If you’re looking for your next creative project for 2023 but don’t know where to start, the following list should spark some inspiration. Whether you’re a traditional crafter or someone who doesn’t consider yourself very creative, these projects are all easy to get into and don’t require a lot of money to get started.
Read on for ten unusual creative projects you can start while you’re stuck at home in 2023.
Bizarre, Innovative & Creative Hobby Projects
- Hama Beading
This is a traditional Danish craft that’s ideal for all ages. The beads can be placed onto a specialised board to create designs that resemble old-school pixelated art. There are tons of guides online, and it’s easy to start creating your own designs once you know what you’re doing. You can then tip the beads out and start all over again, or save any designs by using ironing paper and melting the beads together slightly by ironing over them.
Young kids should be supervised to minimize the risk of swallowing small parts, and the level of complexity can quickly scale depending on age and confidence level. Overall, this is one of the easiest unusual crafts to start doing.
Macramé is believed to have been invented by Arabic weavers in the 1400s and involves twisting threads together to form attractive designs that can be hung on a wall. All you need is the thread itself and a hanging rack, so there’s no need for needles, etc. Different materials can be used for the thread, including regular yarn, hemp, or even leather. Beads can also be added for extra flair.
Macramé is surprisingly easy to get started with, and there are plenty of beginner tutorials online. The finished products make excellent gifts, especially because they look so ornate. Younger kids will need supervision, but there’s not really an age limit on this craft.
- Bullet Journaling
Even if you’ve kept a journal all your life, you may not have heard of bullet journaling. It’s an excellent creative pursuit that requires nothing more than a pen and a notebook, so it’s really suitable for absolutely anyone, but especially those who love writing.
Bullet journaling is basically a short form of regular diary keeping, where you summarise your points with bullets rather than writing long paragraphs. This is ideal for those who feel writing out long diary entries takes too long, and the sky’s the limit with your creativity. You can organise your journal into themes, such as happy memories, goals, daily events, recipe ideas, and really anything you want to record. You can also add printed photos, ticket stubs, etc., to illustrate your entries.
Tatting is a craft that’s ideal for those who like knitting, lacework, embroidery, and other similar creative hobbies. It involves using only a double stitch, so is quite easy to learn once you wrap your head around the basics. It’s traditionally been used to add decorative edges to tablecloths and clothing, although it’s also possible to create a whole project using only tatting.
Woven wall decorations are a popular example of what you can do with tatting. You can also add a vintage flair to handmade Christmas decorations or other ornaments. Once you have your crocheting cotton, shuttle, hook, and scissors, you’re good to go. It’s ideal for those who’ve already tried similar crafts and are looking to broaden their crafting repertoire.
- Screen Printing
This is a fun activity that is especially good to do as a family. It requires a few specialised materials, but the process itself is very simple, and children can do this if they’re supervised. It involves printing a design onto a piece of fabric, wood, or other material using mesh and ink. It’s a craft a lot of people assume requires professional equipment, but you can buy a kit for around $40 or so online.
One of the most popular ideas for a screen printing project is making customised clothes or bags. Just buy some plain white T-shirts or fabric tote bags, choose your stencils, and you’re good to go. There’s something very satisfying about wearing something totally unique. Once you know what you’re doing, because you’re using stencils, it’s easy to get professional-looking results every time.
- Glass Etching
If you’ve ever been interested in crafting projects using glass but find the idea of glass blowing overwhelming, glass etching could be for you. It involves using etching cream, a utility knife, and masking tape to print a design onto the glass. A popular example is putting words or letters on the outside of drinking glasses.
Once you get the hang of using masking tape to create a personalized stencil, it’s easy to get excellent results. You can also buy stencils as an easy way to get a flawless design. Because glass etching involves the use of a knife, it’s best for teens and adults.
- Custom Cassette Tapes and Sleeves
Yes, you heard that right; cassettes are back. Many musicians (especially independent and alternative artists) are now releasing their albums on cassette alongside CD and digital editions. You can pick up a working cassette recorder and a few blank tapes for about $50, and then make mixtapes by connecting your phone or computer to the player with an aux cord. There are plenty of tutorials online explaining the process in more detail, including what to look for when buying a vintage cassette player.
It may sound odd, but there’s something very satisfying about going back to this analogue format. You can even add stickers or draw, paint, or write on the J-cards that surround the inside of the cassette case. Give friends or family a mixtape along with a working Walkman as a retro gift idea.
- Soap Making
What could be more luxurious than unwinding in a bubble bath and scrubbing with a personalized soap bar? Soap making is far less common than other crafting hobbies, but it’s surprisingly easy to do with a starter kit, which is a great way to get started. Many of them come with different colored dyes and perfumed oils, so you can create something truly customized.
This is another top idea for gifting, or you can just make your own soaps to enjoy at home. This is a great family-friendly activity, as long as younger children are supervised. Who knows, it might even stop kids complaining about bath time!
- Digital Painting
If you like the idea of painting but don’t want to get messy with paint, going digital is a great choice. All you need is a computer or laptop and a graphics tablet and compatible pen. You can buy the tablet and pen for surprisingly cheap, starting around $70 or so for a good-quality set. Cheaper options exist if you just want to give it a try at first.
As usual, there are plenty of beginners guides on getting started with digital painting online. What’s great is that it’s very easy to undo mistakes, and because you don’t need to keep buying supplies, you can paint to your heart’s content. You can also do digital drawing, calligraphy, and really anything else you could do with a physical pen, but without the mess.
A very unusual craft rounds off the list, with gyotaku, literally meaning ‘fish impression’ in Japanese. This activity involves taking a dry fish and coating it in ink to create a very detailed print of it on rice paper. This may sound like a crazy thing to do for fun, but the result is surprisingly beautiful, and it’s well worth trying for those who like trying something new.
If the idea of making designs with a dead fish isn’t appealing, you can use a fake one made of rubber, and if you’re not a traditionalist, you can use other objects with the same technique. This is slightly more complex than the other entries on the list, but it’s a cheap and interesting hobby that you can teach yourself with a few videos.
Others That Are Worth a Try!
- How about becoming an urban beekeeper? You’ll get to keep bees in the city and even harvest your very own honey.
- Bonsai gardening could be a great way to bring a little zen into your life. Miniature trees, tranquil care and artistic satisfaction, are just some of the perks.
- For music lovers, why not try your hand at electronica music production? You can challenge yourself and produce some awesome tunes using digital audio workstations and synthesizers.
- Are you a treasure hunter at heart? Try metal detecting! Search for coins, jewellery, and artefacts, and who knows what you might uncover.
- Want to try your hand at making your own beer? Microbrewing is your answer! With a variety of ingredients and brewing techniques, you’ll get to create your own unique brews.
- Kokedama is a unique and green hobby. You’ll make and care for moss balls that hold small plants, adding a touch of nature to your home.
- How about cooking in the sun? Solar cooking is a sustainable and fun way to cook meals and bake treats.
- Get creative with a drone! Flying and capturing aerial footage with a remote-controlled drone can be a thrilling hobby.
- Fermentation is not only healthy but also a tasty hobby. You’ll create your own fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, and yogurt.
- Lastly, with 3D printing, the possibilities are endless! Create three-dimensional objects and bring your ideas to life with this innovative hobby.
With this list, you should have plenty of inspiration for your next unusual crafting adventure. Whether you want a fun family activity to do at home or are looking for an entertaining new solo project, dive in and start creating something new today.