If you think crafting is just for kids, you’re in for a surprise—and a treat. Crafts for adults run the gamut from pretty to practical, simple to complex. Whether you’re looking for a way to de-stress and express your creativity or to make objects you can enjoy in your everyday life, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn about some fun and useful crafts for adults — perhaps including some you haven’t heard of! — and to gather inspiration for your next crafting project. 

1. Quilling

curled paper
Would you believe this is made just from curled paper?

You might have tried origami—the art of folding paper—but what about quilling? Quilling uses long, thin strips of paper to make patterns and pictures. You coil, loop, fold, and curl the strips and then adhere them together and onto a surface. Whether you use your fingers or special quilling tools, try your hand at this intricate art to make greeting cards, decorative boxes, picture frames, purely decorative panels, and more. 

Picking up a kit for beginners is a good way to get everything you’ll need to get started with this craft. Then, check out one of these introductory classes:

2. Candle Making

Make an at-home sanctuary with DIY candles.

One of the easiest ways to take time out and decompress is to turn the lights out, put on some gentle music, and light a scented candle. Adding candles to your self-care routine can be even more satisfying if you make them yourself. 

Candle making is quite easy if you have the right equipment, which includes wax chips and a couple of pots to make a double boiler. Many people prefer to make soy wax candles because soy wax is better for the environment and for the health of the people enjoying the candle than other types of waxes. It’s also softer, so it’s quite easy to work with and good for pouring into jars (rather than making free-standing pillar candles). 

Choose your favorite fragrance oil and learn the basics of candle making from one of these tutorials:

3. Glass Etching

glass etching
Try etching glass and using the objects at home.

You’ve probably seen etched glass objects everywhere without realizing it’s a craft that’s simple to do at home, as long as you have the right materials.

Glass etching is the process of creating designs on glass using chemicals that burn into—or “etch”—its surface. (There’s also a kind of printmaking called etching and, although some of the principles are the same, it’s a different art.) Etchers tape a stencil to the glass—whether a cup, a mirror, or another surface—then apply a chemical that does the actual etching. The chemical is then washed away, revealing a design. Etching can also be done freehand.

Most DIY glass etchers use an etching cream that’s designed for at-home use rather than an acid, which is more commonly used for industrial etching and mass-produced goods.

Check out these fun classes in glass etching:

4. Soap Making

watermelon soap
Make soap with your favorite fragrance.

Everybody needs soap, and if you like the fancy stuff that smells heavenly and perhaps has little bits of dried flower petals in it, there’s no need to fork out the big bucks: Make soap yourself! Making soap at home isn’t difficult, but you do need some specific chemicals and equipment that can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. The good news is that you can make big batches yourself, which will keep your shower stocked for a long time.

Best of all, you can make a variety of different soaps using slightly different materials. If you have sensitive skin or a particular favorite fragrance, make your own soaps to suit your needs, from unscented soaps to hydrating glycerin soaps.

Learn how to make soap from scratch in these classes:

5. Scrapbooking

Use an eclectic collection of scraps to make meaningful scrapbooks.

Scrapbooking is a lovely way to preserve memories, whether from childhood, a wedding or special occasion, or a vacation. Or, you can make scrapbooks around themes that pique your interest. One of the fun things about scrapbooking as a craft for adults is that you can either repurpose old photos, cards, wrapping paper, tickets, receipts, and so on, or buy and make new decorative scraps to add to your book.

If you want to get really fancy, you can even try making and binding your own books to use as a scrapbook.

Get some scrapbooking inspiration here:

6. Pottery

Make beautiful pottery without a potters’ wheel.

If you’re looking for truly satisfying crafts for adults, get messy with clay and learn pottery, an ancient craft that has been done across cultures for centuries. You can create a useful mug, bowl, plate, or other dish while really getting a feel for the craft. 

If you have access to a potters’ wheel and a kiln through an in-person class at a pottery studio or community college, you can make a range of beautiful clay objects. However, you don’t need any equipment to get crafty with clay. There are simpler techniques that you can do fully by hand, and some types of clay that can just be air-dried. These will be better for making purely decorative rather than practical items.

Learn basic pottery techniques through these classes:

7. Shelf Making

Source: bonnie christine
Make a simple hanging shelf to display small objects.

If you like the idea of DIY home decor projects but are a bit intimidated by making furniture from scratch, try making some wooden hanging shelves. You can even use them to support and display your other homemade crafts, such as candles or etched glassware (just nothing too heavy!). 

You only need a few simple materials to make wooden hanging shelves, including a wooden board, leather straps, and wall hooks, as well as tools like a hammer and handsaw.

Learn how to put these all together—and what to hang on wooden shelves like these—in this step-by-step article.

Fill Your World with Crafts

paper craft
Crafts for adults can be playful as well as practical.

Kids spend a lot of time at home and at school experimenting with crafts, and they tend not to worry too much about the outcome. They know the process of creating is joyful and a learning experience in itself. But kids don’t need to have all the fun! Crafts for adults can be just as joyful and (let’s be honest) much more practical, too. 

Useful crafts for adults can bring pleasure and pride into everyday activities, whether that’s drinking from a handmade pottery mug or washing with delightful scented soap. A craft-filled life brings relaxation, creative fulfillment, and beauty. Whether you want to perfect an old skill or try something completely new, remember to have fun and enjoy the process.

Find Inspiration All Around

Crafting With Nature: Frames, Boxes, and Floral Sculptures

Written By

Elen Turner

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