26 Fun and Unusual Crafting Hobbies to Try

man with a chain saw carving wood in a chainsaw sculpting unusual hobby

26 Fun and Unusual Crafting Hobbies to Try

When I was younger, my grandma and I would argue about all the unusual crafting hobbies I had in mind to try.

“Learn to crochet now, it’ll serve you for life,” she’d say.

But, being a daydreamer, I figured there were plenty of other interesting things I could learn instead.

As soon as I was old enough, I left home and started to travel. Those conversations with Grandma were a big inspiration for my journeys… 

I wanted to discover all the cool arts and crafts I could find out there in the world, beyond the limits of my hometown. 

After years of traveling and a little research, these are THE 26 most unusual but compelling craft hobbies I can recommend to you from around the world:

Creative Craft Hobbies to Really Make You Think

1. Ikebana Flower Arranging

This is not your grandmother’s flower arranging. It’s a Japanese art of interpreting specific philosophical and aesthetic principles that are tied to a whole tradition of minimalist thought.

Ikebana is a practice that’s over 600 years old and it has evolved into a variety of schools over the centuries.

2. 3D Printed Jewelry

Work with a computer to design your own vision, then simply print it. This hobby does require a bit of an investment, but the payoff is that you can 3D print gold, silver, and bronze, as well as a huge variety of non-metal materials.

3. Board Game Creation

Before computers and smartphones, board games were a way to spend precious time together interacting face to face. Why not tempt your friends and family back into the offline realm by making your own board game? You can incorporate a variety of materials and really use your imagination in the process. 

4. Diatom Kaleidoscopes

Diatoms are single-cell algae with striking shapes. They can be put together under a microscope to form breathtaking kaleidoscopic patterns. Incorporating photography can help bring this science-based craft to a wider audience. 

5. Insect Collecting

I promise you, insect collections are ready for a comeback. Collecting insects takes mental prowess, not just to trap certain insects, but to catalog and analyze them. Crafting comes in with the display aspect, as you must keep the insects dry and showcased clearly for your audience. 

6. Kinetic Sculpture    

Often made of metal, these moving sculptures might need some welding. But the result can be poetic and even breathtaking. Nowadays some artists use computer modeling to create ultra-complex, life-like designs that seem to move on their own.  

7. PVC Pipe Sculpture

Cut PVC pipes and you can make geodesic domes, intricate cubes, and tons of other fascinating structures. If you’re in a part of the world where bamboo is easier to get, you can use pieces of bamboo instead to create similar sculptures.

8. Underwater Sculpture

With creativity, you can conceptualize sculptures and art pieces for ponds, pools, seas, and other bodies of water. This takes extra thinking power because you must consider how water and materials interact over time as you design and construct your artwork.

9. Found Nature Art

The most common example of this craft is seashell art. But if you don’t live near a beach you can create images and sculptures with materials from nature in your area. Photography can be a great way to preserve these for posterity, such as with these bird portraits.

10. Tea Blending

 It sounds simple, but combining teas in a principled way involves quite a bit of scholarship. You must first learn the properties of the different teas, herbs, and flowers, in order to design blends that achieve both taste and health goals.

Unusual Hobbies Using Your Hands

11. Windsock Making

Made of sturdy fabric, windsocks are fairly simple to assemble. They’re a great opportunity to play with colors and movement as the wind whips through them. If you don’t have the tools in your garage to make kinetic sculptures, windsocks are a great alternative.

12. Temari Balls 

These visually arresting balls are a centuries-old Japanese craft. They’re made from brightly colored threads wrapped about a foam-core ball, often covered in intricate geometric patterns. Some Temari balls are made to be toys, while others are cherished gifts or art objects. 

13. Cheesemaking

A time-honored practice that’s still somewhat common in small towns in the Balkans, France, and other parts of Europe. Cheesemaking at home can be quite simple, especially if you start with goat cheese like chevre. The results can be aesthetically pleasing and also help feed a family.

14. Human Hair Jewelry

This unusual crafting hobby comes from the Victorian era, and originally featured the hair of the dead fashioned into flowers, jewelry, and wreaths. Nowadays, you can also opt to use the hair of the living. And the results can be just as striking! 

15. Pet Hair Felting

You can work with the hair of your pets as well, but you’ll need to do it in a different manner.  Felting is the name of the game with dog or cat hair. You can then use the felted hair to make miniature animals and other fuzzy creations.  

16. Silhouette Cutting

I’ve always marveled at people who can hand-cut silhouettes without making a mistake. It’s a real challenge to capture the nuances of a human profile, plus you can take on other subjects too. Though originally done by hand, software and cutting machines exist to help you now.

17. Loom Weaving

This classic craft has fallen out of fashion in the modern era, as it’s pretty time-consuming. One thing to keep in mind when considering loom weaving is that you’re not limited to weaving fibers. You can also weave beads to make riveting jewelry and clothing detail.

18. Mead Brewing

One of the oldest drinks, mead dates back to both the ancient Greeks and Vikings. It’s made of fermented honey and water, and many consider it easy to make by yourself at home. A craft mead scene has been arising over the past decades, which can give you camaraderie and inspiration. 

19. Natural Dyeing

I once met a girl launching a fashion line made of fabrics dyed with onion skins. But really the sky’s the limit with natural dyes. You can use things like crushed minerals, vegetables, berries, flowers, teas, and spices to dye almost any fabrics under the sun! 

20. Bobbin Lace Making

This hobby is a bit ambitious for those of us with thick fingers, but it could be great if you’re seeking to use your finest motor skills. You’ll use a variety of spindles of fine thread that dangle, then braid them together according to a complex pattern. You’re definitely using your hands and your mind with this one!

21. Coiled Wire Art

A friend of mine likes to make giant paper clips from wire. I’ve also seen wire woven into things like bracelets, baskets, and sculptures. Metal wire is the most popular material for wire art, however colored wire is an exciting option too.

Unusual Crafty Hobbies to Try Using Your Whole Body

22. Crop Circle Making 

Yes, you can make your own crop circles! What you need is a field, money to compensate the farmer for lost crops, a wooden board for flattening, and measuring instruments. A strong sense of geometry and a team to assist you also help with this large-scale craft. 

23. Body Printing  

French artist Ives Klein pioneered making prints with the human torso in the 1960’s. And body printing is still a terrific artistic hobby for someone free-minded and uninhibited. You’re free to use the entire spectrum of paint colors – and body angles – to create your own large-format artworks on paper or canvas. 

24. Earthen Floor Laying  

Earthen floors are made of a mix of clay, straw, and sand. They’re laid out similarly to concrete, but they look and feel warmer and more beautiful. If you find you love working with earthy materials, you can expand out to the whole field of mud construction, which includes Earthships and cob houses, and ovens.

25. Wood Pallet Construction

When turned on their sides, wooden pallets look a bit like pre-made walls or fences. Put together on the ground they seem like a floor. Mix and match pallets and their parts and you can assemble shelters, decks, planters, furniture, and a variety of other structures.

26. Chainsaw Carving

Grab a chainsaw of your choosing, a sizable chunk of wood, and go to town!  You’re probably imagining a result that’s rather crude, but chainsaw art pieces can actually be very detailed and impressive. Make sure you choose softwoods for your chainsaw carving pieces, as they have oils that keep them from cracking and keep insects away.

Enough Unusual Hobbies for You?

And that should be enough to get your wheels turning beyond knitting and watercolors. I hope you’ve found some great ideas here for crafting hobbies to try!

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