We all love to relax and enjoy our downtime by indulging in our favorite hobby or pastime. There’s nothing more satisfying than doing something we enjoy, just for the sake of it. If you’re looking for something new to try in the coming year, the possibilities are endless. Of course, specialized sites such as Happy Hobbyists are packed with ideas – but to get you thinking about what kind of hobby will be right for you, here are 10 you might not have heard of or considered.
This is a fun outdoor hobby that is growing in popularity. As soon as you’ve registered on the geocaching site, and typed in your location, you’ll be given GPS coordinates so you can set off in search of your cache. Caches are hidden by members of the community all over the world. Once you locate a cache, you’ll find a logbook inside and usually some items. You can take one of these as a souvenir, and leave something of your own, of equal value. And, of course, you can hide your own cache, and enjoy the fun of checking the log to see how many people have found it, and how the contents have changed.
2. Soap carving
Truly a low-cost way to start if the idea of making 3D designs appeals to you. With a small number of simple tools and any type of soap, the only limit to what you can create is your imagination. There is a plethora of resources and design ideas online.
One advantage is that, while in your early learning phase, mistakes are not catastrophic as you can simply use the soap as soap. Once you are skilled, beautifully carved soaps make wonderful and inexpensive gifts for friends and family.
3. Portrait Photography
Of course, you’ve heard of this, but have you thought of using your smartphone to specialize in creating evocative and original portraits. Start with family, friends, pets, colleagues. There are so many online tutorials and guides to specialized techniques it won’t be long before you raise your game to the point that people are queuing up for one of your originals
4. Toy voyaging
At a time when most of us are finding it more difficult to travel, there’s no need for our toys to be limited. This is another hobby growing in popularity around the world. You simply take your favorite toy or stuffed animal and send them to stay with a ‘host’ for a while. Hosts take their role seriously and will send you photos and videos of your toy on location, showing all the exciting things he or she has been getting up to. Then your miniature loved one will be returned safely back to you. Of course, you can also return the compliment by hosting toys from other members of this cute community.
This creative and relaxing hobby even attracts celebrity fans such as Taylor Swift. Because, let’s face it, who can resist a snow-globe? When you can create your own unique artworks, they’re even more of a ‘wow’. Fill with miniature figures, personalized photo backgrounds, glitter, or snow- as much or as little interior décor as you’d like. Either assemble all the components or buy a DIY snow globe kit to get started.
You’ll have heard of bonsai, but the Japanese art of bonkei is the creation of miniature landscapes using a shallow tray. Although it’s a type of modeling activity, it generally involves natural features, such as mountains, valleys, rivers, forests, and cliffs.
If you want to feel that you’re part of a community of people with similar interests, cosplay may be ideal. Cosplay involves creating costumes and makeup which replicate that of a favorite film, cartoon, or comic book character. Great emphasis is placed on attention to detail, so if you love designing, sewing, and makeup, this is a way to combine them all and share your creativity with others. Huge cosplay conventions are held all over the globe, allowing you to show your handiwork and skill with other aficionados.
8. Urban Sketching
Urban sketching, as the name implies, involves drawing the world around you, so it combines art with being outdoors. You don’t have to be in a city, just sketch whatever landscape you find yourself in. No particular style is required, you just record what you see and what strikes you- you’re sharing your personal vision. What adds a layer of interest is that urban sketchers share their drawings, and there are now even urban sketching routes around various cities.
9. Animal volunteer
If you love animals, consider volunteering at the local animal shelter to deepen your connection. Whether it’s a refuge for abandoned dogs or a more specialized wildlife rescue, your participation will be welcomed, you’ll get to spend time outdoors (most likely exercising), you’ll connect with a community of like-minded people, and best of all, you’ll increase your understanding of the creatures we share our world with.
10. Concrete Crafts
If you’re looking for a craft that will allow you to express your creativity, but knitting and collages just don’t do it for you, what about something more substantial such as concrete crafting? From cool, minimalist planters, to stools or even bracelets, there is a huge range of projects, of every shape and size, to choose from. Once you’re ready for a larger-scale project, why not create a concrete fire bowl for your patio. Make unique and original gifts from your own designs. Other pluses of concrete crafting are that the raw material is so affordable, and everything you make can have lasting practical use.
This one combines being outdoors, with staying close to home. Topiary is the art of shaping bushes (typically privet) into special shapes. These can be geometric shapes, such as cubes or spheres, which require considerable skill and patience, despite their simplicity, or more complex and fun shapes of animals and birds. Whatever you choose, your design will require planning, skill, and patience while you train the bush to conform to your chosen form.