54 Interesting Yet Cheap Hobby Ideas

Do you need to unwind? Maybe you’d like to test your brain and learn a new skill. A hobby is a relaxing and fulfilling way to pass the time. It doesn’t have to cost much money, or any money at all. Most hobbies on this list can be started today and there are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube to help you.

1. Archery

This skill requires practice and determination but comes with an immense feeling of satisfaction when you get that first bullseye. Then challenge yourself to more.

2. Baking

Baking starts with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter and ends with delicious treats.

3. Barbecuing

Fire up the grill and learn to cook flavorful meats. Get started with a basic grill and some simple ingredients.

4. Bartending

Save money and have fun making your favorite cocktails. Learn some of your friends’ favorites and design your own signature drink.

5. Bicycling

Search on Freecycle or Craigslist for a bike or see if you can borrow one. Then get a helmet and start exploring your surroundings on two wheels.

6. Bird Watching

Start birding from a window in your home. A pair of binoculars helps and you’ll notice new birds every time you’re outside. Visit eBird.org for information on birds in your area.

7. Brewing Beer

With a few pieces of equipment and some cheap ingredients, get started on this trendy hobby with a refreshing reward.

8. Camping

Camping requires some gear, but you can practice in your backyard. Look for free or inexpensive equipment on Freecycle and at sporting goods consignment shops.

9. Candle Making

Create fun gifts and decor with wax and string. Experiment with scents, colors, and different waxes.

10. Canning and Preserving

Turn fruits and vegetables into jams and pickles. Then stock your cupboards. Look for mason jars at thrift shops if they’re too expensive to buy new.

11. Collecting

Stamps, bottlecaps or unusual candy bar wrappers — anything can be a collection. Check out thrift shops and flea markets or search online for your prized items.

12. Couponing

This hobby saves you money. Clip coupons from the newspaper or visit our coupon code section.

13. Crocheting

Keep your hands busy while creating baby clothes, blankets, and cozy hats.

14. Dancing

It’s great exercise and great fun. Pick up pointers on YouTube or seek out low-cost lessons in your area.

15. Diorama Making

Use small objects from around the house to create scenes from your favorite movies or anything else your imagination dreams up.

16. Drawing

Pick up the nearest pen or pencil and sketch whatever pops into your head.

17. Fairy House Making

Create tiny houses for the magical creatures in your life with bits of plants and miniature objects.

18. Fermenting Mead

The basic ingredients are water, honey, and yeast. Mead can be made in batches as small as one gallon.

19. Fishing

Find a quiet lake or head to the ocean. Fishing doesn’t need much equipment, but it requires a lot of patience.

20. Flower Arranging

Beautiful arrangements are at your fingertips. Pick wildflowers or grow them if you don’t want to buy flowers.

21. Flower Pressing

Pressing is a great way to preserve a bouquet and pressed flowers can be used in scrapbooks. Start with a tutorial from ProFlowers.com.

22. Gaming

Play video games or start a regular night with your friends for board games and card games.

23. Gardening

Get your hands in the dirt and grow your own herbs, flowers, or vegetables. Look into container gardening if you don’t have much outdoor space.

24. Genealogy

Talk to your parents and grandparents and put together your family tree. Visit Ancestry.com when you need some help.

25. Geocaching

Enjoy the outdoors and search for hidden treasure. Go to Geocaching.com to find out how.

26. Hiking

Head out into nature. If you live in a city, explore a park or take a train or an Uber to more rural areas.

27. History Buff

Read books, take tours, and watch documentaries about your favorite historical figures.

28. Hosting Dinner Parties

Turn a passion for entertaining into a regular dinner with friends. All you need is good food and good company.

29. Jigsaw Puzzles

Some libraries lend puzzles and friends can trade puzzles among each other.

30. Knitting

Knitting is a great way to keep fidgety hands busy while creating fun items like scarves, sweaters, and socks.

31. Learning a New Language

Use a free app like Duolingo to learn a new language in your spare time.

32. Learning Magic

Magic tricks are a fun way to work your brain and entertain others.

33. Local Travel

Explore your city or town. There are always museums, parks, and historical sites to check out.

34. Making Cheese

Fresh mozzarella and ricotta are satisfying cheeses that need a few simple ingredients.

35. Origami

You can fold bits of paper you find lying around or buy special origami folding paper.

36. Painting

Work on canvas or go directly for murals on the walls. Express yourself with splashes of color.

37. Pet Fostering

Animal shelters sometimes need temporary homes for cats and dogs before they find their forever home.

38. Photography

All it takes is a click and you can capture family memories or breathtaking landscapes. Learn new techniques and take creative chances.

39. Plogging

Take a walk with a garbage bag in hand, cleaning a different park or street every time you’re out.

40. Podcasting

Do you have stories to tell or like to chat with your friends? A microphone and an internet connection is all you need to get started on your own podcast.

41. Pottery

Getting your hands in the clay and creating vases and bowls can be very satisfying.

42. Reading

Whenever you wish you had more time to read, sit and do it! Check out the latest best-sellers from the library or start with a list of the classics.

43. Repurposing

Find new purposes for old items. Glass jars can be saved for storage or decor. Sew jeans into throw pillows. Use benches as coffee tables. You’re only limited by your imagination.

44. Restoring Furniture

Start with pieces you already have or pick up something from a thrift shop. Paint it, reupholster it, whatever it needs to be spiffed up. Decoupage table tops or add tiles for mosaic designs.

45. Running

All you need is comfortable shoes, comfortable clothes, and a desire to get out there. No fancy gear required.

46. Sculpture

Work in clays, metals, or recycled materials. With a little imagination, you can express yourself through sculpture.

47. Sewing

Alter old clothes into trendy fashions or buy fabric and make totally new creations. You don’t have to sew clothes. Make pillows, upholster the furniture, and create quilts from scraps.

48. Sudoku

Look up puzzles online or buy a book of Sudoku problems. This math puzzle is relaxing while still giving your brain a workout.

49. Swimming

This workout is relaxing and builds strength. You need access to water but you don’t need complicated gear — just a comfortable swimsuit.

50. Terrarium Making

Build tiny green worlds in glass jars for your own shelves or as gifts.

51. Volunteering

There are dozens volunteer opportunities in your area. Find one that fits your interests.

52. Watching Movies

Watch the movies you always mean to watch. Decide on one genre or make your way through the filmography of a favorite actor. Streaming services like Netflix make it easy.

53. Writing

Whether it’s a private journal or a great story idea, writing can be a meditative hobby and all you need is pen and paper, or a device you can type on.

54. Yoga

You don’t even need a class. Plenty of YouTube tutorials are out there or you can try a yoga-specific site like Yoga Glo. Start simple so you don’t get hurt.