sand art, string art, lots of paper arts, pet grooming, collage art and even button art are tons of fun, and are pretty quick and easy to get started with. People also really seem to love bookmaking, journal making and journaling, but it all kind of depends on you and your own personality, likes and interests.

What crafting hobbies are easy to learn?

Things like adult coloring books require no special knowledge, and are immediately fun and engaging. Traditional arts, like painting and drawing, can benefit from some learning and more advanced techniques, but don’t require them, and it’s fun to just get some paper or canvas, some pens, pencils or paints and brushes, and start playing. Bow making, candle making, flower arranging, sand and yarn painting are all also fun and easy.

What would be a good new hobby to do with kids or as a family?

Pet grooming, theater skits and costume design, puppet making and puppet shows, and any of the basic kinds of craft art, like sand painting, yarn or string art, pottery and clay sculpting, even just normal painting and drawing, are fun things for families to do together, and really help kids develop their talent, skills confidence, coordination and more.

Of course keepsaking crafts are fantastic, and it can also be really fun and rewarding to get into a little interior decorating with your kids, renewing and revisioning their bedrooms.

What are the best arts and crafts projects for adults?

I guess the standard answer here is to recommend things that might be a little too advanced, difficult, dangerous or expensive for kids, like welding or glass blowing, or things that otherwise obviously suggest adult participation, like home brewing or winemaking.

But when you look at what’s really popular now, and what people seem to want, it’s stuff like adult coloring books, which let us get in touch with our inner child, relax and unwind, and explore our creativity.

What arts and craft items can I sell?

Anything that you make that is attractive and high quality will sell, and often pieces that show a uniqueness or personal touch are especially desirable. People have great success selling handmade soaps and bath bombs, handmade paper, clothing and fashion items, nice dream catchers, jewelry, pottery and stained glass pieces, just to name a few.

What handmade items are most in demand these days?

The answer just above helps address this question as well, but really you can say that anything that shows some unique flair and personality, as well as being pretty, attractive or striking looking and of high quality in material and craft, will always have a market.

Many people specialize in handmade clothing or jewelry and do very well, and there has been a strong demand recently for nice miniatures, like dollhouse furniture.

And, of course, if you are a good artist you can always sell paintings, drawings and even digital art on the right platforms.

Why are creative hobbies, arts and crafts so important?

Besides the obvious answer, that they are so much fun to do, there are lots of other reasons why creative hobbies are a great pursuit – they help us relax and reduce stress and promote emotional and mental health, they develop our mind and creative/lateral thinking, as well as our talent and skills, they help us spend time with our families (or even ourselves) in a closer and more productive way, and they can help us beautify our homes or our personal space, or provide great presents for friends and family.

Because seemingly everybody has a smartphone with an at least decent quality camera, digital photography is huge these days, as well as digital photo editing and manipulation with programs like Photoshop.

And lots of people are getting good printers and proudly displaying their creations around the house – or using them in collages, keepsake art, scrapbooks and other projects.

But lots of other arts and crafts hobbies are very popular these days, especially ones that can be done at home fairly easily and cheaply during quarantine – stuff like adult comic books, drawing and painting, lots of paper arts, potpourri, oils and perfumes, gardening, food arts and more.

How can you choose the best creative hobby for you?

Again, it really depends on your own personality, interests and lifestyle, and just reading through the above list of arts and crafts types might lead you in the right direction.

If you are in the city, some gardening and landscaping, or larger sculpting or welding, projects may not be practical.

If you have a lot of space you can get into creative hobbies that take up a lot of room, like the above, and you may also want to think about decorating or beautifying that space.

And if you own your home you can, of course, think about more permanent craft projects like flooring and woodworking.

Budget can also be a big determiner, but most of the entries in our complete list of creative hobbies, arts and crafts are at least affordable – a few of them surprisingly so – and many are downright cheap.

One important point in selecting a creative hobby is to never assume you can’t do something or won’t be good at it without even trying!

That’s one of the main reasons we’re here, to explore not just our interests but our abilities, talents and skills, and if you assume you can’t paint, and dismiss it as a possibility, you may well never uncover a great hidden talent!

What is a fun hobby to do during quarantine?

Since we’re all spending a lot more time at home these days, a great idea is to get into arts and crafts activities that will beautify, or even transform, your home. Interior design can be as simple as reworking a single room, or you can totally redecorate – even build your own furniture!

Also, creative hobbies that create beautiful things for your living space, home office or anywhere in or around your house are good – like stained glass crafting, rug making and carpet making, flower arranging, gardening and landscaping.

What is the difference between arts and crafts and hobbies?

Really, any type of arts and crafts can be considered a hobby, just like anything we do on a regular basis with interest and enjoyment.

Not all hobbies, though, are arts and crafts, or creative hobbies – for instance, stamp and coin collecting, or listening to music, while great fun and real hobbies, may not really be creative hobbies, and you probably won’t find supplies for them at your local craft store.

I am so glad that you took the time to read this article – Creative Hobbies, Arts and Crafts for Adults: A Complete Guide – a big thank you from all of us here at Art Side of Life!

I also hope you will visit our site, Art Side of Life, for lots of other articles, instructions, ideas and inspirations, buyer’s guides and reviews and a lot more.

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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