Whether you love getting creative or you just want something to get stuck into at home, crafting something by hand can be great fun.
Immersing yourself in a DIY project can help you to relax and engage your imagination. Plus, it’s nice to feel proud of the finished product.
Crafting isn’t just for kids. There are all sorts of interesting projects that allow us as adults to explore our artistic sides and inject some entertainment into the day.
From making clothing, accessories, and practical household items to creating quirky things like DIY instruments and figurine terrariums – hopefully there’s something for everyone on our list.
1. DIY desk tidy
For an enjoyable afternoon’s work that’ll also help you with future craft projects, why not make your own desk organiser?
Or, if you don’t want to create something from scratch, you could simply decorate an existing desk organiser instead. There are lots of neutral wooden desk tidies available online that are perfect for painting, adding stickers, or adding your own personalised stamp any way that you’d like.
If you find that you don’t have much space on your desk, these DIY clip-on desk organisers are another way to use your space efficiently while having some creative fun.
If you’d like to make your own personalised greeting cards or write letters to your friends and family, then learning calligraphy could be a rewarding long-term project.
Written correspondence has fallen by the wayside in the last couple of decades, but that just means that any letters we do receive are extra special.
If you’re curious and would like to get started, check out our beginner’s guide to calligraphy.
3. Polaroid album
Physical photo albums are another thing that’s fallen out of fashion with the rapid development of technology. But once again, the less common they are, the more special they seem.
While you can always use a photo printer to commemorate pictures of family and friends, why not take it one step further and use a polaroid camera?
Polaroid cameras were once used as standard for taking snaps. The smaller, instant-printing (and often overexposed) photos they produce have a certain timeless charm – one that the high-quality smartphone cameras in everyone’s pockets just can’t quite match.
For more inspiration on other photo projects to try, you might like to check out our article; 8 fun photography projects that you can start today.
4. Tote bag
It’s always nice to make something practical, and it’s a satisfying feeling when you’re making use of something that you crafted with your own hands.
If you’re a fan of sewing, you could think about making a tote bag for yourself or a friend. Check out this sewing pattern from Megan Nielsen Patterns to craft your own oversized tote bag that’s perfect about on the go.
Or, if you’d prefer to skip the sewing, you could also tie-dye an already existing tote to create your own expressive accessory.
5. Embroidered clothing
If you’ve always fancied the idea of creating your own custom clothing but aren’t keen on creating items from scratch, why not try embroidery?
You can use embroidery to create designs on a wide range of outfits, though it looks especially good on denim. The panel on the back of a denim jacket is the perfect canvas to let your creativity loose, and Cutesy Crafts has a guide to help you do just that.
Alternatively, a baseball cap also looks great with an embroidered pattern. You could try making your own with this guide from Swoodson Says.
For a complete guide to embroidery, check out this article from Gathered.
6. Flower pressing
Flowers can spruce up just about any environment, and there are many ways to make beautiful arrangements.
Flower pressing can be a charming alternative to a traditional bouquet or vase arrangement, and can be used in a variety of ways. You might want to frame your creations, or you could even add them to cards and gifts for friends.
You can buy your own flower press if you’d like to get serious and dive into the hobby. Though, many people find that a heavy hardcover book works just as well!
If you’d like to get started with flower pressing, this complete guide from FTD By Design will have you covered.
7. Photo coasters
The beauty of DIY is that whatever you create will contain a unique piece of you. And, one way to run with that idea is to craft a practical household item using your family’s memories.
Photo coasters are a great alternative way to display photographs of family and friends – and they make great conversation starters too.
They’re also incredibly simple and easy to make. All you need is square tiles, your printed photos, and the right glue and sealant. To learn how to make your own photo coasters, check out this guide from Popsugar.
Or, for a fun twist, why not try making coasters with album cover artwork, or even with comic book panels? The proportions of an album cover and the blocky stylised art of a comic book page both work great for square tiles. Check out this guide from the Mod Podge Rocks Blog for some ideas.
8. Homemade bath bombs
Bath bombs are a classic gift and self-care treat. And while it’s fun to browse the different colours, shapes, and scents in a shop, you can easily make your own at home.
You’ll no doubt feel extra relaxed as you lay back and bathe in the results of your own handiwork – and they make for cute gifts too.
For a beautiful alternative to the classic flower vase, why not try making your own terrarium?
There are all sorts of ways to capture your own little piece of nature in a bottle; from quick and simple mason jar succulents to more intricate, expensive arrangements.
To start making your own terrarium, check out this article from The Spruce. Or, if you’d like to create something a little more ambitious, DIY Terrariums has a wide range of high-quality materials available for purchase.
For children (or just the child at heart!) you could try making terrariums with small toys and figurines. It can be a lot of fun to create a miniature forest home for a dinosaur, or even submerge a dolphin in its own undersea reef.
Another household staple that makes a fun craft project are bookends.
There are endless ways to get creative when it comes to the materials and designs of bookends.
This article from The Spruce has 15 great designs you can easily try at home. Or, you could get creative and see what you already have lying around the house – just about anything can be crafted into a quirky but sturdy accessory for your bookshelf.
11. Photo holders
The traditional picture frame is the go-to method for displaying memories around the house. However, why not shake things up a little with your own handmade photo holders?
There are all sorts of ways to craft cute displays for your photographs. And if you’re looking for an excuse to vary your displays a little, it’s much easier to quickly swap out photos when they’re held by a clip rather than a full frame.
This article from Little Red Window has loads of great styles you can make from home out of all sorts of things, from wood blocks to toy dinosaurs.
12. DIY instruments
Decorations are lovely – but sometimes the best craft projects are the ones that leave you with something to play with.
So, why not have a go at building your own instruments? You might struggle to craft a full 88-key grand piano (though don’t let us stop you!), but there’s a wide variety of simple instruments that you can easily make yourself for an afternoon of musical fun.
Percussion and plucked string instruments are the easiest. You might want to try making a drum, a rain shaker, a guitar, or even a banjo using rubber bands and a bottle lid.
You can also make simple wind instruments, such as a whistle, kazoo, or even a set of panpipes. You can even make rudimentary flutes out of fruit and vegetables.
And if you’d really like to let your creative spirit out, there’s no need to follow a pre-existing plan. Instead, you could try creating your own original instrument. There’s truly no limit to what your instrument can look like or what materials you use, as long as it can make a sound.
To get inspired, you might want to check out this gallery of original DIY instruments.
Kumiko is a unique form of Japanese architecture and design in which intricate wooden patterns are constructed without the use of nails, screws, glues, or any kind of fastening materials whatsoever.
Instead, the wood pieces are held together in symmetrical geometric patterns by equally distributed pressure. This means that each and every piece needs to be perfectly sized, to within 0.1mm.
You may already recognise Kumiko patterns from some Japanese shoji doors and screens. But Kumiko can also be used to create independent art pieces and frames.
To find out more about this ancient art style, you might like to check out this article from Japan Objects. And if you want to have a go yourself, have a read of this guide on how to get started from Mek Woodworks.
We hope that our list has inspired you to get started on a fun and unique craft project. Whether you want to create bespoke gifts for friends and family, add something personal to your look, or just let loose and have some no-holds-barred fun.
If you’d like to explore more fun DIY projects, why not check out our articles; 10 interesting craft ideas to try at home and 12 fun and creative projects that you can do at home?
There are also plenty of other creative articles and guides on the art and culture section of our website.