by Erin Lawrence, Community Engagement Manager
If you’ve never taken a deep dive into a hobby, never fear, there are a lot of hobby dabblers out there. I’m a dabbler in many things — baking, gardening, hiking, singing, crocheting, travelling and more. Although I’m not an expert in any of these things, I find joy and enrichment each time I engage in my hobbies. The following list of entry level hobbies are easy to begin at home with no special skill requirements. They make use of simple household supplies or items from your local grocery or big box store. Try one, or dabble in them all, until you find the hobby that fits you!
With just a few household supplies and a little bit of seed you can get to know your backyard feathered friends. Make a simple bird feeder, fill it with seed and place it in your yard several feet from a window. Observing the birds at your feeder from inside your house gives you the advantage of a longer look. You’ll be delighted by the bold colors, quirky personalities and enchanting songs of the birds who visit your backyard. Use one of the guides listed below to help identify your winged visitors and keep a record of your sightings.
- Recyclable Containers (egg carton, milk jug, foil pie plate, tin can, etc.)
- Twine, Yarn, String or Ribbon
- Stanley Knife, Box Cutter or Craft Knife
- Bird Seed
Bird Identification Guides & Birding Resources:
- 15 Easy Plans for Your DIY Bird Feeders | Crafts on Fire
- Birds of North America (ebook)
- Audubon: Backyard Birding and Identifying Birds
- All About Birds | The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The decorative art of printmaking can produce bold, modern designs when found objects are used. Round up a collection of household items that can be used like a rubber stamp to produce one-of-a-kind artwork, greeting cards, table linens, etc. Any paintable surface is a candidate for a printmaking project, but be sure that the paint you have on hand is compatible.
- Found Objects (to use as stamps)
- Item to Decorate (Paper, fabric, wood, etc.)
Printmaking Resources and Inspiration:
- Make a Potato Stamp | Housing a Forest
- Rubber Band Print Blocks | Kitchen Table Classroom
- Creativebug: DIY Stamp Pad (database video tutorial)
- Art Lab for Kids (ebook)
With a little attention to sunlight and water, growing plants in containers is a great way to begin gardening. Potted kitchen herbs, houseplants and flowers can often be found at grocery and big box stores. Getting started with container gardening is as easy as bringing a new plant home, carefully repotting it in a slightly larger container and giving it the amount of sunlight and water recommended. Place your new plant on a windowsill, porch step or apartment balcony where you can watch it grow.
- Plants (flowers or kitchen herbs)
- Found Object Containers
- Potting Soil or Dirt
Container Gardening Resources and Inspiration:
- The Best Guide to Container Gardening: Everything You Need to Know | The Well Essentials
- Grow Herbs Indoors: 5 Herbs that Thrive Inside | Grow a Good Life
- 21 Best Container Plants | Get Busy Gardening
- The Complete Guide to Growing Vegetables, Flowers, Fruits and Herbs from Containers (ebook)
You might remember your first attempts at collage from your grade-school days, but cut paper art has come a long way since then. Collage is an approachable artform for anyone questioning their creative ability. Your skills with scissors and glue are all that’s required. Simply gather some colorful scraps of paper from your recycle bin or magazine collection, cut out what speaks to you, assemble a design you like and glue in place.
- Cardstock, Cardboard or Wood (backing for collage)
- Colored and/or Patterned Paper
- Pencil and Eraser
Collage Resources and Inspiration:
- Collage Basics for Beginners (video tutorial)
- Think.Make.Share: Cut Paper Collage | Hallmark Creative Studios
- Creativebug: Working With Collage and Make a Geometric Paper Collage (database video tutorials)
- The Ultimate List of Collage Art Ideas | The Curiously Creative
Handmade chocolates are the ultimate decadent treat. No need for fancy kitchen equipment or tricky techniques! With a handful of quality ingredients and straightforward recipes, you’ll be whipping up delicious chocolate creations in no time. Select one of the simple recipes below to determine the supplies and ingredients you’ll need. Each recipe provides step-by-step instructions for easy, entry-level chocolate indulgences.
- Chocolate and Other Ingredients (see recipe)
- Simple Kitchen Equipment (see recipe)
Chocolate Resources and Inspiration: