Exploring home handcrafts is a great way to exercise your creativity, make decorative and functional items, and even alleviate stress. Regardless of the medium you choose (i.e., clay, paint, fiber, etc.), you can reduce your stress and possibly even lower your risk of cognitive decline. Using your hands to make handcrafts helps you maintain and improve your agility. Whether you decide to scrapbook, knit, make jewelry, or refinish old furniture, your handicraft hobby offers many benefits for all genders.
According to research, “crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or chronic pain.” When people are engaged in a craft such as coloring or pottery making, they are more inclined to focus on the task at hand rather than their stressful thoughts. Crafting has great emotional benefits, it can improve your mood while it can also calm the nerves by making you focus on a hands-on activity and in the present moment, as well as making you feel motivated over developing new skills and improving. You can find inspiration everywhere, your surroundings, nature, or you can even take a stroll through history and find inspiration from art movements throughout history.
What happens to your brain in the interim when it’s focused on the craft at hand is that it gets a much-needed break from intense stress. This promotes some degree of healing and mental rejuvenation. Some experts have reported that making handcrafts or working in an arts and crafts field can help protect the brain from age-related damage.
Of course, mental health aside, many people simply do have fun making items at home. They might make items for use around the house or to give as gifts. Crafting is an outlet for creative expression. They can also be enjoyed alone (while listening to an audiobook or music) or with family and friends. Here, we’ll explore several different handcrafts that you might want to try at home. As you improve your crafting skills and elevate your creativity, you may even decide to sell some of your completed work online or at local craft fairs.
Handcrafts can many times be associated with female traits, however, men are more than welcome to try and practice any handicraft that interests them, they too can find great benefits in them, and it’s important the remove the gender association to any handcraft since they’re available to anyone.
For many, their hobbies and crafts have become part-time jobs that they feel passionate about and do with love, not really feeling like a job but as a profitable hobby. Selling your own creations on platforms such as Facebook and profiting off your hobbies has become more common. Adults need a healthy way to unwind and release stress, handcrafts are a healthy way of relaxing, handcrafts are not only for children. Keep on reading and check out these cool crafts for adults.
If you enjoyed coloring as a child, why did you stop? Coloring has become a popular activity. Today, there are commercially available coloring books designed specifically for adults. They’re available with different themes and motifs like mandalas (go to this page for simple instructions showing how to draw a mandala), botanicals, fashion, and more.
You can also complement coloring with another popular handcraft we enjoyed as kids such as paper handcrafts.
Benefits of Coloring
Like other crafts, coloring can enhance a person’s focus and reduce stress. Many people have reported that coloring has reduced their insomnia as well as feelings of anxiety and depression. Coloring is also a fun craft to enjoy with family.
Many handcrafts lead to the creation of highly useful objects. Knitters can produce hats or sweaters. Potters can create functional bowls or other vessels. What about coloring? Coloring in a coloring book is its own reward; the act may be enough for some crafters. However, you can take your coloring further, turning your designs into art for DIY calendars or printing onto homemade stationery.
- Oil pastels
- Colored pencils
- Adult coloring books
Develops Talents Such As:
- Improves motor skills
- May improve vision
Electronic Cutting Machine
An electronic cutting machine is an exciting gadget, also known as a digital die-cutting machine, to keep in your craft space. You can use it to cut heat transfer vinyl, craft foam, paper, and cardstock. Some models even allow for cutting fabric, leather, felt, cork, and wood. One of the best features of an electronic cutting machine is that you can easily connect it to your computer or laptop using Bluetooth functionality. This lets you design and import a vast array of graphics to your cutting machine.
Like other crafts you can do at home, using an electronic cutting machine is a fun way to de-stress and exercise the creative parts of your brain. You can use your cutting machine to assist with other crafts or to create unique items that you can use to decorate objects, your home, or even to sell.
There are seemingly endless possibilities for using your electronic cutting machine. Whether you want to make your own Christmas cards or custom signs, you can try activities such as:
- Creating personalized t-shirts or other clothing with your favorite quotes, slogans, or designs
- Personalize coffee mugs, notepads, thermoses, or lunch bags using adhesive cutting material
- Create signs and banners for parties and holidays
- Make your own greeting cards
- Cut uniform quilt squares
- Make your own custom stickers, labels, and magnets
- Create stencils
- Make paper decor for scrapbooks, signs, school supplies, etc.
- Electronic cutting machines (there are many on the market today). Choose one that is ideal for the types of materials you wish to cut. If you’re having trouble making a selection, you can turn to YouTube to see what other crafters recommend).
- Cutting material (i.e., paper, vellum, heat transfer vinyl, cork, felt, cardstock)
- Enhances creativity
You can use an electronic cutting machine for so many things, from party decorations to elegant business cards, as well as complementing your creations with the perfect best-colored paper.
Scrapbooking is a popular craft that you can do to create treasured keepsakes and to organize photos of your family, vacations, school days, and more. You can make them to keep at home or to present as meaningful gifts.
Scrapbooking allows you to showcase your photos and various other memorabilia (i.e., sports ribbons, certificates, notes, etc.) in unique and creative designs using multiple paper mediums and decorative elements such as stickers, die-cuts, adhesive rhinestones and borders, and more. Scrapbooking is an exciting activity to do with friends and family, and it will also help you reduce stress and preserve your cherished memories in attractive formats.
You can create scrapbooks that reflect virtually any time period or event, including:
- Kids’ birthday parties
- Family vacations
- School/college year
- Sports activities
- Camping weekend
- Scrapbooks (there are many different styles and sizes. You can also create your own)
- Scrapbooking paper
- Cutting mat
- Exacto knife
- Decorative elements
- Memorabilia (photographs)
- Enhances creative thought
- Improves hand agility
Whether you refer to this handicraft as renovation, refinishing, or upcycling, it’s a great way to give something old a brand new look. With some basic know-how and creative vision, you can turn second-hand furnishings into trend-right, eco-friendly styles.
When you take up furniture renovation, you can lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle by continuing to make use of old materials. You can also save money by fixing up old furnishings rather than purchasing them new.
The materials you need from one project to the next may differ considerably depending on what you’re renovating. However, you can build up your refinishing supply closet with items that include:
- Paint and varnish stripper
- Varnish and sealers
- Various finishes
- Wood putty/putty knife
- Upholstery fabric
- Basic carpentry
- Enhance creativity
Knitting is widely popular today, but this handicraft likely began in the Middle East before spreading to Europe and then the Americas. Knitting is the textile practice of using large needles to loop yarn into garments or bedding. Though once considered an ‘old-fashioned’ craft, knitting is now back in vogue and it is a great handcraft to combat anxiety.
Knitting is a terrific way to reduce stress and create useful items such as sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, blankets, planters, and more. After building up your knitting skills, you’ll be able to create items to give as gifts or even to sell online.
Some popular knitting projects include:
- Winter hat and mittens set
- Cozy socks
- Knit blankets and throws
- Christmas stockings
- Knitting needles, tapestry needles
- Tape measure
- Hand dexterity
- Enhanced creativity
Like many handcrafts, pottery is an ancient handicraft. Today, skilled artisans create many valuable items using clay. Many cultures around the world have developed unique pottery styles. For instance, pottery made from civilizations like the Mycenaeans and Minoans is housed in some of the world’s most renowned museums. Pottery is incredibly relaxing and can do wonders to alleviate anxiety.
Pottery requires practice to become skilled at fashioning useful items from clay before firing them at high heats to be used. You can create pottery pieces to offer as gifts, sell, or use in your home.
Your pottery pieces will depend on the type of clay you choose to work with. Your projects may also reflect carved decorations, paint, or other embellishments. Some items you may wish to create from clay or ceramic material include:
- Clay material. Keep in mind there are different types of clay.
- Potter’s wheel (optional–depending on the type of project you wish to create)
- Glazing and paints
- Hand dexterity/agility
- Improved creativity
Woodworking projects range from small and simple to large and complex. If you’re just beginning, you can start small and build on your skills over time, you can learn with an instructor or get great tips and hacks from woodworkers on Youtube. Woodworking will allow you to make items you can feature as decorations or purely functional items, like chairs, necklace hanger, and tables, woodworking also has great benefits for the mind and it can support your mental health.
Like many handicrafts, woodwork can be sold or offered as gifts. If you’re not sure what to make, you can check this list to find great woodworking projects for beginners.
Woodworking allows you to develop a strong mental focus and reduce chronic stress. Many woodworkers find the practice empowering as they can transform raw material into something both attractive and useful.
There is a vast array of items you can make from wood. Some simple woodworking projects for beginners include:
- Decorative outdoor signs
- Picture frames
- Children’s toys
- Holiday ornaments
- Dog house
- Small bookcase
Basic materials needed for woodworking include:
- Tape measure, ruler, square
- Nails, woodscrews
- Hand saws, circular saw, jigsaw
- Protective wear (i.e., goggles)
- Improved agility
- Improved math skills
- Enhance creativity
Jewelry making is another ancient handicraft. Today, craft stores brim with jewelry findings, beads, chains, and other materials for making jewelry items. You can create jewelry using precious, semi-precious, and even found materials to create unique designs you can wear, give away, or sell. Even elementary school-age children can enjoy simple beading and jewelry-making activities.
Like with all handcrafts here, you can work towards creating your own portfolio of the things that you make. Many artists choose to create social media profiles for their craft and upload photos using a range of photography equipment of their work to promote themselves, for many, their hobbies have become a business.
Making jewelry helps you improve your focus, exercise your creativity, and de-stress.
Generally, jewelry crafters build their supplies over time. Items you may wish to keep on hand include:
- Beading string
- Assorted beads
- Jewelry findings (i.e., jump rings, bezels, clasps)
- Jewelry making tools (needle nose pliers, wire cutters)
- Jewelry glue
- Various chains and other jewelry components
- Hand dexterity
- Improved use of tools
- Enhanced creativity
Flower arranging is a soothing craft that allows you to create beautiful floral displays using dried flowers, fresh flowers, or silk flowers. There are various flower arranging practices, such as Japanese Ikebana. You may also want to sign up for a class designed for beginner flower arrangers.
Flower arranging is known to boost one’s mood, foster creativity, sharpen focus, and reduce stress. If you use materials from your own garden, you’ll have the added benefits associated with gardening, sunshine, and fresh air.
- Floral adhesive
- Floral foam
- Clear tape
- Branch cutters
- Green tape
- Hand dexterity/agility
Theatrical Makeup and Face Painting
Face painting isn’t just for Halloween! Both adults and children enjoy face painting or achieving theatrical makeup designs. Whether you intend to set up a face-painting booth at your local farmers market or simply improve your face painting/theatre make-up talents, you can easily practice this pursuit at home and build your skills by learning from others on sites like YouTube.
While face painting is fun, theatrical makeup designs are the work of artists. You can actually earn income by applying makeup or face painting. You’ll also find this work rewarding as it allows you to socialize with others while improving your focus.
- Face paint
- Theatrical make-up kit
- Brush kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Improved skills with cosmetics
- Hand dexterity
Crocheting is a needlework activity that,like knitting, has also become trendy again today—though similar to knitting with its use of needles, crocheting only uses one tool—a crocheting hook—rather than two needles. However, like knitting, you can crochet many different items such as baby blankets, shawls, sweaters, scarves, and more. You can find great crocheting guides online.
Crocheting helps you sharpen your mental focus and reduce stress. You can also create many items to wear for yourself, sell, or give as gifts to family and friends.
- Crochet hook
- Yarn needle
- Tape measure or ruler
- Hand agility/dexterity
You can also teach children how to crochet. They should be old enough to use scissors safely.
Soap and Candle Making
If you want to give soap or candle-making a try, you’ll find that craft stores often sell supplies for these crafts in the same aisle. Both are fun and allow you to make useful items for your home or to offer as gifts.
Like many other crafts, making soaps or candles allows you to improve your focus and de-stress.
Materials for Soap
- Accurate scale
- Heat resistant pitcher and pot
- Stainless steel spoon
- Pyrex bowls
- Soap molds
- Stick blender
- Oil (i.e., olive oil, coconut oil)
Materials for Candles
- Melting pitcher
- Hand dexterity
Sewing is not only a life skill, but it’s also a form of art. Before the invention of the sewing machine, everything was made by the skillful hands of seamstresses. All those elaborate dresses Marie Antoinette (the former queen of France) wore were delicately sewn by talented people who put attention into every detail.
Nowadays, with the beauty of sewing machines and a good guide, anyone can turn into reality the perfect garments that they’ve always dreamed of. If sewing is new to you, you can start by working on easy projects for beginners so you can start learning the basics.
Like other arts and crafts, sewing benefits the mind and creativity, as well as helping with eye-hand coordination and making people happy by increasing dopamine levels.
Sewing machine (you can start by hand and later on move to a sewing machine)
Fine motor skills
If you want to go the extra mile to create a more personalized design you can include screen printing into your designs. Screen printing can enhance your textiles by adding an ink design of your creation to your textiles. By incorporating screen printing you can put into practice other handcrafts and talents, such as drawing.
You can also try sublimation, where the dyes are transferred to the fibers, pretty much anything you can draw digitally, you can transfer into the fabric, thus creating anything you can imagine.
Macrame is an art that goes back to the 13th century in Arabia. It is the art of creating patterns with cord and string; intricate knots are an essential part of this art form.
It has gained popularity in recent years because of its beautiful, refreshing, and boho style. Macrame is an excellent way to decorate your walls; it brings a natural and artsy style to any home. There are incredible things you can do with macrame, from stylish wall decor to a macrame plant hanger, the sky is the limit.
You can find great guides online, as well as tips and tricks to create the perfect macrame style, from the best textiles to cutting the perfect macrame fringe.
As an art, macrame helps with stress relief, and it’s a beneficial activity to improve motor skills as well as helping to maintain an ancient craft.
- Some of the basic materials you’ll need to start doing macrame are the following:
- Mounting cords.
- Rings to hold the mounting cords.
- Macrame board or project board.
- Measuring tape.
- Increases brain productivity
- Improves motor skills
- Creativity boost
- Enhances eye-hand coordination
The arts that involve thread, needle, and fabric are popular because they give a wide range of creative endeavors that ignite our creativity, entertain the hands, and have a broad market of fans across the globe. The history of embroidery is vast and interesting, showing it is a timeless handcraft, not only that, but it’s also a practical handcraft that doesn’t involve perishable products and that you can easily store in a box.
If you’re an avid internet user, you’ve probably come across incredible designs created through cross-sticking, but you’ve probably haven’t considered it. Maybe this will spark your curiosity.
Cross-stitching is one of the most accessible forms of hand embroidery to learn. It is the art of creating patterns, shapes, landscapes, or images with thread.
What do you need to get started?
Needle and Needle Minders.
Thread, in all the colors that you like.
Increase eye-hand coordination
Focus and concentration
Early problem solving
Holidays and Special Events
Gifts and Presents
Any handcrafts we’ve discussed can be given as holiday gifts or sold at special events like arts and crafts fairs. Handcrafts continue to be viewed as heirloom gifts, especially when they are highly artistic or useful. Whether you knit scarves or pour cinnamon-scented candles, you can share your handcrafts with others–or even personalize them, making them an extraordinary gift.
You can also use your crafting talents to create holiday decorations for your home, office or to give away as gifts. You can make fun holiday signs for your porch, Christmas tree ornaments, or even seasonal pillows and throws. When making decorative items for the holidays, you can also include your kids. Crafting will help them build up their skills, exercise creativity, and shed some stress.
Although each handicraft requires different techniques and materials, they all support our need to unwind and de-stress. Find a craft that appeals to you and set aside some time to enjoy it routinely. You’ll discover that your skills will improve over time, and you’ll also wind up with items that are both decorative and functional—items you can keep at home, offer as gifts, or even sell.
You can even create a portfolio of your work, keeping a record of your pieces is a great way of seeing your progress, you can start on your own, and as you advance you can even hire a photographer to immortalize your craft. Many professional photographers are hired to create a crisp-looking portfolio of handcrafts. It’s a fantastic way of using one form of art to immortalize another form of art.