From DIY Hot Sauce to Needlepoint, Here Are 12 Genius Hobbies to Try

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Whether you're stuck at home more often than usual or you're simply tired of the same ol' routine, picking up a new hobby is a great way to break up the day, discover new interests and passions, and have some fun. Hobbies can also be incredibly relaxing, helping to reduce stress and find a little more peace each day. But you don't have to take our word for it — according to a 2009 study, people who engaged in enjoyable leisure activities were associated with lower blood pressure and cortisol levels (AKA the stress hormone).

Plus, thanks to the internet, you don't even need to leave your couch to explore all kinds of new hobbies. From learning a new language to making cozy candles, consider adding one (or several) of the following activities to your daily routine.

1. Paint by numbers.

Paint-by-numbers have come a long way since its inception. This seller on Etsy, Cool Cats and Kittens, has a ton of fun canvas prints for you to practice and perfect your craft on.

Our pick: Cool Cats and Kittens Paint-by-Number Kit, $39.09

2. Try needlepoint.

Embroidery is super relaxing and straightforward, and it can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. Plus, it results in something fun and creative that you can use to enhance your interior.

Our pick: Berya Embroidery Kit, $14.99

3. Keep baking (and decorating).

Baking will not only keep you occupied, but it yields nearly limitless tasty results that you can enjoy yourself or use to brighten a loved one's day. We doubt that this is the first you've thought of baking during this quarantine, but adding in this unicorn cupcake-decorating kit is definitely a good idea.

Our pick: Wilton Unicorn Cupcake Decorating Kit, $14.99

4. Learn a new language.

Prefer to keep your hands clean? Then consider picking up that language you've been meaning to learn through a program like Rosetta Stone, which is offering free trials for all and free lessons for students, or Duolingo, which is free to sign for basic lessons and $9.99 for premium features.

Our pick: Rosetta Stone Language Learning Software, from $6.99/month

5. Take up origami.

Origami is a mess-free activity that you can practice on your own or with your little ones, and there's no limit to how far you can take it. This kit comes with 144 origami papers with fun patterns and a variety of projects for all types of skill levels.

Our pick: Tuttle Publishing Origami Kit, $17.96

6. Drink more wine.

Want to take your love of wine to the next level? Then impress your friends at your next dinner party — be it in person or on Zoom — by investing in an online wine course that will teach you everything from how the winemaking process shapes a wine's character to how major grape varieties inform the flavor.

Our pick: Wine 101, $99

7. Make your own hot sauce.

If you're never without hot sauce, learn how to DIY at home. This particular kit comes with six bottles and customizable labels so you can create your own spice for each of your favorite meals.

Our pick: Uncommon Goods Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, $35

8. Practice your culinary skills.

Get fresh ingredients and recipes delivered to your door weekly with an at-home meal prep subscription box. There are a ton out there to choose from — see our full list of faves here — but we love that Home Chef provides week-to-week flexibility so you can swap out proteins and give specific guidelines like 'carb-conscious' or 'ready in 15 minutes,' all while improving your skills.

Our pick: Home Chef Meal Delivery, from $6.99 per serving

9. Start candle-making.

Sure, you can buy a bunch of expensive candles. Or, you can make your own with this easy-to-use candle-making kit that comes with a variety of fragrances, containers, labels, and everything else you need to make custom candles for yourself and your friends.

Our pick: DilaBee Complete DIY Candle Making Kit, $59.99

10. Sow some seeds.

Depending on your space and interest, now is the perfect time to grow your own garden. There are a ton of kits online to help you get started, too. True Leaf Garden is basically like a built-in gardening expert, with tips on planting anything you could ever hope for, plus seed packets and growing kits you can order online. If you're small on space, Urban Leaf has herb garden starter kits for less than $20 to bring fresh herbs straight into your kitchen.

Our pick: Mountain Valley Co. Flower Seed Kit, $14.53

11. Grow an indoor desert garden.

Maybe you think a full garden is too much work? Think again — these cuties are clean, compact, and self-watering, plus there's no messy dirt since the plants root in coco pith.

Our pick: Uncommon Goods Indoor Desert Grow Kit, $19

12. Infuse your alcohol.

If you're sick of your regular old gin and tonics, this nifty kit includes a variety of straight-from-the-farm dehydrated fruits and spices that you can add straight to your favorite spirit. After about a week, you'll have a fully-infused, ready-to-pour drink.

Our pick: Uncommon Goods Infuse and Pour Alcohol Kit, $25

Kelly is a full-time freelance writer, aspiring aerialist, and passionate interior design enthusiast. She's a regular contributor to design-centric publications like Apartment Therapy, The Spruce, and TexasLiving Magazine.

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