Looking for a (constructive?) hobby.

InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats.Registered User regular
So, I'm in search of a hobby, with a few guidelines, I guess?

I'm looking for something where I make or shape something. But also something that isn't crazy expensive over the course.

I love building lego models, but that ain't cheap.

I've been really interested in the idea of bonsai, but that is something with really long periods where you can't really do anything. And while that's still something I'd like to do, doesn't quite fit in here.

I had thought of wood carving, but honestly I don't have much of an interest in displaying the finished product--the process though is really interesting.

So, basically, I'm just looking for some ideas that I haven't thought of or never heard of.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    Knitting!

    zerzhulihmmyCreaganknitdanCalica
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    Are you looking for something challenging, or something easier/requiring less effort? Or does it matter?

  • RderdallRderdall Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I was looking for the same thing you were during the summer time, and went to my local hobby shop and decided to give model rockets a try. I'm so glad I did. The first rocket kit I bought cost about $30 and came with a ready to fly rocket (read: half hour to assemble) and a launch pad and ignition device. The only thing we had to buy beyond the kit was recovery wadding and rocket engines. Estes Rockets makes all the parts and we ended up spending about $45 total for the kit, 3 engine pack and recovery wadding. The HeliCat is the rocket we got, and when the rocket reaches it's peak altitude it ejects the nose cone which spirals down to the ground with helicopter blades and the rocket body floats down with a parachute. Totally cool!

    The rocket took me about half an hour to put together, and then a couple of hours for the glue to dry. The hardest part was waiting for a calm day where we could launch the rocket! If you're something that takes a bit more time, the more advanced rockets can take up to a week to complete and even require sanding and painting.

    When we launched it, we went to a big wide open area and it turns out a whole bunch of the neighbourhood kids saw the rocket go off and they all cheered and thanked us as we walked back to the car with the spent rocket in hand. We felt like we had just put on a show, and it was a totally awesome experience. We taught our 2 year old daughter to count down from 10 to Blastoff! and hearing her giggle and laugh as the rocket shot up into the sky and floated down was a moment that I won't soon forget.

    Building multiple rockets can get expensive, but if you're careful with assembly and don't launch on a windy day, your rockets should last for multiple launches.

    I highly recommend giving rocketry a shot.

    Rderdall on
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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    If you've got the space for it, woodworking has the most upside. That or sculpting?

    A Dabble Of Theloniusbowen
  • mrmrmrmr Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    I would suggest Gunpla model kits, or other Japanese giant robot models, but they take up space since they don't really lend themselves to disassembling as well as Legos, and can be just as expensive. To me they offer a better sense of accomplishment though when I'm done, with even the smaller scale ones taking a good hour of time to fully put together and with many more pieces and intricacy than what I see in modern Lego kits. And there are plenty of communities online with people that go further and paint them, customize them, and do way more with them out of the box. I dunno what your interests are in that area though.

    mrmr on
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  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    You a beer drinker?
    Brew some beer!

    BurtletoyAresProphetihmmykuhlmeye
  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Usagi wrote: »
    Knitting!
    I'll be honest, knitting doesn't sound appealing at all. But I have no problem with the idea of sewing--and that's actually something I should have thought of. I spent countless hours making my characters in games like Modnation Racers piece by tiny piece, so making little plushies and such could be a lot of fun.

    Are you looking for something challenging, or something easier/requiring less effort? Or does it matter?
    Doesn't really matter, I guess? I mean, ideally I'd like to be able to become good at it, but something easier than, say, learning guitar would probably be good. :P

    Rderdall wrote: »
    I highly recommend giving rocketry a shot.
    This definitely sounds cool, but I'd probably like to save that for when my son is a bit older. But I will definitely make a note of that, because that's pretty reasonable for something a kid would flip over.

    schuss wrote: »
    If you've got the space for it, woodworking has the most upside. That or sculpting?
    Yeah, see, whereas smaller-scale wood carving sounds like fun, I'm not sure the results live up to the process. Whereas for like, larger stuff like carpentry? That sounds awesome, but also seems like it'd be pretty pricey. Sculpting could work too though, and fits kind of in with the enjoyment of character creation suites.

    But, the time I can dedicate in a given chunk isn't necessarily huge, as I've got a 13 month old, so dealing with clay and the like probably isn't the best option. Hm.

    mrmr wrote: »
    I would suggest Gunpla model kits, or other Japanese giant robot models
    While I enjoy me some giant robots, I think the space requirement is just a bit too high, and the cost is kind of prohibitive of just giving them away when they're finished.

    minirhyder wrote: »
    You a beer drinker?
    Brew some beer!
    Unfortunately I'm not. But if I was, I'd be wanting that PicoBrew thing from Kickstarter. :P Though, it seems like beer brewing might fall into the same (though to a lesser extent) issue as bonsai, where there are spurts of activity, followed by long periods of waiting. I'm looking for something a bit more active.


    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys. Definitely got me thinking.

    InkSplat on
    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
  • ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    I recently got into maskmaking, which has the sculpting component, and I've found that working with oil based clay is super fun. You don't have to worry about it drying out, and it doesn't have the mess that goes along with water based clay. All you have to do is heat it up a little with a hairdryer or something and then it's nice and workable. You can definitely work on a piece over many short chunks of time.

    So, if you wanted to try sculpting, I would recommend oil based clay.

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  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    Reznik wrote: »
    I recently got into maskmaking, which has the sculpting component, and I've found that working with oil based clay is super fun. You don't have to worry about it drying out, and it doesn't have the mess that goes along with water based clay. All you have to do is heat it up a little with a hairdryer or something and then it's nice and workable. You can definitely work on a piece over many short chunks of time.

    So, if you wanted to try sculpting, I would recommend oil based clay.

    Thanks for the info! That is definitely something I'll have to look into.

    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Giant robot model kits can be giant and expensive.

    However, there are model kits of lots of other thing that are fun to build, paint and display.

    Ships, automobiles, aircraft...

    You could build a model railway. Layouts are often built on modular surfaces that can be taken apart and stored on some shelves in a wardrobe.

    Remote control aircraft/cars/boats is also a great fun hobby. Not only do you build and finish the model, then you get to drive/pilot it! And there are endless customisation options.

    You can also join clubs for everything I've mentioned, and meet a ton of good people.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Anything constructive you get into is going to end up taking up space as a finished product... unless you plan everything as a gift, which is what I tend to do. Also I have this weird malfunction whereby once something I've made is finished I never want to see it again. I have no idea why that happens.

    You might look into crocheting.. I know you said knitting doesn't sound like your thing but crocheting is so much more flexible and little plushies (amigumiri) are practically the name of the game. If you get into sewing clothing though, you can save some money and learn to make really cool costumes from scratch. My friend's mother-in-law sews, and CUSTOM MADE her wedding dress for a tiny fraction of what it would have cost to commission specially or even buy something off a rack. That was the most beautiful dress, too. *sigh*

    ... Anyway, hobbies. Yeah. I had a friend in college who was really into papercraft. Some of it is pretty lame, but some of it is completely awesome. It is as expensive as the paper you use. If I had a ton of disposable income I would continue learning glass work, but that is possibly one of the most cost-prohibitive hobbies I can think of.

    I would also keep taking violin lessons. Do you play an instrument? Things like guitars can get really fiddly if you get into customizing them. I have a friend who has taken up building pedals as a hobby, and he's always talking about specialty parts and customizations. Even just learning to play an instrument itself can take as much or as little of your time as you want.. just if you don't do it much it will be really slow.

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  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    InkSplat wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    If you've got the space for it, woodworking has the most upside. That or sculpting?
    Yeah, see, whereas smaller-scale wood carving sounds like fun, I'm not sure the results live up to the process. Whereas for like, larger stuff like carpentry? That sounds awesome, but also seems like it'd be pretty pricey. Sculpting could work too though, and fits kind of in with the enjoyment of character creation suites.

    My most prized possession is a solid walnut coffee table that I built in high school wood shop. It is a gorgeous piece of furniture. I'm a total nerd who took a ton of AP classes and you know what my very favorite thing about high school was by a large margin? Three days a week in wood shop.

    If I had the time to devote to a serious hobby I'd find the nearest woodworking shop that offered time rentals and build every single piece of furniture in my house by hand. Lumber is cheapish, you're looking at 100-150 for a large piece of furniture (tables, bookcases, beds) and 40-80 for small stuff like chairs, clocks, stools, etc. At the end, you have an heirloom-quality piece of furniture that you built with your own two hands (and awesome power tools).

    Even if all you're doing is figurines and such it's such a rewarding hobby. It teaches you a lot about how to hand heavy equipment and smaller power tools, the paramount importance of precision and consistency, and the pure joy of having something really stunning at the end that will be in your house and be seen and used by everyone who visits.

    Woodworking. I recommend it.

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  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    I love workworking as well, but the initial investment in equipment and material can be kind of steep. If you get good, you'll save money in the long run, but those first few projects, and the inevitable mistakes, made me question if I should have just bought a store item. :)

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    You've probably heard of this before, but cooking and baking are both pretty dope hobbies if they're not already things you enjoy doing with aplomb. There are ample opportunities for making and shaping things and the cost is minimal because typically you're either buying food anyways or starving to death.

    IrukaPreciousBodilyFluidsSir Headless VII
  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Paper Mache is really cheap and easy, Just sculpt with a wire frame first out of chicken wire for larger parts, or simple thick wire for main pieces, then the mache has a lot of crazy tricks for adding detail with various folds and stuff too, while being basically the easiest thing to do.

    Plus it's super cheap, Flour, Water, Newspaper, Wire. all you need

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  • LibrarianLibrarian The face of liberal fascism Registered User regular
    Miniature painting is something you can enjoy even if you have no interest in the associated games. And if you do not intend do buy a complete Warhammer army or whatever it is not especially expensive.
    I really enjoy doing that while listening to some audiobook or podcast and while I used to play the games I now have little to no interest in them and am just in it for the painting.
    And the minis do not take much room.

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    Librarian,

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  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Sheri wrote: »
    Usagi wrote: »
    Knitting!

    Crocheting!

    Cross stitch!

    ceres
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    cooking scratches this itch for me

    it's pretty cheap (especially considering that at least some of it is just money you'd spend on food anyway), and has the nice side effect of not producing a ton of stuff that winds up just sitting around forever. Plus it's a nice, ready-made social activity (hey dudes I made XYZ come over for dinner)

    homebrewing is pretty neat too, but it takes a lot more setup to do correctly

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  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    Origami?

    Paper isn't super expensive and there are loads of resources online.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I'd say woodworking/carpentry or something more artsy fartsy like working with clay would be the best fits.

    Knitting and crocheting are also really good secondary options. The plus side you can make sweet hats and scarves and sweaters to wear.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Sweet making. Everyone loves someone with a fridge full of handmade chocolate and you don't need to find a place to put it.

  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Oh what about Perler beads?
    You can make all sorts of cool stuff, and hang it around your place, give it to friends, or sell it on Etsy or something. And there isn't much waiting time.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    If you don't have the same issues with sewing as you do with knitting, why not try needlepoint? It wouldn't take up as much space as woodworking, it's more portable, and you can give it to people as gifts.

    I have a family member who cuts out images from magazines, attaches them to decorative wooden plaques and varnishes them until the surface is smooth. They can be hung on a wall or given as gifts. (Or now, possibly sold on Etsy.)

    The same relative makes "block trees" out of children's blocks. She sands down all the sides of the block so the paint isn't visible, repaints the surfaces the way she wants, combines them so each "tier" of the tree spells something, wood-glues the blocks together to form a sort of tree, and then attaches little trinket type things and ceramic animals to them. It's very process intensive, decently cheap, and is also giftable/sellable.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Creagan, I would love to see a picture of a tree. I'm having trouble visualizing that.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Rderdall
  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    Wow, flood of stuff!

    Cooking is definitely already a thing for me, and carpentry is definitely something that i would love to do, but the investment is kind of whoa.

    But I did not think of placed that rent out space.

    What about without power tools? How ridiculous would it be making larger objects with more, uh, classic methods?

    Also, that block tree thing sounds cool. I hadn't though of doing Minecraft style sculptures in real life with tiny cubes, but that might be pretty fun.

    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    I know you mentioned LEGO in your OP, but are you the type who just builds what's on the box? Because you can get a ton more time, enjoyment, and value out of the hobby by building your own custom models.

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    InkSplat wrote: »
    Wow, flood of stuff!

    Cooking is definitely already a thing for me, and carpentry is definitely something that i would love to do, but the investment is kind of whoa.

    But I did not think of placed that rent out space.

    What about without power tools? How ridiculous would it be making larger objects with more, uh, classic methods?

    Also, that block tree thing sounds cool. I hadn't though of doing Minecraft style sculptures in real life with tiny cubes, but that might be pretty fun.

    Where do you live? There's actually a few schools doing traditional artisan methods for furniture construction (think chisels/handsaws etc.), or you can look up Shaker methods for how they did stuff. It doesn't HAVE to be expensive, you just need to set your goals appropriately, as remember that they didn't exactly have power tools back in the 10th century etc.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah and you can get by with sandpaper, chisels, and other hand tools to begin with too.

    But really, low cost constructive hobby is probably going to be something like working with clay (bowls or other crafts) and knitting.

    Otherwise you're going to be dropping $100+ to get started.

    Maybe pick up model building and painting like aircraft or cars or something.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
    Today I learned how to knit and it cost me like $3

    Granted I already had yarn

    Okay, that would be $6 total

    bowen
  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    Apparently hand-tool based Wood Working does not have nearly the community as power-tool based. Which is unfortunate. There's like.. one book that is all focused on hand-tools that I could find, and it apparently totally glosses over the really important tool part. Bummer.

    I know you mentioned LEGO in your OP, but are you the type who just builds what's on the box? Because you can get a ton more time, enjoyment, and value out of the hobby by building your own custom models.
    I'm totally willing to go off-plan, the problem is I was dumb as a kid and got rid of my legos when moving one time. So I'm just starting to rebuild a collection for my son to inherit in a few years. A lack of parts limits my ability to just sit there and build.

    Sheri wrote: »
    Today I learned how to knit and it cost me like $3

    Granted I already had yarn

    Okay, that would be $6 total
    I think my biggest issue with knitting/crochetting is that I don't like the texture of yarn and such. Its weird, I admit.. but the fray-y bits just drive me nuts. :P

    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    InkSplat wrote: »
    Wow, flood of stuff!

    Cooking is definitely already a thing for me, and carpentry is definitely something that i would love to do, but the investment is kind of whoa.

    But I did not think of placed that rent out space.

    What about without power tools? How ridiculous would it be making larger objects with more, uh, classic methods?

    It would take a while and probably require more experience than you'll have starting out. Planing a board by hand is not a fun experience and it's easy to screw it up. I once had to made a tiny little box without power tools in wood shop. It was a ridiculously little thing, shoebox sized, and it took me almost a month and wasn't quite square.

    So yeah, maybe woodworking doesn't fit what you're looking for. But there are places you can rent time on table saws and whatnot, so you don't need to spend like ten grand building your own shop.

    oh, gimme some time
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  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    There are some instruments which can be made by hand - ocarinas, clay flutes, that sort of thing. If I was looking for a craftsy hobby, making ocarinas would be my choice.

  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    InkSplat wrote: »
    I know you mentioned LEGO in your OP, but are you the type who just builds what's on the box? Because you can get a ton more time, enjoyment, and value out of the hobby by building your own custom models.
    I'm totally willing to go off-plan, the problem is I was dumb as a kid and got rid of my legos when moving one time. So I'm just starting to rebuild a collection for my son to inherit in a few years. A lack of parts limits my ability to just sit there and build.

    Hey there good looking.

  • chr1sh4ll3ttb3chr1sh4ll3ttb3 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    InkSplat wrote: »
    Apparently hand-tool based Wood Working does not have nearly the community as power-tool based. Which is unfortunate. There's like.. one book that is all focused on hand-tools that I could find, and it apparently totally glosses over the really important tool part. Bummer.

    Go to a wood show.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    InkSplat wrote: »
    I think my biggest issue with knitting/crochetting is that I don't like the texture of yarn and such. Its weird, I admit.. but the fray-y bits just drive me nuts. :P

    I find this really interesting.. is it all yarn or thread?

    I once bought a giant package of yarn because it seemed an okay color and my husband liked it, so I was going to make him a blanket with it. The feel of it was so awful to work with (not sure how the product would have been) that I ended up scrapping the project. It felt like fingernails on a chalkboard sounds. The stuff I'm working with right now feels so nice I go out of my way to do squares in my spare time, so it's really a contrast. I also prefer to work with stuff that doesn't fray easily just because it's much easier to work with, but I have also shown a tendency to try to crochet anything. I made a little tiny jellyfish amigumuri out of no-fooling thread. I really like crocheting with thread. it is tiny and painstaking, but the result is so intricate and beautiful that I end up finding it really satisfying.

    And then I give it away and never try to see it again.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    bowen
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    Creagan, I would love to see a picture of a tree. I'm having trouble visualizing that.
    We only take ours out during the holidays, but this is basically what I'm talking about: LINK

    They of course don't have to be holiday themed. I know my cousins have ones commemorating their births, and I have one that's entirely decorated in dogs. (Unfortunately at my parents house otherwise I'd take a picture & send that, because it's awesome.)

    The nice thing about block trees is you don't have to spend money on them all at once, because there's so many different steps to the process and you can decide what you want to do with it. I don't think the person who made the tree in the link sanded down their blocks and repainted them like my relative does. But my relative goes kind of overboard with their trees. She'll spend a month sanding the paint off the blocks and getting them perfectly smooth before she repaints them. Sometimes she'll sand off the repainted blocks and paint them a different color. And you can decorate the trees with anything. It doesn't have to be tiny ceramic animals and do-dads. Legos would work just fine.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    On the carpentry front, look at rummage / estate sales for cheap tools. Or on craigslist.

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  • CogCog Registered User regular
    On the carpentry front, look at rummage / estate sales for cheap tools. Or on craigslist.

    This is a cheap place to get projects too. Buy shitty furniture, disassemble, strip, sand, perhaps embellish, stain, reassemble, enjoy/sell.

    seasleepyTehSloth
  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

    I think, at least for the moment, I am going to take a stab at wood working and try to make my own Go board + bowls. Figure it'll give me a good range of things to try.

    Now to just figure out how to do what I want to do. :P

    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
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