Hobby Hunting

Find a hobby that works for you

Hobbies can serve many functions. Some men and women turn their hobbies into careers, while others rely on their hobbies to provide a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Inspiring hobbies can make life more rewarding. While many people experience some trial and error as they seek something to fill their downtime, the following are a few tips to finding a hobby that will enrich your life and maybe even the lives of others.

Consider your interests

Much like you considered your interests when choosing a career path, you can benefit from doing the same when the time comes to find a hobby. If your work remains your passion, look for ways to share that passion with others. Perhaps you can teach a class at your community’s learning annex or volunteer to work with high school kids who might have expressed an interest in your line of work. If you want to leave the office behind in your downtime, consider your other interests. Avid readers may want to start a local book club, while film buffs may enjoy starting a local film appreciation group. The more passionate you are about a topic or activity, the more likely you can turn it into a successful and rewarding hobby.

Consider your needs

Another way to find a successful hobby is to consider why you want one in the first place. If your workdays tend to be hectic and you want a quiet escape, then a peaceful hobby such as painting might do the trick. If you’re looking for a hobby that can add some spice to your social life and help you meet new people, look for something that encourages teamwork or interaction with other people your age.

Consider your availability

Another thing to consider when choosing a hobby is how much time you will have to pursue it. If your schedule is especially hectic or unpredictable, avoid hobbies that require a big time commitment, as such activities may prove too difficult to commit to. In such situations, a hobby that allows you to embrace it on your own time will likely prove more enjoyable than one where you must adhere to a schedule that you simply can’t honor. If you have a substantial amount of free time, then something that requires more involvement on your part might be right up your alley, whereas hobbies that don’t require much regular participation likely won’t provide the respite or fulfillment you’re looking for.

Consider those closest to you

Many people find that the best hobbies are the ones that allow them to spend more time with their loved ones, whether those loved ones are their own children, their parents or their close friends. Parents may want to find an activity that allows them to bond with their children, while young working professionals may want to find an activity that provides them with opportunities to spend time with their equally busy friends.

Crafts for the not-so-crafty hobbyist

Creativity lends a lot to everyday life. School parties are made that much better by intricate dessert designs. Handmade blankets tend to be more inspiring and cherished than mass-produced alternatives. Because of that, many people find hobbies hobby 2that inspire their creativity to be incredibly rewarding.

While crafting is a hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill sets, some people are more craft-inclined than others. That doesn’t mean those with little arts and crafts experience cannot make items they can be proud of. The following are a handful of projects for inexperienced crafters who may feel as though they have two left thumbs.

Dress-up premade items

Sandra Lee made a career of teaching people how to blend some prepackaged food items with other ingredients to create semi-homemade menus. Anyone can use the same mentality to put together craft projects without having to start from scratch. Search the hobby stores or department stores for items that can be paired together. For example, why not glue a 4-by-6-inch picture frame to the top of candlestick holder for an ornate and interesting design element at home? Mason jars can be embellished with just about anything – from ribbon to fabric to glitter – giving them a decorative touch. Simply giving an item a new coat of paint or adding some decorative tacks or hooks can easily change its look and give it a crafty feel.

Grow comfortable with a computer printer

Homespun graphic arts can be mastered by just about anyone with access to some clip art, fonts and basic design software. You may also be able to find free apps or shareware online providing ready-made templates. Print out cute labels or tags that match party themes and put them on favor bags or prizes. Print cute slogans on cardstock and staple them to a small, filled plastic baggie to serve as classroom gifts or Valentines. Make a collage of different images and print them out to frame. Or snap a picture of a particular pattern or design element that fits with a room’s theme and then frame that image for matching artwork.

Make soaps or candles

Thanks to the bevy of kits available at craft stores, it’s easier than ever to make your own soaps or candles at home. All it usually takes is melting down the medium, adding the desired scents and colors and then allowing them to set in a mold or container. The result may seem like you worked for hours when really it was a relatively easy task. These handmade products can make great hostess gifts or nice touches when guests stay over at your home.

Personalize clothing

You do not have to be an artist to create t-shirts, aprons or other items that have that personalized touch. If you do not want to hassle with the mess of fabric paints or pens, use iron-on stencils or letters. Another idea is to create your own stencil (fire up that printer again), cut out your design or letters and then use a bleach pen sold in the laundry or cleaning aisle to color in the design. Let it sit and then launder for a faded and fun project.

Crafting doesn’t have to be difficult. Projects exist for people of varying skill levels.

-Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.