Lets Make Something banner



Youtube graphic
I have a youtube channel with over 750 Project Videos!

Hi, Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Will and if you have questions
or would like to
contribute projects or ideas you can contact me Will

Cheap Hobbies

You don't need to spend a lot of money to find an enjoyable hobby. Here I have a list of great suggestions for you. Something here should catch your interest. But... none of these will catch your wallet!

I have tried to keep all of these suggestions to hobbies and pursuits that cost zero or almost zero!

If you end up pursuing one of these hobbies be sure to email me! I would love to hear about your experience with it.



Collecting Things:


  • Stamps- You can get a great stamp collection going just by cutting the stamps off envelopes and soaking them. And, you will be surprised how many wonderful stamps you will get if you ask friends and family to save stamps for you. And, if you know people that travel ask them to get some stamps from the places they travel. You can literally amass a tremendous collection of stamps without spending any money. I do have a whole section on my website here about stamp collecting. Including how to soak stamps to get them off envelopes
  • Collecting Rocks, stones and Minerals - I love this hobby. You just need a few basic tools that you might already have like a hammer and a small hand shovel. The thing about this is that you go hunting for the various stones you will add to your collection. There are three major aspects in all 1 - collecting the specimens, 2 identifying the specimens and 3 displaying them. We often overlook the amazing variety of stone that is in our own city or home town.
  • Collecting Plant specimens and leaves - You can grow a wonderful collection of plant leaves and stems, even flowers and blossoms by pressing them carefully between two sheets of wax paper then ironing them with a clothes iron. Use string or yarn and you can bind these pages together into a book.
  • What would you like to collect? When I was a kid collecting bottle caps and baseball cards was very big. Bottle caps are getting difficult to find now and I wouldn't categorize baseball cards as a cheap hobby. But you get the idea. There are lots of things you can collect for almost nothing. Give it some thought as to what you like. What would be unique to you?


Medieval Paint

  • Drawing - This is an astonishingly cheap hobby and it is so ubiquitous that we often overlook it. But it can be a very rewarding and enriching hobby. All you need is paper and pencils. Everybody already has these things. And let me expand on this a little bit. Maybe you also have something else you are very much interested in. You could do lots of drawings of that subject. Do drawings of trees, birds, or anything else that you are interested in. It could become your subject. I have a section of my website here that teaches you step by step how to draw fantasy figures
  • Painting - Ok, you are thinking that paint is expensive but... you can make your own paints. Yup! I have a tutorial on it: (How to Make Medieval Egg Tempera Paint ). For some people more than half the fun is the making of the paints. The painting you see of DaVinci was done with home made egg- tempura.
  • Photography - This used to be an expensive hobby but, because you are here reading this webpage you probably have a computer! From there all you need is some kind of photo program, (Lots of free ones) and a digital camera. If you don't already have one you can get a digital camera in any price range. They are available on amazon as low as ten dollars.
  • Writing - All you need is paper and pencil. But it looks to me like you already have a computer so that will work too! All kinds of writing are possible from story telling to tutorial writing, blogging and more.
  • Journaling - This tends to be an easy entry into writing because you are writing about what you think, what you feel and the events of your day. This avoids the dreaded writers block.
  • Story Telling - This is an art that was very popular in the past. It is probably one of the most powerful arts. We as humans are very attuned to a person telling a story.
  • Marionettes - You can make your own marionettes with some cloth and paper mache and make a theatre with some scraps of wood or cardboard boxes. How to Make a Marionette
  • Calligraphy - This is a wonderful form that takes written communication and makes an art of it.




  • Singing - Your voice is free. And we all know how to sing, at least a little bit. Wonderful hobby and can be very enriching. You can also often find a group to sing with.
  • Learn an instrument - Well, generally an instrument isn't free but once you get it you can find hundreds of hours in this hobby without paying much more money. A good example of a cheap way to get started is with a Ukelele! I have one and I love it! Easy to learn. You can play a song in your first session. Guitar is also a very popular instrument. Alfred's Teach Yourself to Play Ukulele, Complete Starter Pack


Hobbies With Paper

Paper Making

  • Origami - This is a wonderful hobby that will cost you nothing! Folding small paper figures, animals, flowers and a whole range of other things is quite wonderful. You can spend many hours on this engaging hobby.
  • Paper Making - This is a hobby that you can do for no cost at all if you have a little bit of window screen and some scraps of wood. You do it by upcycling old paper such as bills, printer paper and scrap paper into new paper. Wonderful hobby. And the possibilities are endless with home made paper. You can make scrolls and even three dimensional shapes. I have tutorials here: How to Make Paper
  • Tatebanko - This is the Japanese art of making paper dioramas. All you need for this is paper and a little imagination. Tutorials here
  • Paper Mache Sculptures and art- All you need is flower, water and paper. Maybe a dash of salt. And you can make a wonderful hobby out of paper mache.
  • Paper Cutting and Collage - If you don't consider yourself to be artistic these hobbies are a great place to start in art. You can make some wonderful things that look great. And with practice you will improve a lot.
  • Paper Flower making - Wonderful hobby with unlimited potential. You sculpt flowers with paper. You have an unlimited range of paper to use including paper towels, printer paper, colored paper and tissue papers. You can even use paper you make yourself.
  • Karakuri - This is the art of making paper objects that move.


Nature Hobbies

  • Gardening - This is a wonderful hobby and you don't need much money to do it. You could probably do it for free with a little ingenuity. For example you could try seeding all the various fruits and vegetables in your groceries and use them for your garden. Herbs are also another great thing to grow. I got an actual sunflower from someone who was growing them and well, I got quite a few sunflowers out of the seeds from that one flower. You can specialize in what type of gardening you do. How about raising flowers? Or specializing in something like orchids?
  • Container Gardening - A little soil and some wood and you can make some large containers for the porch or for inside the house. So, if you leave in an area that is seasonal you can grow things and care for them year round.
  • Terrariums - You create a small eco-system inside a closed container. This is a wondeful and very popular hobby. I have lots of tutorials here
  • Bonsai - This is both an indoor and an outdoor pursuit - or either. This hobby takes time to develop. You learn it slowly and that is kind of the point. I have tutorials here.
  • Bird Watching - A reference book and a pair of binoculars is all you need.
  • Star Gazing - Wonderful hobby that doesn't cost anything. You can download and print star maps and constellation charts then spend many wonderful hours learning the night sky. Did you know that several planets are easily found with the naked eye? Add a pair of inexpensive binoculars and you can have a full blown hobby. I have a section of my website devoted to telescopes and astronomy
  • Camping - True you might need some initial start up items. But maybe you already have some of the equipment or you can borrow it from somebody for weekends camping.


Motion, movement, and kinesthetics

  • Soccer - This is great exercise and it has a very low cost of entry.
  • Dance - Wonderful hobby that will also improve your health. Perfect for couples.
  • Snorkeling - If you live near a body of water the expense here can be very low. You just need a mask and snorkel.
  • Bicycle Riding - Chances are you already have a bicycle. So the cost is effectively zero. And you can add depth to this by adding sight seeing to your riding schedule. Are there landmarks, parks, interesting places within riding distance of where you live? Or maybe there are specific bike paths?
  • Yoga - Many organizations like the YMCA offer yoga classes for very low prices. Healthy and low impact exercise.
  • Judo, Karate - You can check with local organizations such as the YMCA or community recreation organization. They often have low cost enrollment in Martial arts classes. You may need to pay for a uniform.


Games and More

  • Learn Chess - There are many online groups where you can learn to play and play other people in your skill range. Want to get started right away? I have some free chess books you can download right here:
  • Board Games - Backgammon, Checkers, Hnefatafl (Ancient Viking Board Game) Ludus Latrunculorum (Ancient Roman Board Game)
  • Card games, Whist, Cribbage, Hearts , Poker, and many many more. A great aspect to card games is that they also build and strengthen relationships with friends and family.


  • Cooking - We all have to eat! Why not learn the art of it? This is a very rewarding (and usually delicious) pursuit.
  • Juggling - You will be suprised by how easy it is to get started. You only need three oranges. And from there the possibilities are endless. You don't have to be super coordinated to do this. I learned how to juggle many years ago and occasionally I still do it.
  • Geocaching - This is modern day treasure hunting. People hide small objects (treasures) and you track them down using your GPS. Can be a lot of fun.
  • Fishing - This hobby has withstood the test of time. Getting outdoors, getting some quiet time and getting something to eat. Doesn't get much better than that!
  • Reading - This can be easily done for free with trips to the library. Or the Gutenberg online library where you can download and read public domain books. They have over 50, 000. Amazon has a nice list here: 100 Books to read in a lifetime - And here is another nice list: http://thegreatestbooks.org/
  • Poetry - Both writing it and reading it.
  • Family tree and Ancestry - This is very popular nowadays. I subscribed for one month with the famous ancestry site and it is quite addictive as a hobby. Before you know it you are interviewing your whole extended family to build your family tree. Everybody has interesting people in their heritage. One of my great-grandfathers was a blacksmith.
  • Learn a New Language - Nowadays you can learn a new language for free. Check out Duolingo.com. They have free tutorials in 15 different languages including Spanish, French, German and even Esperanto. It is totally free.
  • Magic - Prestidigitation!
  • Model Making -
  • Whittling - This used to be a popular pursuit. Before you know it you can be carving all kinds of amazing things. I do have one whittling type of tutorial here:


Crafting - (And you even have the potential of selling your crafts on sites like etsy.)

  • Candlemaking -
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Scrapbooking
  • Making Bird Houses
  • Puzzle Making




Sign up for my newsletter!

Do you like making projects and exploring a variety of hobbies?

Sign up for my free newsletter. I give you regular updates on hobbies and projects you can make. it is totally free and I don't share your email with anybody.