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List of Hobbies

Updated on April 5, 2011

Hobbies are spare-time activities. They cover a wide range of subjects but generally fall into one of two categories: collecting (such items as stamps or rocks) and creating (such activities as needlework and model making).

Other types of hobbies include raising plants and animals and playing sports and games.

People pursue hobbies for many reasons but mainly for fun. Hobbies are relaxing and offer a change from daily routines. They build good work habits in children and provide older people with interests they can follow after retirement.

Some hobbies offer opportunities for profit

Craftsmen can sell their work privately or through local stores. Collectors who sell duplicates or exchange them for new specimens sometimes develop thriving, part-time businesses.

Hobby enthusiasts frequently become authorities in their subject areas. Some, stimulated to further study, in related fields, find vocations as the result of a hobby. Radio amateurs often are attracted to electronics; model builders to architecture and engineering. Writers can publish online and make money from advertising revenue.

Hobbyists often join clubs where they meet others with similar interests and exchange ideas and materials. Hobby clubs range from informally organized neighborhood groups and local school clubs to national organizations like the Academy of Model Aeronautics in the United States. Museums frequently exhibit outstanding collections. Hobbyists may keep in touch with developments in their fields through specialized magazines.

Collector Hobbies

Almost any objects can be and have been collected-from seashells or butterflies, which can be had for the taking, to expensive antiques or gems. The most popular of the collecting hobbies is stamp collecting, or philately.

Philatelists can collect modern stamps or early issues. Most specialize in stamps of one country, one color, or one subject. Birds, fish, flowers, famous people, historic events, music, art, and science have been used as themes.

It costs little to start a stamp collection. All one needs is an assortment of stamps and an album to keep them in. Stamps may be saved from correspondence or bought fmm dealers. They are sold as mixtures (quantities of unsorted stamps containing many duplicates), packets (assortments of unduplicated stamps), or sets (groups of stamps issued at a particular time). A stamp's value is determined by rarity, demand, and condition.

Coin collections, similarly, require only coins and an album. Coin collectors, or numismatists, may collect modern or ancient coins and frequently specialize by date, variety, metal, design, or other category. As with stamps, value is detennined by condition, rarity, and demand. The most desirable coins are those that have never been circulated.

Other popular items for collecting include dolls, toys, books, buttons, glassware, chinaware, metalware, autographs, postcards, matchbooks, and rocks and other minerals. More unusual collections have been made of such items as bottle caps and cigar bands. Some students of pioneer life have collections of old types of barbed wire. There is als'o a great deal of interest in making and collecling pencil rubbings of tombstone inscriptions.

Creative Hobbies

Prehistoric craftsmen, working in flint, went beyond purely utilitarian purposes to make axes, arrowheads, and fishhooks of great beauty. Modern man retains the impulse to create beautiful things, and people increasingly use their leisure time to pursue it. Creative hobbies include writing poetry and playing a musical instrument, handicraft pursuit such as basketry and jewelry making, and a great variety of other activities, some of which follow.


Most beginners prefer oil paints because they are easy to control. Oils come in tubes and may be applied, thick or diluted with linseed oil and turpentine, to canvas, canvas board, or wood-composition panels. Transparent or opaque watercolors come in tubes, cakes, or jars and are mixed with water to flow freely.

Special paper, which does not buckle when wet, is preferred. Acrylics are sold in tubes and may be used thick or diluted with water or an acrylic medium. They can be applied to any kind of painting surface.


Decorative and useful ceramic pieces, such as tiles and bowls, may be made of clay formed by hand or on a potter's wheel. A finished piece is allowed to dry, then fired in a high-temperature oven, or kiln, which leaves it in a porous state. It then may be glazed and refired to achieve a waterproof finish, either shiny or dull.


Sculptors usually work with ceramic clay, which is kept moist until the piece is finished and then fired or cast in plaster. Sculpture can also be created out of wood or stone or almost any other material. Sheet and scrap metals often are welded or riveted together. Enameling. Colorful enamels are applied to copper or silver jewelry, bowls, or trays to make decorative designs. The metal is first cleaned, then coated with powdered enamel and heated with a blowtorch or in an enameling kiln.


Leather can be worked into such articles are belts, wallets, or moccasins.

Kits of precut, pre decorated pieces, which are to be laced together, may be purchased. However, craftsmen usually prefer to make their own patterns, cutting the shapes from large pieces of leather and tooling them with metal stamps and modeling tools. Thick leathers often are carved with a swivel knife and special punches.

Model Making

Model cars, ships, planes, and railroad cars may be built from kits or from raw materials. Model making may be as easy as gluing together preshaped plastic parts., or it may require great skill in construction and artistry in decoration. Some models are designed for display, but others may be operated. Model sailing ships must be waterproofed and balanced to float. Some are powered by battery-operated electric motors an may be controlled by remote radio transmitters. Model planes that fly usually have miniature gasoline engines. They often are flown attached to tethers, which enable them to circle the operator, but some may be controlled by radio. Model railroaders must understand electrical circuits. Part of the fun of model railroading is building up a layout of track, rolling stock, and landscaping features.


The many varieties of needlework include knitting and crocheting, sewing and embroidery, needlepoint, weaving, rug hooking, and quilting. All range from very simple patterns and stitches to intricate designs that require both skill and patience to execute.


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Good hub with great hobby ideas. Nice.