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9 New Artsy Hobbies

Updated on January 9, 2016

Are you an artist? Are you looking for a new hobby? Here are some ideas on what to turn your unique abilities towards!

From embroidery to chain mail, here is a diverse list of new hobbies for anyone with an artistic mind.

Quite the work of art
Quite the work of art | Source

Embroidery

Embroidery is no longer merely the domain of grandmothers or bored young ladies at finishing school. Far be it! Nowadays there is a huge variety of threads types to be found, including metallic, fluorescent, and neon.

Iron-on patterns and embroidery sets provide an easy-to-follow design for newbies. For those who want more freedom, you can create your own design, either going freehand or using a fabric marker such as chalk or transfer paper.

Embroidery can be used for a wide variety of finished projects. Small projects can include framed pictures or handkerchiefs. Some useful things you can embroider are pillowcases or table linens. Baby bibs and kitchen towels can make nice gifts. Just remember to pick color-fast threads for projects that are likely to be washed often!

Aren't they pretty?
Aren't they pretty? | Source

Quilling

Quilling, also known as paper filigree, is a little-known art form which was popular in the Renaissance and 18th century Europe. It has gradually been seeing a resurgence in recent years due to its simplicity. It consists of long, skinny strips of paper that are rolled and glued together to make designs.

While this is a rather uncommon hobby, most hobby or art stores will have quilling papers and the basic tools. Basic instructions can be found online or in books, and patterns are also fairly easy to come by.

Quilling is mostly used for pictures and cards, but can also be used for scrap-booking, holiday decorations, and even jewelry boxes.

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Chain Mail

Chain Mail (also known as chain maille), has developed quite the fan base in recent years, especially with LARPers and cosplayers. While some may only associate this term with medieval chain mail armor, there is actually far more to it that just that.

This hobby consists of putting small rings of metal called jump rings together into patterns. These rings can be made of a plain metal such as aluminum, gold, or silver. They can also be brightly colored, as in the case of anodized aluminum, enameled copper, and niobium rings.

Chain mail is most commonly used to make pendants, bracelets, and other jewelry. However, it can also be formed into Christmas ornaments, 3D decorations, and even juggling balls.

It's lesser-known cousin, Scale Mail, can be made into fancy gauntlets, pretty flowers, and even lingerie!

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Origami

Origami, immortalized by the paper crane, is also a popular hobby. From cats to dinosaurs, hearts to pirate ships, origami has folding patterns that appeal to everyone.

With the ability to use a wide range of paper types, origami has the potential for much diversity. One can buy metallic paper, Japanese flowered paper, and even zebra-striped paper. Some people even make tiny figures out of candy wrappers or dollar bills. Designs vary from a few folds-such as for a paper boat or box-to complicated dragon or Santa Claus figures.

But some people might ask what to do with origami figures. After all, there is only so much space on your desk or dresser! But there is more that can be done with them. You can write secret messages on the backside of the paper before you fold them. You can string up several for a decoration to hang from a wall or window. You can make small gift or candy boxes for party favors. (These are great for Valentine's Day!)

If you've already done origami, try looking into it's cousins, kirigami (which also involves paper cutting and multiple pieces of paper)and napkin-folding.(which is just what it sounds like!) These can be fun ways to show off your folding skills!


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Calligraphy

Calligraphy, a fading art form, can be a very rewarding hobby. For those of a classical heart, the Gothic style can hold much appeal. For those with a love of cursive, the flowing lines of the Italic style can be attractive. Bright colors can even be used for illumination, a well-known example of which would be the Irish Book of Kells.

Calligraphy can be as simple or as elaborate a hobby as you like. Some amateur calligraphers use felt-tipped calligraphy pens for their works. Others have dozens of metal-tipped pens and bottle after bottle of different inks. Furthermore, Calligraphy is not restricted to the Latin Alphabet. China, Japan, and even India have their own forms of calligraphy as well.

Calligraphy can be used to make wall decorations, wedding invitations, and other special documents. Even if you don't use it for anything dramatic, being able to sign your name with a flourish or write a beautiful hand-written letter can be quite rewarding.


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Leather Crafting

Leather Crafting is another of the lesser-known decorative arts. While leather can be dyed, carved, and painted, stamping is still the most common method of decoration.

Special stamps are made for stamping the damp leather. These are often geometric designs, but they can also include animals or flowers. It's best to start with a kit or beginner's set to learn the basics, and then move on from there. Buying good quality leather can be difficult to start, so it's best to do your research before venturing out beyond kits.

Leather crafting can obviously be used horse equipment, such as saddles and bridles. But it can also be used to make fashion items, such as belts, purses, and bracelets.

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Wood Working

Wood working can be used to make a variety of useful or decorative items. Aside from basic carpentry, other forms of wood crafting include carving, wood staining, and wood burning.

Depending on your interests, this can be a very cheap or a very expensive hobby. For true carpentry, you may need a full set of saws, chisels and other carpentry tools. Carving or whittling, however, can be done with as little as a sharp knife. Many hobby stores have ready-made wooden boxes and plaques which provide a great starting point.

Small projects can be as simple as burning or staining one's initials into a plaque of wood or a trinket box. Coaster sets and candle-holders can make unique gifts. More advanced projects include intricately carved headboards or coffee tables.

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Quilting

Everyone has seen quilts, whether it's the flowery departments store variety or the patchwork quilt in your grandmother's guest room. But quilting is not reserved for topping beds. And they certainly aren't all either flowery or patchwork varieties.

Quilting can be as simple as a star pattern of fabric for a throw pillow. It can be as exciting as a neon-colored beanbag. While cotton quilting fabric is the most common fabric used, there are denim quilts and even gorgeous brocade quilts.

Quilting can be used for throw pillow, blankets, and tablecloths. They can also be used for skirts, jackets, and handbags. And if you're looking for a present for a little girl, make her a doll-sized quilt!


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Decoupage

And, last but not least, decoupage! For the few who don't know what this is, it consists of gluing pieces of paper or fabric(or stickers!) to an item and covering them in clear varnish.

The great thing about decoupage is how versatile it is. You can decoupage anything: furniture, hair pins, clipboards, even shoes!. You can decoupage with anything: download pics from the web, magazines, Christmas card, you name it!

Decoupage is great for any skill level, even that of a 5 year old! (with supervision, of course) And, honestly, who doesn't want a chance to put those gorgeous Christmas cards and kids stickers to use?

Which of these do you like best?

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