Seeking your ideas for fun and interesting hobbies and skills.
October 14, 2009 9:40 PM   Subscribe

I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut! I'm looking for a number of new projects, skills, and interesting things that I can learn or work on.

I'm planning on trying out something new every week, dedicating a number of hours to learning new things, embarking on interesting projects and otherwise doing things I wouldn't normally do. I love hands on tasks, making things, cooking and unusual skills. I'm not interested in anything like performance art.

All suggestions welcomed

So far my list includes :

Learning to tie a range of different knots.
Building a solar food dehydrator
How to start a fire without matches or a lighter
Make an article of clothing from scratch
Making cheese
Build a kinetic sculpture for my back yard
Build a crystal set radio
Learning how to whistle
Using templates and a pressure washer to clean the path outside my house, leaving decorative patterns of unwashed concrete.
Writing a song.
Learning to solder properly and making an electronic something.

So, any ideas welcomed!
posted by tomble to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Learn to brew beer
Grow your own veggies
Make jams, jellies, and canned tomatoes
posted by salvia at 9:43 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by Nattie at 9:49 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

a good 4 ingredient salad dressing, 3 of which are oil, vinegar (preferably balsamic) and a tiny bit of sweetener.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 PM on October 14, 2009

If you are the gardening type, how about learning to can/pickle your produce?

Learn to write Japanese (well, the basic, phonetic alphabet, not Kanji) which is called Hiragana and Katakana. The stroke work is fun to pick up and it is a valuable skill.

Learn to roll a coin on your knuckles

Build a model airplane/helicopter and then learn to fly it.

Build a sundial.

Learn to carve book sculptures. (Yes it is a weird thing, but very very cool)

Weave a basket.

Build a piece of furniture from scratch.

Hope these sure to msg me if you end up doing any of these!
posted by Elminster24 at 9:53 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Write letters to people who would like to hear from you or who you would like to communicate with. Take care in choosing your paper, pen, envelope and stamp.
posted by jessamyn at 10:01 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whittling was a really wonderful timesink for me when I was horribly depressed a month ago. I carry a knife, and I would just pick up a twig off the ground and try to whittle it into a spiral (as in, helical grooves). When I finished one stick, I would throw it away (or keep it if I liked it) and look for another nice one.

(Hint: I got a blister on my left thumb after the first two days. It was nasty. I sterilized a needle, drained the sucker, and kept going. After a week, I had a wicked callus and I was invincible.)
posted by aaronbeekay at 10:09 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Write letters to people who would like to hear from you or who you would like to communicate with. Take care in choosing your paper, pen, envelope and stamp.

And use a wax seal!
posted by aaronbeekay at 10:09 PM on October 14, 2009

Write letters to people who would like to hear from you or who you would like to communicate with. Take care in choosing your paper, pen, envelope and stamp.

And use a wax seal!

This may be implied, but 'learn calligraphy.'
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:17 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Your own list will keep you busy for awhile! Go for it, a new list will evidence itself!
posted by bebrave! at 10:24 PM on October 14, 2009

A twist on what's suggested above : Write absolutely random postcards, make them poetic or whatever you feel like (but ideally nice, warm messages) and wander around your neighborhood dropping them in people's mailboxes.

(this is a stolen idea from a friend. I did something similar three years ago, when I was trying to slim down my cd collection. I made packages of three or four random cds each, decorated them with art, and distributed them to my neighbors).
posted by mannequito at 10:40 PM on October 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Homebrew scrumpy cider.
Pen spinning.
Fire breathing.
Resin casting.
Speaking design and building.
Devil sticks.
Wood turning.
Building radios.
Jam making.
Build a robot.
Glider flying.
Make fresh pasta.
Promote a live music night.
Morse code.
posted by turkeyphant at 4:08 AM on October 15, 2009

Make pizza! For example. Indoor climbing? Woodworking?
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:15 AM on October 15, 2009

Here is a list of things I would like to try/perfect:

Meditative Breathing
Speed Reading
Set of useful knots
Lip reading
Basic Yoga
Building a solar cooker
Planting a tree
Northern Soul dancing
posted by leigh1 at 4:47 AM on October 15, 2009

dropping them in people's mailboxes

That's a nice idea, but be forewarned, it's a federal offense.
posted by bricoleur at 6:16 AM on October 15, 2009

Sign Language. It's hands on.
posted by collocation at 6:44 AM on October 15, 2009

In addition to the bookbinding and letter writing, try papermaking.
posted by jgirl at 7:02 AM on October 15, 2009

Based on your list, I'd check into homesteading, self-sufficiency, back-to-the-land and so forth for more ideas since your list brings these to mind.
posted by VC Drake at 1:51 PM on October 15, 2009

Learn to screenprint. Goes well with bookbinding, papermaking, and you get to build a vacuum table/press which is easy. You've already got a pressure washer, which makes reclaiming and cleaning screens easy.

The supplies are cheap and it's not hard to learn at all. There's a "Process" forum on Gigposters if you want to see how other people have done it and what it entails.
posted by bradbane at 5:33 PM on October 15, 2009

These are fantastic! The problem I had with coming up with ideas myself was that they were all by definition the sort of ideas I already have thought about. This gives me a great lead on exploring all sorts of new skills and hobbies!

Thank you all!
posted by tomble at 12:03 AM on October 16, 2009

Fire performance, fine woodworking, homebrewing, square foot gardening might be my next four google searches.
posted by talldean at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2009

Learn how to do improv comedy
Bicycle repair
Build your own metal forge
Building solar water heaters and collectors
posted by apiaryist at 12:12 PM on October 19, 2009

How about:

Learning a foreign language ( a real one like Chinese or German :)
Tuvan throat singing
Card throwing - (like Ricky Jay)
Some kick ass magic tricks
organize a fundraiser for charity
hold a contest, where you're the judge.
Set up a backyard telescope, discover an asteroid
posted by storybored at 8:29 PM on October 20, 2009

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