Free or Cheap Hobbies. We Need Them.

Remember how I sometimes say, “Get a hobby!” in my posts? Like this post where I talk about rumors about me. Java reminded me about the hobbies list I am supposed to be making. Did I ever mention how forgetful I am?

Here are four hobbies for you to explore. I picked free or cheap hobbies ($20 or less) since most of my friends have limited resources. I will make more hobby posts later and add them to this post. The prices I am listing are the cheapest I can find here.

Feel free to add to the list by sending me a message. I’ll add it to the post. I’ll add your name if you want too.

I’ll assume that you have limited access to stores and no Wal-Mart nearby. So I will be using the stores in my small town or Amazon.com as pricing guides.

Hobby #1: Making paper beads

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A bowl of paper beads. All made by me!

Price range to start: Free to about $15

You will need

  • Scissors $1
  • Elmer’s glue $1
  • Round toothpicks (not flat or square) $1.59 or a paper bead roller (I don’t have one because they are about $10)
  • A small piece of cardboard or Styrofoam to stick the toothpicks in while the beads dry (I am going to guess you can find this for $1 – I use what I have)
  • Colorful paper, newspaper, magazine pages, or any piece of paper you have lying around the house
  • Optional: Sharpies or other markers to color white paper so you can make patterns – Sharpies can be pricey but I suggest those to off brand markers since they don’t run when use you run glue over them. I have found Sharpies for about $5 for a basic pack
  • Optional: Judikins Diamond Glaze ($5) to make them shiny. Modge Podge is horrible on the beads as far as long-term goes. While this is optional, I highly suggest it. I’ve also used shellac before. It lasts a lot longer, not that it matters! A bottle of Judikins lasted me a year.

The hobby

Cut strips of paper into triangles (or other shapes), then wrap it around a toothpick and glue the end down, then coat with Elmer’s glue to create beads. You can finish them off with Judikins Diamond Glaze. I suggest this product over Modge Podge as it works in any climate or humidity. I found Modge Podge remains sticky forever when I lived in Tennessee. 

Resources

This YouTube tutorial shows you how to make basic and fancy beads. The thing I like about this video is she shows you all the neat things you can buy to make paper beads and also explains some of the issues you could run into (like not enough glue). The only thing I do differently is that I leave my bead on the stick for a minute for it to dry while I am making another bead. I leave them on the stick until I glaze them. 

In the video above, the basic bead tutorial starts here. If you already know how to make basic beads, shaped paper beads tutorial starts here where she shows tube beads, pointy end beads, ball beads, saucer beads, triangle (or cone) bead, and a double bead.

Section 3 of the video has ideas for decorating your beads and shows all the optional things you can do to your beads. The only thing I disagree with is putting water in your glaze. I don’t like the way it looks or how it lasts. I put on the glaze like I do the glue. This is the section that makes the paper bead hobby get expensive!

I will try to get my shit together long enough this week to make a video on how I make my beads. Or a post. But jennibellie does a much better job than I ever could.

Variation? Plastic Bottle Beads! I am going to try this but it’ll cost a little more if you don’t have nail polish (can get it at the Dollar Store). I am sure you can get creative though!

Hobby #2: Coloring or Drawing

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“Scaredy Cat” By Dotchi Latham

Price range: $1 to $10 to start. 

You will need

  • Crayons, color pencils, or markers ($1)
  • Coloring book or Paper ($1)

Adult coloring books are a lot of fun and run from cheap to OMG! If you have a printer, you can print out pictures to color instead of buying a book.

For drawing, you can use any piece of paper you can find lying around the house. I use printer paper (which was about $3 for the whole pack). You can find drawing tutorials with a quick Google search. You may not be Picasso when you start but keep going! It’s fun to try and it takes my mind off of stress.

Coloring is good for stress and quite therapeutic. Thought I would throw that out there.

Hobby #3: Crochet or Knitting

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A scarf I made!

Price range to start: Starts at $8 but probably closer to $20

This one can get pricey. But it’s a fun hobby and you can use what you make.

You will need

  • A crochet hook or knitting needles (about $5)
  • Yarn ($3 a skein)
  • A pattern. (I would start with something easy like a scarf or a dishcloth)

A lot of the pattern websites will ask you to join the site to see the pattern. I tend to stick with Ravelry as some of the other sites spam the crap out of my email.

While this hobby can be expensive, I can find yarn and crochet hooks at the thrift store for almost nothing. So, while it CAN be expensive, you can definitely make it a lot cheaper by looking for deals and not hoarding yarn. This is the part that actually takes more practice than actually crocheting.

The best part of this hobby is that you can crochet hats, scarfs, and slippers for charities to help out others. Don’t think you can? There was an 86-year-old man who learned to knit so he could make hats for preemies.

Hobby #4: Hiking or Walking

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Price range: FREE! But you can buy things for it if you want.

This is another hobby that can be expensive if you let it. But really, all you need is someplace to walk to, a drink (stay hydrated!), and some time to enjoy it. 

You can drive to a rural area to hike and explore or try out some urban hiking.

You can combine this with photography (use your phone or a cheap camera) or keep a journal or blog about your hiking adventures.

What is your Hobby?

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