Top 12 Hobbies That Involve Using Your Hands


Hobbies that involve using your hands are great for practical learners or people who don’t want to sit reading presentations all day to get skilled up in a chosen pastime.

This is a great way to learn as it means you can actually start your new skill from the get go rather than having to wait days or weeks before you can sink your teeth into it.

This is the same logic that makes becoming an apprentice more appealing than becoming a student as you can start doing what you need to do and adding on extra bits as you go whilst getting paid.

Hands-on hobbies are great for nearly anyone for many different reasons; for example, if you spend lots of time working in an office all day then you may want to flex your physical side to create something useful.

Alternatively, you may have so much energy that it becomes impractical to sit still all day meaning you have no other choice but to find something more active or rewarding.

Whatever your reason for wanting to start something more hands-on, we’re sure you’ll find our list inspiring to try something new.

12 Hands-On Hobbies: Get to grips with these practical and rewarding pastimes

1. Woodworking

First up we have woodworking which we’ve previously discussed before in relation to the cost of getting started in it.

Woodworking is the ultimate hands-on hobby as it lets you work with natural materials which are good for the environment and rewards you with being able to craft practical commissions to either sell or to keep for around the home.

You’ll be a hit with everyone for birthdays as you’ll be able to lovingly create a beautiful piece of furniture or create a memorable keepsake such as a chopping board as a gift.

Some people assume that woodworking is an old-fashioned hobby that may be at risk of dying out, but the contrary is actually true and it’s experiencing a bit of a renaissance at the moment due to popular online services.

Another great thing about woodworking as a practical hands-on hobby is that there are many areas of specialization within the realms of woodworking.

For example, you could endeavor your focus on woodcarving which is a cost-effective way to craft beautiful trinkets or handy objects like stirring spoons. On the flip side, there’s also woodturning which allows you to focus on cylindrical objects like rolling pins, bowls, and cups.

Whatever path you decide to go down, woodworking is a great hands-on practice to learn and will allow you to hone your skills over a lifetime and you’ll never get bored of it.

2. Cookery

Cookery is a beautifully expressive and practical hobby that allows you to imbue your love within the meals you create whether by taste or how you present the meal itself.

You can specialize in a variety of cuisine types such as Mediterranean or Asian infusion or alternatively go for a broader approach such as sweet or savory.

this image shows an example of cookery which is a hobby that involves using your hands

With cookery being a practical skill, it means you can learn as you go. Every meal is an opportunity to learn something new such as the best cooking times for a meal, how you can best utilize kitchen utensils, and what additional ingredients might help bring the dish to life the next time you make it.

Since cookery is so versatile, you can work with some of the cheapest ingredients on the planet and still make amazingly tasty meals. The only limitation is your mind and how you apply it when you’re crafting your next perfect dish.

3. Martial Arts

Martial arts is probably the most “hands-on” hobby you can do in your spare time. It requires special focus, tenacity, and the ability to adapt as you’ll constantly be facing different opponents who have different skill sets.

At first, you won’t need to fight or spar against anyone, and in truth, you don’t ever need to get physical with anyone else if you really don’t want to.

With that said, if you suffer from low confidence then joining a martial arts club can be a great way to shed your apprehensive skin and become someone who is willing to take risks or face their fears.

Martial arts have become especially popular over the past 10 years thanks to increased accessibility and awareness through modern mediums such as YouTube, social media platforms, and subscription-based viewing platforms.

You can get a decent overview of what to expect from learning a martial art just by browsing a few videos. Here’s one which we thought was especially good that guides you on how to choose the right martial art for you:

4. Homebrewing

If you like the idea of chemistry then becoming a homebrewer can be a great way to learn some useful knowledge about how different compounds react with each other whilst being able to produce your own tasty beer or alcoholic beverages.

Homebrewing requires a hands-on approach as you’ll be mixing ingredients throughout the brewing process and testing the amount of alcohol in your mixture based on how strong you want it.

You can pick up a brew making starter kit that will enlighten you on some of the processes and the time you’ll need to invest to monitor how your brewing is coming along.

Homebrewing can be done for relatively little cost but if you’re wanting to experience it in all its glory then you can easily spend hundreds or thousands of dollars building up the perfect home brewery.

This is truly a craft that you’ll want to devote some time to and will need a serious interest in to get started.

5. Painting

Art comes in many forms but painting is one of the most popular areas of interest because it allows you to have an impact on the world around you.

Perhaps you’ve been brooding about a feeling in your mind that is indescribable in words that can only be expressed through a physical painting.

Or maybe you’ve witnessed something so stunning that you simply have to record it at the moment with your own artistic expression.

There’s also graffiti which is becoming far more acceptable these days especially as you can create beautiful murals or enhance and colorfy the landscape around you provided you have permission.

Painting is a vessel for the soul to tell a story without words and can be done whenever you feel like it.

6. Weightlifting

Perhaps not the most refined hobby on our list but definitely ranks up there as one of the most hands-on while simultaneously getting you fit to take on any challenge.

Weightlifting is an art form and science as much as it is a physical process where you’re slinging heavy objects above your head.

Some people perceive it as a brutish pastime but it’s becoming more acceptable as we compete to have the best possible bodies or carved out features to show off on our social media feeds.

Over the past 10 years, the popularity of muscular physiques has skyrocketed, mostly where women are concerned as they see their idols with giant gunned out legs to create an “ideal” silhouette.

CrossFit is also a popular area of weightlifting which shows not only men but also female athletes who are performing exceptional physical feats which is further increasing social acceptance of this pastime.

7. Fishing

Another physical hobby that involves using your hands a lot is fishing.

Fishing is unique because you are catching an actual animal that has its own motivations and capabilities to prevent being captured.

Although it can require lots of patience, fishing requires plenty of hands-on skills to utilize a fishing rod properly once you’ve got the bite.

this image depicts someone fishing which requires good physical manipulation to make the most out of it

It often requires careful pulling of the rod, intricately woven between reeling in the cable to make the most of its potential for catching a fish which will take many months or even years to perfect.

Most people fish for sport where they will see how big a fish they can catch after which they’ll return it to the water. You can however utilize this skill for catching a decent protein-filled meal if you wish to do so or to sell on to fishmongers.

8. Gardening

Gardening is a multi-faceted hobby that often requires plenty of physical activity to get the most out of it.

You’ll be planting trees, removing weeds, installing fixtures, watering your plants, and taking on a whole host of other tasks to be an effective gardener.

Making a garden blend well is often a case of study, trial and error, and in some instances hiring professional help to assist you in reaching your desired goals.

It’s a year-round hobby that requires constant attention and surveillance which gets more rewarding the longer you stick with it.

It’s often said that people who become gardeners never really stop.

9. Sewing

Sewing is another practical hobby that requires hands-on attention to make beautiful clothing garments or to repair vintage pieces that need a little bit of TLC.

It can be done with the use of professional machine style tools or by hand in many cases to give you greater input and kinesthetic feedback from the whole process.

Sewing is a patient pastime and requires intricate attention to detail to get the best out of what you’re trying to accomplish.

You’ll be working with a variety of fabric types that can allow you to express yourself (and the wearer) in an artistic format; fashion and sewing go hand in hand which means you’ll always have something to pursue whether that be a niche interest or something more popular.

10. Model Building & Painting

If you want something that requires your own artistic touch with a little bit of guidance then model building is such a pastime.

Models come in many formats and often require you to paint them for realism, or to give them defining characteristics that help them stand out.

Putting them together is another satisfying process that works a lot like a puzzle that requires your brain and your hands to work together to accomplish the task.

You can buy a variety of models but some of the most popular include train models, world war models, aircraft models, Warhammer models, and dioramas to recreate epic historical scenes.

It’s a cathartic process for many people which helps reduce your general day to day stress but is also incredibly fun to watch your collection grow over time to show off to your friends and family.

11. Origami

Origami has disputed origins of which most people believe it came from Japan, but could possibly have been from China as the source of inspiration.

In case you didn’t know, origami is the art of paper folding (or folding in general) to accomplish intricate shapes or structures as the end result.

This picture shows an example of Origami which requires intricate paper folding with your hands

Origami is a hobby that requires patience, spatial awareness, and an avid interest in geometric concepts.

It’s fairly low cost and can be done with many different materials but most often is done with paper or special origami paper.

It’s a great hobby if you find you have lots of spare time or in moments where you need to let your brain flow to reach creative outcomes.

It’s even being used in some of the latest scientific research to create efficient structures for space-saving and to reduce the number of moving parts needed in specific machines.

12. Calligraphy

Calligraphy is the art of writing beautifully and is regularly practiced all across the world but most specifically in Asia.

Its popularity has been surging over the years due to modern viewing platforms like YouTube that is helping it reach parts of the world that usually had no major concern with it.

It’s an expressive art form that requires an intricate manipulation of the body and brain to work together to achieve exquisite lettering or writing styles that are usually seen reserved for business signs or official documentation.

Most people use digital printing to achieve accurate results these days but calligraphy can give a real rustic feel as it’s usually quite evident when something is done by hand.


Hands-on hobbies are a great way to use up excess energy and help you to learn in a practical manner which can be more efficient for some people.

Creating physical objects can teach you geometric concepts, increase spatial awareness, and help you learn how the laws of physics apply to our everyday life.

Physical hobbies also yield a high level of satisfaction for the creator as they allow you to make functional objects that can be used around the home or gifted to your friends and family on their birthdays.

Whatever your reason for wanting to take up a hands-on hobby we’re sure you’ll feel inspired by our list and hope you give it a good go when you decide what you want to do.

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Also, if you couldn’t find anything that suited your style then don’t forget to check out our ultimate list of hobbies for more ideas and inspiration.