13 Enriching Hobbies to Start Now That Make Use of 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.

1. Woodworking

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

You’ll be a hit with everyone for birthdays as you’ll be able to create beautiful pieces of furniture or create memorable keepsakes such as chopping boards or birdhouses.

Another great thing about woodworking as a practical hands-on hobby is that there are many areas in which you can specialize. For example, you could endeavor to focus on woodcarving which is a cost-effective way to craft beautiful trinkets or handy objects like stirring spoons.

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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. Cooking

Cooking 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. Plus, 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 cooking is so versatile, you can work with some of the cheapest ingredients on the planet and can still end up making amazingly tasty meals — the only limitation is your imagination 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 keen focus, tenacity, and the ability to adapt, especially 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 even need to get physical with anyone else if you really don’t want to. Plus, 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.

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 also allowing you 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 help highlight some of the processes and the time you’ll need to invest to monitor how your brewing is coming along.

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Homebrewing can be done for relatively little expense but if you’re wanting to experience it in all its glory then you can easily spend hundreds, or even 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 a physical 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.

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There’s also graffiti which is becoming far more accepted these days especially as you can create beautiful murals whereby you can enhance the color of 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 it definitely ranks up there as one of the most hands-on activities whilst simultaneously getting you fit to take on any challenge. Some people perceive it as a brutish pastime but it’s definitely becoming more acceptable as people compete to have the best possible bodies and carved-out features to show off on their social media feeds.

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Over the past ten years, the popularity of having a muscular physique has skyrocketed for both men and women. In fact, it is now seen as very desirable for women to have a muscular physique just as much as men.

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 motives and capabilities to prevent being captured.

Fishing requires plenty of hands-on skills to utilize the fishing rod properly once you’ve managed to get the bite. It often requires a careful pulling motion on the rod woven between reeling in the cable to make the most of your potential for catching a fish which in some cases, will take many months or even years to perfect.

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Most people fish for sport where they will compete to 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, sustainable protein-filled meal if you wish, or could even commercialize it into a business if that takes your fancy.

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 professionals to help assist you in reaching your desired goals.

It’s a year-round hobby that requires constant attention which gets more rewarding the longer you stick with it. In fact, it’s often said that people who become gardeners never really stop!

Even if you do not have a great amount of space to garden, there are easy options to garden year-round indoors, such as hydroponic gardening. There is really no reason you can’t give it a try!

9. Sewing

Sewing is another practical hobby that requires hands-on attention to allow you to make beautiful clothing garments so you can repair vintage pieces that need a little bit of tender love and care. It can be done with the use of professional machine-style tools or by hand in many cases, especially if you want greater input and 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 such as adorable dog clothes.

10. Model Building & Painting

If you want an activity that requires your own artistic touch with a little bit of guidance then building models fit the bill quite nicely.

In fact, models come in many formats and often require you to paint them for added realism or so you can 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 even dioramas to recreate epic historical scenes.

It’s a cathartic process for many people which can help to reduce your general day-to-day stress, however, it’s also incredibly fun to watch your collection grow over time that you’ll be able to show off to your friends and family.

11. Origami

In case you didn’t know, origami is the art of paper folding whereby you can accomplish intricate shapes or structures as the end result. 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 if there are moments when 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 are 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.

13. Sign Language

Learning sign language as a hobby offers a profound journey into a rich and expressive form of communication. Beyond its practical applications in fostering inclusivity and bridging communication gaps, delving into sign language opens a window to a vibrant culture and community.

It’s a hobby that not only enhances linguistic skills but also cultivates empathy and understanding for the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Mastering sign language involves a beautiful dance of hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language, inviting enthusiasts to immerse themselves in a world where words come to life in a visually captivating way.

Whether it’s through online sign language classes, or local meet-ups, engaging with sign language as a hobby is a fulfilling pursuit that broadens horizons and deepens connections with others.


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.