Rewarding Hobbies with Practical Uses
Plus fun projects to help get you startedBy Rue Reynold
Sometimes balancing work and fun can be difficult. Maybe you want to try a new hobby to relax, but are afraid you aren’t being productive enough. Your entertainment is just as important, so to make both your relaxing and work sides happy, here are five truly satisfying hobbies that have uses beyond just “fun.”
Knitting or crochet
Knitting and crocheting are both hobbies that blend relaxation and practical use. You can make anything from a doily to a summer blouse to an adorable plushie to a king-sized blanket. The only things you need to get started are yarn, and either knitting needles or a crochet hook, depending on your hobby of choice. Begin with simple projects like doilies or hats for a child or doll, so you can practice and create all in one fell swoop.
This classic pastime is a long-time favorite for many sewing enthusiasts because quilts can be used in various ways for both comfort and decorative purposes. While quilts involve a top decorative layer, a cushy middle layer, and a backing layer that holds everything together, you can begin quilting today with only a needle, thread, scissors and a few pieces of old clothing to make the top decorative layer. The middle and backing layers can be added later. Try smaller projects to get started, such as cutting fabric and then sewing it back together until you make a quilt about crib-size.
You have full control of everything when making candles, from the colors and patterns to size and scent. Add essential oils and dyes for a candle creation you won’t find in stores. Not only are candles great for relaxation and decoration, you can also use them — if safely attended — should the power go out. Begin with a basic wax candle and add a few drops of essential oil to start getting used to the process.
Soapmaking is a unique hobby with endless benefits and uses. There is a method to use for every skill level, including absolute beginners and children. You can create unique, organic soaps with natural ingredients or explore your visually creative side with colors, patterns and even shapes. Best of all, you can use every creation at home or gift them to friends and family. Consider making a soap with your loved one’s favorite scents, colors or desired ingredient to create a personalized touch.
Photography or videography
Like quilting, a hobby in photography and videography can be started as soon as today if you have a camera (or smartphone) lying around. Each hobby has limitless possibilities because the subject matter can be anything you like from family to architecture. Create large, framed collages to hang on your walls, personalize postcards or gifts with photos you’ve captured, or replay memories you’ve recorded on video.
Make room for hobbies