Cheap and Easy Creative Hobbies to Try at Home Today
There are so many different creative hobby ideas that it can be difficult to know what one will be right for you. If you’re just starting to explore arts and crafts hobbies, you might not want to pick an activity that requires a lot of new equipment to invest in straight away, just in case it turns out to not be right for you. The best creative hobbies can be the ones that you can try out with equipment you might already have at home, to first get a feel for it and see if you enjoy it before you make more of an investment.
If you’re looking for cheap creative hobbies that you can try at home, below are our favourites.
Bullet journaling has become popular in recent years and it’s a fantastic creative hobby to begin with. All you’ll need is a pen and a notepad, but you can also use coloured pens and washi tape to make your bullet journal more visually appealing. A square-ruled notebook is usually preferred by bullet journalers, as it can be helpful when plotting out calendars, but you can use whatever suits you.
You can include whatever things you want in your bullet journal. Many people draw in their monthly calendar, with key dates, and then also include a weekly schedule where they can note what needs to be done and what they’ve achieved. You can truly customise your journal however you like – some people include pages for their goals or aims, their to-do lists, habit trackers and gratitude log. Many people use quick symbols to monitor their progress for habits and goals, and you can come up with your own key so you can keep track yourself.
A bullet journal gives you an opportunity to get creative whilst also getting organised, helping you to keep on top of your appointments and life goals. You can start small and then get more creative the more you journal, adding in more colours and even drawings and doodles from your day.
Scrapbooking is another creative hobby that doesn’t require much equipment. All you’ll need is a notepad, scissors and glue or sticky tape. You might also find it helpful to have a place to store the bits and pieces you want to include in your scrapbook, like a folder or storage box. Anything else you want to use will just be extras –for example, you might want some nice felt tip pens to do titles, or you might want to add stickers and embellishments.
A scrapbook will be a place to put memories from important and fun days, such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, and holidays. You can include photos from the events, as well as other items like plane tickets, name cards, leaflets from tourist attractions, restaurant menus, bar coasters – just about anything that will bring back memories of your day that you can stick into a notebook!
You should start by thinking about your layout. You might want to keep a theme throughout your whole scrapbook or just take it spread-by-spread, with a theme that relates to that particular event. Think about a nautical theme for a beach day, with drawings of boats and ice cream. Or if you have a spread for a wedding, you can stick to whatever the wedding theme was, using the same colours and including drawings of the flowers. Whatever type of theme you go for, arrange your whole spread first before you stick anything down, so you’ll be sure you’re happy with it.
You might think you need a fancy brush to start calligraphy, but in reality, you only need a pen and paper. Once you’ve got the basics you can move on to a brush or calligraphy pen, but it’s best to start simple. This blog shows you how you can begin with ‘fake calligraphy’, explaining how to get the basic calligraphy shapes with just a normal pen or pencil.
Calligraphy focuses on getting different shapes and angles from the different upwards and downwards strokes of each letter. The result is beautiful lettering that you can use for all sorts of things, from wedding invitations to birthday cards, to event posters and leaflets. Calligraphy will usually take a lot of practice to get it looking perfect, but once you’re confident you can experiment with colours, shapes, and more creative designs.
Decoupage involves cutting out pictures or coloured paper and gluing them to an object, finishing with a layer of varnish. It’s a great way of taking some drab items you might have around the house and making them more vibrant. You can use decoupage on anything from storage boxes, vases, display trays, picture frames, and even old furniture.
You can use anything to cut and stick for decoupage, including tissue paper, wrapping paper, magazines, old greetings cards, fabric and even old picture books. You can also get special decoupage papers that have been created specifically for decoupage and come in a variety of designs. You can either buy decoupage glue or use normal PVA glue. It’s advised to use a gloss varnish to finish as this will dry clear and your patterns will be most visible. You’ll also need scissors, a brush to apply the glue and maybe a cloth or sponge to wipe away any excess glue.
Whatever item you’re using to decoupage should be clean and free of dust and dirt before you start. You should carefully cut out your pictures, paper, or fabric to the desired size and shape and then arrange it on the item before you stick it down. Once you’re happy with the layout, you can apply the glue to put the pictures in place. Once the glue is fully dry you can apply the varnish. You might need a few coats to get a smooth finish and you should ensure each coat is fully dry before you apply the next one. You can also apply coloured paint to the finish if you want to add something more to the overall look.
Creative writing is the perfect artistic hobby for those who want to get the creative juices flowing but maybe aren’t so good with practical crafts. For creative writing you just need a notepad and a pen – you can use a laptop or even your phone to write but having a more physical tool can help with your creativity.
Creative writing can consist of fiction writing, like stories; nonfiction, such as personal essays or memoirs; playwriting; screenwriting; or poetry. The best way to start creative writing is just to start writing! You will probably find that you’re more drawn to a particular style the more you write. The important thing is to just write as much as possible. Your first drafts don’t have to be perfect, and you can always go back and rewrite sections later. You should always try to keep a notepad and pen nearby so you can always jot down an idea when inspiration hits. If you’re struggling to get started, you can look online for creative writing prompts that will give you an idea, concept, or starting sentence that you can then expand on.
You don’t need to be a skilled painter or have expensive equipment to paint. All you need is a brush, some paints, and something to paint on. That could be a notepad, scrap paper (just whitewash it first!), or even an old plant pot! There are different types of paint you can get, and what you choose will depend on the surface you want to paint on and also the style you want to achieve. Watercolours should be used with watercolour paper and will result in a softer picture. Acrylic paint is more versatile and will usually result in a more vibrant painting. Derwent Inktense paints are almost a combination of the two and can be used on all sorts of surfaces. They’re vibrant water-soluble pencils that dry permanently, so they can be layered without dissolving the previous coating of colour, unlike traditional watercolour. The result is beautiful ink-like effects and vivid colour.
Once you have what you need, you can let your creativity run free. You begin with painting abstract images, with different colours, shapes and brushstrokes, or start trying to paint real things, such as flowers, landscapes, or still life. If you’re not sure what to paint first, have a look online or go to a museum to see what sort of art inspires you. You can then try to emulate a certain painting or put your own spin on it and see what you can produce. Alternatively, you can just start putting paint onto a surface and see where your imagination takes you.
Crocheting requires a little more equipment than you may already have at home, but once you’re prepped, you can learn a lifelong skill. To crochet, you’ll need a crocheting hook and yarn. Crocheting hooks come in different lengths and sizes, and which one you’ll need will depend on which type of yarn you’re using. Hooks are generally inexpensive, so as a beginner you could buy a multipack of different sizes or just go for a mid-size. For yarn, beginners should stick with lighter colours, as it will be easier to see the stitches. Yarn comes in all sorts of thicknesses and materials, but beginners might find it easier to go for something smooth rather than fluffy, but not too silky. You’ll also need a pair of scissors, and maybe a tape measurer or ruler, a stich marker and a darning needle.
This crochet guide explains in detail exactly how you can start crocheting, from your first slip knot to single stitching and double stitching. Once you have the basics down, you can start making beautiful gifts for your friends and family, like storage baskets, hats, scarves coasters, wall hangings, and even dolls. There are plenty of free patterns available on the internet, but you’ll find it easier to start with the simpler items. With time and practice, you can really start to get creative with your crocheting.
Leitz has a range of stationery that will help you begin your creative hobby journey, helping you to let your imagination flow with mindful arts and crafts.