Previously, we wrote an article on 9 creative skills that you can learn from home, which Rest Less members particularly enjoyed. So, we’ve decided to bring you a selection of interesting new craft ideas that you can learn at home.
From hand knitting to tie-dye; hopefully, these 10 creative crafts will leave you feeling inspired.
We’ve previously written about the benefits of knitting and created an introductory guide to help you get started.
Crochet is a craft that produces a similar effect to knitting, but many say that it’s easier to learn and commit to, largely because mistakes are easier to correct and you work with one needle (or hook, as it’s called in crochet), rather than two. It can also produce tighter stitches than knitting, which makes it easier to produce 3D objects, such as stuffed toys, as they retain their shape better.
The word ‘crochet’ originates from the French word croche or croc, which means ‘to hook’. It’s thought that this technique was first developed sometime between the 15th and 17th centuries. But its exact origins are unknown, as it’s been historically linked to various different countries around the world – including China, England, and France.
In a nutshell, crochet is a needlework technique that involves using a single crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or a similar material – and getting started is quite simple. A 4mm hook and some light yarn are generally recommended for beginners. To find out more, why not check out our beginner’s guide?
The first thing to learn as a crochet beginner is how to create a chain stitch, and Hobbycraft’s handy video will show you how to do this. Once you’ve mastered the chain stitch, you can start learning other techniques in preparation for your first crochet project.
Hobbycraft have another useful video that’ll show you how to learn basic crochet skills, including how to change yarn colours, create double, and treble cross stitches, and crochet a granny square. When you’ve mastered some of these basic techniques, you’ll be able to start crocheting a few simple shapes and designs. For example, why not try this beginner’s amigurumi whale tutorial or this simple flower?
We also have a range of courses available through our website at variable prices. These will explain how you can learn crochet at home, in your own time and at your own pace. A couple of examples are International Open Academy’s Crochet for Beginners and Udemy’s Crochet Basics – Learn to Crochet Within A Week.
Or, to read more about crochet, why not check out our beginner’s guide? You might also be interested in tuning into one of the upcoming Crochet and Chat or Introduction to Crochet sessions over on Rest Less Events.
Tie-dye is a versatile craft that you can use to update clothes in your wardrobe or add a unique touch to accessories like scrunchies, tote bags, or old socks. You can even use it to save a piece of clothing that has an awkward stain, and pillowcases can be used too.
While tie-dye was popular in the 60s and 70s, it’s recently made a comeback. More shops are stocking clothes with pastel-coloured tie-dye designs. However, if you want to save money and learn a new skill in the process, it’s worth having a go at making your own at home instead.
Many people initially think of tie-dye as something too awkward or messy, but it’s actually pretty straightforward – and lots of fun!
Before you start, you’ll need to think about what sort of colours you’d like to go for. For a more classic or simple tie-dye effect, you can use just one or two colours. Or, to create a statement piece, that really stands out, you could go for multi colours. Hobbycraft sells packs of a single colour, three colours, or a set of five.
When choosing an item to act as your canvas, it’s best to go for clothes, accessories, or pillowcases that are made from natural materials like cotton or linen, as the dyes absorb into the fibres more easily.
You’ll also need a wire rack, a washing up bowl or bucket, a pair of rubber gloves, and some elastic bands. This helpful guide from Stylist will show you what to do next, and how to achieve the pattern you want – whether that be swirls, circles, or a chequered effect.
If you’d like more inspiration, why not take a look at the video below?
The wonderful thing about origami is that it’s inexpensive, can be done anywhere, and develops a number of different skills, such as hand-eye coordination, sequencing, maths reasoning – and of course, patience. Plus, all you need to get started is some paper and your hands.
The word ‘origami’ is Japanese and simply means oru (to fold) kami (paper). Paper first came into use in Japan in the sixth century. When monks and rich people began using it for religious or ceremonial purposes (paper was expensive at this time, so wasn’t widely available). Then, in the 1600s, when paper became more affordable, it was used more widely as a medium for art.
Today, origami remains extremely popular in Japan and is taught to children in elementary school. It’s also been adopted by adults and children across the world – some do it for fun, others for relaxation or to develop specific skills, and some also sell their creations.
Popular origami shapes include animals and flowers. But people are increasingly pushing the boundaries of what they can create; making paper towns or hanging displays of intricate paper patterns and shapes. The craft didn’t originally allow cutting or glueing of paper, but many modern books and tutorials do sometimes use these techniques, often to add stability to the final design of a model.
The good news is that getting started with origami is pretty straightforward – all you’ll need is some origami paper. This can measure anywhere between 3” and 14” square, so it’s up to you to choose a size, depending on how big you’d like your models to be.
You can either turn some plain or coloured paper into origami paper by cutting it to size, or you could consider buying some ready-made origami paper. Amazon has a huge selection, which you can find here.
You could also consider using old magazine pages, music sheets, wrapping paper, or baking paper. Take a look at this article from The Spruce Crafts for more ideas on what you could use that you might already have at home.
To get started on your origami journey, why not take a look at our comprehensive beginner’s guide? It’ll explain everything you need to know; from what paper to buy and the basic folds, to tips on choosing your first project.
We also have a number of origami courses at varying prices available through our website – such as Udemy’s Easy Origami with Eleni: Master the Basics of Paper Folding – which will set you off on the right track.
Another bonus of origami is that even when you master basic shapes, there’s always a more complex model that you could go on to learn. If you’d like to see some of the best origami creations out there, check out the YouTube video below which features a dragon, a bicycle, and a spider!
4. Take on a miniature project
If you’re looking for a craft that requires you to use a few different skills like painting, measuring, cutting, and glueing, you might like to consider taking on a miniature project.
These projects can include painting ready-made miniatures (such as the contents of a dollhouse or a model aircraft), or building and painting your own miniature models, (for example, a house, car, or railway), from scratch.
Working with miniatures can encourage escapism. It’s really easy to get lost in the process while you create new worlds and bring characters to life. Painting something very tiny also requires a lot of patience and a steady hand, which is useful if you want to practise being more mindful.
If you’re interested in making a mini project, it’s a good idea to first decide what sort of model you’d like to make. YouTube is a fantastic resource to find out how to make anything miniature – including tiny fruit, miniature beauty products, and books.
To see how to make a beautiful miniature house out of cardboard, check out this video. Or, if you’re interested in learning how to build a model railway on a budget, it’s worth taking a look at Budget Model Railways channel. Alternatively, if you want to learn how to build a miniature castle, have a watch of this video.
While all of the materials in these videos can be purchased from places like Amazon, Hobbycraft, or DIY stores like B&Q and Homebase, it’s also worth seeing what sort of model kits are out there. Often, these are just as fun to put together, but you’ll have everything you need in one box and won’t have to spend as much time cutting things to size. Amazon has a huge range, as does Hobbycraft.
For more miniature inspiration, the video below will show you how to make 26 miniatures in five minutes.
If you like the idea of working with miniatures but don’t fancy building something from scratch, you could learn how to paint ready-made models instead.
To see how miniature painting is done, check out this YouTube video, which will show you how to paint things like cutlery and crockery for a doll’s house. It’s fascinating to watch, and you’ll get to learn how to create a rust effect or a wood finish.
In most cases, acrylic paint is the best paint to use for miniatures as it can be brushed or sprayed on – or you might even be able to use paint markers. You’ll also need some detail brushes which, again, you can pick up from Amazon or Hobbycraft for a few pounds. The size of your brush will of course depend on the size of your miniature.
For tips on using acrylic paints on miniatures, check out this article from The Spruce Crafts.
5. Finger knitting
If needlework like knitting or crocheting doesn’t appeal to you, you could try your hand at finger knitting instead.
Many people enjoy the simplicity of finger knitting because all you need is some medium-weight or jumbo yarn, your hands, and a pair of scissors. This technique might be simple, but it gives some beautiful results and allows you to make things like chunky-knit blankets, scarves, hats, or even toys.
If you’re looking to make larger items like blankets and throws, it can be better to use a wider yarn. And for smaller pieces like toys, thinner yarn tends to work better.
To master the basic technique of finger knitting, which involves looping the yarn through your fingers, check out this beginner’s guide from Love Crafts. When you’ve learnt the basic technique and feel ready to take on a project, why not take a look at this YouTube video that’ll show you how to make a baby blanket? Or this one that’ll show you how to make a beanie hat?
Then, when working with really large yarn, the process of knitting with no needles can become even simpler because you’re no longer required to loop the wool around individual fingers. This is often referred to as hand knitting rather than finger knitting. Have a watch of the video below to find out how to make a soft, cosy blanket using a hand knitting technique.
It’s also worth checking out some of the other videos on BeCozi’s YouTube channel, which will show you how to make lots of other useful things, such as chunky-knit slippers, pillows, and cat beds.
6. Jewellery making
Making your own jewellery can be really rewarding, because not only can you gift it to friends and family members (or perhaps even start a side hustle), but you can also develop a unique jewellery collection, full of pieces that you simply can’t buy anywhere else.
The biggest question to ask yourself before you start making your own jewellery is what kind of jewellery style you’d like to adopt. For example, classic and understated or statement pieces that use bright colours and unusual designs.
You can also decide whether you’d like to make jewellery for men, women, or children – and if you’ll be making bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, or anklets. Sketching out some of your initial ideas can help you get a clearer idea of what your design will look like, and what tools and materials you’ll need to make them.
If you’d like to learn some common jewellery-making basics that are used across a range of different designs, it’s worth visiting Beads Direct or Jeweller Maker. Here, you can learn jewellery terminology, as well as how to do things like bend jump rings, thread beads onto headpins and eye pins, and make a wrapped loop.
It’s also worth having a look at this article from The Spruce Crafts, which will talk you through a few tools that you might use as a beginner.
When you have a better idea about what supplies you might need, it’s worth checking out Hobbycraft’s website, as they have a huge selection of jewellery-making supplies – everything from pliers and beads to charms and pendants. Beads Direct and Jewellery Maker also sell a great range of supplies.
In the meantime, if you’re in need of some extra inspiration, have a watch of the video below which shows how to make some beautiful jewellery pieces out of sea glass.
Pottery is a hugely satisfying and relaxing craft that can be used to produce some beautifully unique gifts.
Many say that working with clay is like going on a journey, because you start off with a murky lump, and can end up with a tangible object like a pot, plate, or bowl – and this can take pride of place in your home, or be a gift to someone special.
One of the other reasons that pottery can be so appealing is because it engages the senses and encourages mindfulness. For example, when we smell the earthy scent of the clay or feel the smooth, soft clay running through our fingers.
Clay is also unpredictable and requires a lot of concentration and focus as it’s difficult to know precisely how a project will turn out. The process requires you to get ‘in tune’ with the clay – so much so, that it’s easy to become completely immersed in the process.
A downside to pottery is that pottery wheels aren’t usually cheap, so getting started at home can be quite pricey. However, if pottery is an activity that you want to get really involved in, and can see yourself enjoying long term, then buying a pottery wheel could be a great investment.
This helpful guide from Cromartie Hobbycraft will help you choose the right pottery wheel. And if you’re looking to purchase one on a budget, there are plenty of second-hand ones avaliable on eBay. Alternatively, you could consider purchasing a built-to-order pottery wheel, which you can browse on Pottery Craft’s website.
Once you’ve got your wheel and you’re ready to get started, YouTube has a wide selection of free pottery tutorials including wheel throwing for beginners and how to wedge your clay. Or if you’d prefer to take a structured course, you can view pottery courses through our website here.
To see just how satisfying pottery can be, why not take a look at the video below?
Calligraphy is something we often see in everyday life on greetings cards and in adverts and, to many, it probably looks quite simple. But learning how to write calligraphy by hand is a real skill.
The techniques centre around letters and symbols, and have been practised in Europe since 600 BC. In its most basic form, calligraphy involves using thick and thin lines in elegant curves and swirls to produce artistic lettering. The concept itself isn’t complicated, but as with many creative crafts, it takes practise and patience.
However, once you’ve mastered the technique, you’ll be able to write beautifully handwritten letters and cards to friends and family, create wall hangings for your home, or functional, yet decorative pieces for events – for example, to write signs and name cards for tables at a wedding reception.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to start practising basic calligraphy strokes – you can do this with a regular pen. Although, once you get more confident, it’s worth investing in a specialist calligraphy pen. Have a watch of this YouTube video to see how you can get started.
Our detailed calligraphy guide for beginners will explain everything that you need to know about how to learn calligraphy at home – including what equipment to buy, how to develop your technique, and where to find inspiration and use your new skills.
If you’re not sure whether calligraphy is for you, it might be helpful to check out some calligraphy Facebook groups. You could join the open group, Calligraphists, or request to join private groups like UK Calligraphy & Lettering or Calligraphy Beginners. Here, you can see other people’s calligraphy, share your own, swap tips and advice, and hopefully find some inspiration.
9. Homemade soap
Making homemade soap is fun and rewarding, and can be a great form of self-expression because it allows you to get creative with your favourite fragrances, colours, and designs.
From herbal soaps made with lavender, rosemary, and chamomile to uniquely shaped bars – and even personalised soaps like these gorgeous gemstone soaps – there are endless ways to add your own personal touch to this craft. Best of all, when you’ve finished creating, you’ll be left with a practical product that you can either enjoy yourself or give away as a wonderful handmade gift.
If you’re thinking of having a go at soap making, before you start, it’s important to make yourself aware of lye (sodium hydroxide). Lye is used as an ingredient in some homemade soap recipes and it can be hazardous to work with at home, so it’s advised to steer clear of these recipes.
Instead, it’s best to choose recipes that favour approaches like the ‘melt and pour’ method as they’re fun, easy, and completely safe. If you’re a total beginner and would like to read up on the soap-making process before getting started, consider reading this guide to making homemade soap.
The basic equipment and ingredients needed for soap making are fairly simple and easy to get hold of. Generally speaking, you’ll need a soap base (there are different varieties, for example, olive oil, goats milk, or aloe vera), a heatproof bowl, a silicone mould (or a baking pan lined with greaseproof paper), and some herbs or essential oils of your choice to fragrance your soap.
If you’re unsure which soap base to go for or which will accommodate your skin type best, you might find these reviews of the top six soap bases useful.
You can find plenty of heatproof bowls on Amazon, like this Pyrex measuring bowl, and there are endless silicone moulds available too. You can choose from basic shape moulds, or get creative with flower and angel designs; you could even choose a Star Wars-themed bar of soap if you so desired.
Lastly, you can pick what scents you’d like to go for; and this is where you can get creative. From honey soap to garden mint and chai latte soap, you’ll find some wonderful soap ideas and recipes for deliciously smelling natural DIY soaps on diys.com. If you’d like to add a pop of colour to your soap, you could also try products like these sea soap colours from Hobbycraft.
For some inspiration on what you could be creating soon, check out this DIY doughnut soap video…
Upholstery is the art of providing furniture (such as seats or sofas) with springs, padding, webbing, fabric, and covers. Unfortunately, we’re largely a throw-away society, and many of us dispose of items the moment they stop working, or when a newer version appears on the market.
But learning to upholster is a fun and rewarding skill that can help you preserve your favourite pieces, and enjoy them for much longer. So, whether you’ve got a worn-out chair, or you’ve recently redecorated and now your favourite sofa no longer fits the colour scheme, upholstery could be the answer.
While no existing skills are required to get going, it’s usually best to start off with furniture that has straight lines. For example, footstools and dining room chairs because these are easier to finish off than pieces with curves.
Before you get going, you’ll need to get your hands on a few pieces of equipment, including a staple gun, rubber mallet, fabric, fabric scissors, and staple removers. You can find out more about the best places to get this equipment and how to get started in our beginner’s guide to upholstery.
And if you’d like to brush up on your upholstery knowledge before taking on your first project, consider reading The Upholsterer’s Step-by-Step Handbook by Alex Law, or The Upholstery Bible by Cherry Dobson.
There’s also a range of free tutorials available to watch on YouTube which can help you to get to grips with the craft. For example, why not take a look at the video below on how to upholster your dining room chairs?
There are many different benefits to learning a craft. For example, it can help you relax and unwind, offer you a new business opportunity, or simply allow you to express yourself and have fun.
It can also encourage mindfulness, give you something positive to focus on, and offer a few minutes or hours of escapism and peace. Plus, you’ll have something to keep and treasure at the end of it.
If you didn’t find what you were looking for in this article, you can find more inspiration in some of our other creative articles; 9 creative skills that you can learn from home, An introduction to card making, 13 winter arts and crafts ideas, and How to create an inspiring vision board.
You’ll also find a range of arts and crafts events, including watercolour painting, over on Rest Less Events.