5 Low Budget Creative Hobbies
Engaging in creative hobbies doesn't have to break the bank! Here are 5 of my favourite low-budget creative hobbies that you can try out today for free or under 15 Euros.
As a bonus, I’ll share at the end a few basic exercises you can do to get started with one of the hobbies, I’ll talk about.
If you prefer to read, keep going!
Creative Hobby #1: Sketching and Drawing
All you need is a basic sketchbook, pencils and an eraser to get started. Needless to say, this is one of my favourite things to do! I use very basic and cheap sketchbooks but my favourite are even simple loose paper, like 200g Pro-Design A4 paper (here is an alternative option) or cardstock. Nothing fancy but just paper that has a bit of thickness to it of about 200 gsm.
For a few quid, you can get yourself a few pencils like HB, 2HB and something between 4-8HB. With these 3 pencil sizes, you’ll be able to sketch and shade. I use Faber Castell and they offer sets for a good value. And a simple eraser will do, I use Staedler which is a plastic eraser. There are fancier and more elaborate pencils and erasers, but to get started, this is enough.
You can start drawing today with as little as 15 Euros or less depending on what you already have at hand.
Creative Hobby #1A: Digital Drawing
Technically it is the same, so I am adding Digital Drawing as a subcategory to sketching and drawing.
Make sure to check out the bonus at the end of this article for the free exercises you can use to start drawing today!
Creative Hobby #2: Upcycling and DIY Crafts
Turn old or unused items into new creations through upcycling or DIY projects, using materials you already have!
For ideas, check out the home I painted from an old jar for my avocado seed “Avo” in one of my previous videos or keep an eye out for my upcoming video about how to create Greeting cards for without a printer.
DIY projects are a great way to organise or decorate your home and can be fun done with the family or partners. Since you are using materials you already have, technically you can start DIYing for free.
Creative Hobby #3: Writing
If drawing isn’t your thing but you are good with words, then why not express your creativity through writing short stories and poems. All you need is paper and a pen or in this modern age, just use your phone or computer.
I've been challenging myself to write stories for my Kuna Realm characters. They are my magical creative characters (check out my video about the concept of these characters). When I designed them I dream of creating either a comic or animation series for the adventures of these characters, so I needed to start writing those adventures.
I even got help fleshing out my evil characters by a now-friend, which was first someone I had randomly met at a Christmas market, so out of this rather isolate project, a fun memory and experience was created.
There are groups and competitions you can sign up for to connect with others and dip your toes into it. This is a hobby you can start right now absolutely for free.
Creative Hobby #4: Photography (with a Smartphone)
Chances are you already have a mobile phone and take pictures regularly. Why not become more intentional with taking pictures?
You can learn and experiment with composition, lighting and trying to convey something more specific.
You can do this with your smartphone's camera without investing in expensive equipment. You can get creative with sheets, paper and reflective items to play with light settings.
A few example of different type of photography you can do are either visit scenic places for breath-taking landscape shots, you can do product photography or experiment with specific themes.
I learned photography a few years back with my DSLR camera and it took me quite some time to get used to all the photography concepts. One of the courses I did had a weekly challenge where you had to create an image with ordinary objects to represent a specific theme. Uff that was soooo tough but fun playing with it. I must have really hated the results as I couldn't find them anywhere.
The principle of creating images is the same either with a DSLR or smartphone, only the equipment is very different and the smartphone has less options to customize. The smartphone also can automate certain processes.
If you have a phone you can start today for free and if you love it save up for a DSLR, like mine Nikon D3300 which is an entry level model. Here are a few useful books to learn Photography concepts Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs. By Henry Garroll and The Photographer's Handbook by Michael Freeman.
Creative Hobby #5: Origami
Origami, the art of folding paper from Japan. Typically you would fold paper into objects, flowers and animals. Origami can require a lot of focus for beginners which is great to get into the zone and relax while improving your fine motor skills.
I did origami for the first time when I wanted to add a cute little something to the packaging of my colouring book. I made cute frog faces because the colouring book is about the Biodiversity of Panama and it had 2 types of frogs in it.
Origami frog heads
Thereafter, I liked adding cute origami shapes to wrapped presents for my friends and family. This can be a fun activity to do with your partner or family.
I use paper that I already have and cut it into squares but you can also get origami paper.
To learn how to fold the paper, I borrowed these books from a friend of mine that loves Origami and plan on reviewing them in a separate video for you:
- Origami Design Secrets by Robert J. Lang
- Secrets of Origami The Japanese Art of Paper Folding by Robert Harbin
- World's Best Origami Over 100 amazing models from top origami artists by Nick Robinson
There is an ancient Japanese legend that grants one wish and good luck to anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes, so why not try this out?
When you are starting to draw, you want to familiarise yourself with the pencil and learn to control it. Here are 2 easy ways to do that are:
Drawing Exercise #1: Straight line
Draw a line from one corner to another, then continue to another corner and so on. You will create like a square that gets smaller. Fill the page with this.
This exercise is intended to help you create straight lines, understand the pressure and speed you need to apply for the best result. In digital drawing you can use the smoothing feature, so this helps you get better when this feature is not available.
Drawing Exercise #2: GradientsGo from darkest to lightest and fill your page. Try to do the reverse also by going from light to dark. This will help you understand the level of pressure you need to put on the pencil and how to hold the pencil to get the desired darkness. This will help you when shading.
Remember, creativity is all about the process of creating and it is independent from your equipment, talent or even skills. These low-budget hobbies can be immensely satisfying and allow you to explore your creative side without a significant financial investment.
I hope these spark your creativity and if you need more inspiration check out the "Discover your Creative Calling" playlist.