Hobbies are important for a well-rounded life. Not having any hobbies could even be a sign that you’re working too hard—which leads to burnout and stress. If you don’t have any hobbies, we highly recommend finding one or two.
Unfortunately, many DIY hobbies require a lot of room (e.g. huge wooden planks or big metal-cutting equipment), but there are some great options if you don’t have much space to spare. Indulge your geeky side with some fun nerdy hobbies you can complete in a cramped space.
Tech-Friendly DIY Hobbies
Programming is the quintessential hobby for modern geeks. The possibilities are endless—ranging from web development to game development to all other kinds of programming careers—and the initial investment costs are negligible.
2. Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a tiny little computer that exists on a single circuit board that’s barely bigger than a credit card. It has a processor, memory, ports for peripherals and networking, and graphical output.
Like the Raspberry Pi, Arduino is a micro-computer that exists on a tiny circuit board. Several different Arduino kits are available for purchase to suit all kinds of projects; we recommend the Uno model, which is included in most starter kits.
4. Ham Radio
Although technology has blown past the usefulness of ham radio, the amateur radio community is still as enthusiastic as ever. Not only is it a hands-on approach to learning about radio theory, but it also allows you to converse with people all around the world.
Do note that ham radio operation is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission in the United States and you’ll have to get licensed if you want to operate legally. Fortunately, licensing is simple.
Helpful and Homemaking DIY Hobbies
You may look down on lockpicking as a shady activity, but don’t be misled. Someone who engages in lockpicking isn’t necessarily training themselves to break into houses or rob vaults. In fact, many lockpicking communities actively discourage that kind of behavior.
The fun comes from figuring out and bypassing the locking mechanisms themselves, hence why puzzle-lovers tend to enjoy this hobby. And if you ever find yourself in an emergency that requires a lock being picked, that’s just icing on the cake.
6. Knot Tying
Most only know one or two knots (the standard shoelace knot is probably the most common), but there are hundreds of other knots out there, each one useful for specific circumstances.
Certain activities rely heavily on good knots, but knots are interesting enough on their own to be their own hobby.
Whittling is simple to learn, calming for the soul, and highly satisfying.
Eventually, you can graduate and take on woodworking projects that are a bit more involved, but the beauty of whittling is that it doesn’t require much space.
If you’re a fan of craft beer and you want to delve into a geekier corner of that hobby, consider learning how to brew your own beer. You can start small—batches that are only a few gallons large—and increase your output if you find that you like it.
Several modern microbrewery owners started as simple homebrew hobbyists, but you don’t have to take that route if you don’t want to.
Canning is a catch-all term for hobbies that revolve around food preservation. Cans and jars are used to store homemade items like pickles and jams, but the hobby also includes freezing, dehydration, curing, smoking, distilling, cellaring, and more.
The actual process of canning is pretty simple, but there are a lot of guidelines that you’ll need to follow if you want to make sure that your food doesn’t spoil.
Gardening is tough for those who don’t have access to a yard or a lawn. Fortunately, there is an alternative in hydroponics, which is a special soil-less method of growing plants using nothing but water and nutrients.
Why not make your own candles? It’s surprisingly easy and gentle on the wallet.
All you need is a bit of soy wax, some starting equipment, and whatever scents and dye chips you can get your hands on. If you become particularly passionate about candlemaking, you can even sell them on the side for a bit of profit.
Ever wondered how books were made? Why not learn the methods and bind a few books of your own? There are communities out there that are all about handmade books, and you don’t need many materials to get started.
13. Learn a New Language
As the world continues to expand and connect on a global level, there may be no more useful tool than learning a new language.
We’ve got a list of language learning apps that can quickly teach you how to say hello in hundreds of languages.
Calligraphy is a stunning skill you can learn in a small space using nothing but a pencil or pen and some scrap paper. It’s also a tool you can use for the rest of your life. Every birthday card and letter you write will have a special touch handcrafted by yourself.
Creative DIY Hobbies
15. Create Your Own Comic Book
Creating your own comic book is a good way to combine multiple talents including writing and art. Become the hero of your own story and make yourself the main character.
If you’re worried about drawing the characters, there are some pretty cool websites available to help you get started with drawing.
Most of us outgrew LEGO somewhere in our teens, but there are reasons why you may want to revisit the hobby as an adult. It’s also a great way to connect with your kids if you have any.
And while LEGO is fun on its own, there are practical benefits too. For example, LEGO can be leveraged to improve your time management skills.
Origami is a fantastic way to practice manual dexterity without any kind of initial investment. It’s tough at first, but there are so many great learning resources on the web so you should be able to get off the ground pretty quickly.
Beadspriting is the act of drawing pixel art using Perler beads. Each bead corresponds to one pixel, so you can make one-to-one replications of popular video game sprites as long as you have the right colored beads on hand.
A 1000-count pack of Perler beads is only a few dollars online, so it’s a relatively affordable hobby compared to some of the other ones on this list.
19. Balloon Animals
Once you get the gist of the techniques involved in making Balloon Animals, it’s actually a wonderful way to express your creativity—and if there are any toddlers in your life, it’s a great way to gift them with surprises.
20. Learn an Instrument
Depending on the amount of space you have, learning an instrument can be a great way to fill your life with music.
If you’re in a particularly small location, miniature instruments like a ukulele or a flute may interest you. If you’ve got a little more room, why not try out the guitar, piano, or drums?
If you’re looking for a fun and soothing way to put together your memories, give scrapbooking a try! It’s come a long way from newspaper clippings and framed pictures.
You could easily fill up a scrapbook quickly using beautiful calligraphy tools, personalized stickers, edited photos, and more! You can even try creating a digital scrapbook.
22. Stamp Collecting
You can store stamps from around the world in something as simple as a picture frame or photo album. They’re the perfect collection if you’re living in a small space, and some stamp collections have some pretty valuable pieces.
Quilting is a great way to fill your time in a cramped space, and use up some of your favorite nerdy fabrics! You can use old dated Star Wars t-shirts, blankets that have seen their day, or brand new nerdy fabrics from the thrift or craft store to create some great quilts for yourself or your friends.
24. Learn Self Defense
Picking up self-defense skills have lifelong benefits, and you never know when you’ll need to use them. It’s a skill you’ll hope to never have to use, but it’s good to be prepared just in case!
Nowadays, you can look up great self-defense videos on YouTube—and articles are abundant with protective tips across the internet.
Happy Hobbies at Home
Living in a small space doesn’t mean you have to be limited in your daily activities. There are loads of ways to entertain yourself with nerdy hobbies. If you’re always on the lookout for DIY project ideas, bookmark these top how-to websites now.
If you haven’t found your perfect hobby yet, don’t fret. There’s a whole list of creative hobbies that’ll help make you a happier person. Check some out and discover what small activities will bring you joy.
Image Credits: WeMake/Flickr
Proper creative outlets can improve your mental health and happiness. Here are some creative hobbies that are proven to help.
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