The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
- Crafting isn’t just for kids or super-creative types on Pinterest.
- There’s a wide world of crafts out there, and the joy they bring leads not just to the satisfaction of being able to post, "Look at what I made!" on your social media profiles, but also to true pride in your own abilities.
- If it’s been a while since you last took up some type of craft or a new hobby, we’re here to help.
- Whether you are interested in learning to draw or canning up your own pickles, we’ve rounded up the best kits and supplies to get your new hobby up and running.
We get it: You’re busy. Work, family, maintaining your home, occasional visits with friends … life has you up and running seemingly 24/7. That doesn’t seem to leave much time for you, which is a shame, because taking a little time each day is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health.
You could spend that "me time" on a Netflix binge, playing a game on your phone, or tossing things into a virtual shopping cart. Or, you could take up a new hobby that not only gives you a chance to develop your creativity, but also leads to a finished product that can continue to bring you joy every time you look at it or use it.
Plus, learning a new craft is the gift that keeps on giving. You get better as you continue to practice, you may well make new friends who share the same interest, and you are almost guaranteed to feel less stressed and more energized after spending time at your hobby.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard to think of what you might want to try. That’s why we rounded up a selection of craft kits and supplies for 10 popular crafts.
Here are the best craft kits for adults:
- Best fermenting and pickling kit: Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit
- Best book for learning crochet: Teach Yourself Visually Crochet
- Best book to learn how to sculpt: The Polymer Clay Techniques Book
- Best guide to hand lettering: Lettering and Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide
- Best beginners needlepoint kit: Dimensions Needlepoint Kit
- Best themed gardening kits: My DIY Garden
- Best book to teach yourself to draw: You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less
- Best book for learning to paint with watercolors: Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days
- Best kit for learning wool felting: Dimensions Feltworks Kit
- Best craft-of-the-month subscription: Craft in Style Box
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best vegetable fermenting and picking kit
Why you’ll love it: If you can’t get enough of tasty, fermented foods such as pickled veggies, sauerkraut, and kimchi, make your own with the Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit.
Fermented foods aren’t just tasty — they are excellent for your health, as well. The bacteria that carry out the process of fermentation are also very friendly to your gut, and once inside their new home, they do their best to regulate your digestive health. But that’s probably not the main reason you’ll have so much fun with the Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit.
You’ll get three specially designed fermenting lids that fit onto standard wide-mouth canning jars, though you’ll have to buy jars separately. The lids let carbon dioxide escape while keeping mold and harmful bacteria out. You also get three glass weights to keep your veggies below the brine level for superior results and a pump to remove oxygen from the bottles.
There’s no need to "burp" the jars during the fermenting process — just sit back and wait. Within a couple of weeks, you’ll be enjoying your first batch of delicious pickles or other fermented fruits and veggies.
You also get full access to the "Fermenting Club," where you’ll find recipes, instructional videos, fellow pickling fans, and everything you need to know to enjoy your new hobby.
In the words of one pleased Amazon reviewer, "These lids make it so easy, I can’t stop! I’ve got six kinds of fermented veggies in the fridge and another six fermenting in the cabinet. Right now, it’s radishes, eggplant, sauerkraut, and some others. Enjoy!"
Pros: Lids prevent food from molding and control gas exchange during fermentation, a dialed date indicator makes it easy to track the progress of your fermentation, excellent online support community for recipes, suggestions, and ideas
Cons: A few buyers had mold even with the lids, or complained of air leaks
The best book for learning crochet
Why you’ll love it: With the easy instructions in Teach Yourself Visually Crochet and a few supplies, you’ll soon be making shawls, belts, hats, and even stuffed toys.
There are so many things you can make once you learn the basic crochet stitches. Clothing, home accessories, toys. With a little bit of know-how, a skein or two of yarn, and a crochet hook, the hours will fly by while your hands are busy crafting and creating.
While it does take practice and patience to gain skill at crocheting, the two-page lessons, color photos of every step, detailed instructions, and thorough coverage of the basics in Teach Yourself Visually Crochet will soon have you working the yarn like a pro.
The book covers basic stitches, advanced techniques, reading patterns, troubleshooting, choosing the right hook and yarn, edging your crocheted piece, and everything else you need to know as you advance in your skills. It also includes a wide range of patterns, including socks, sweaters, stuffed toys, and many other fun projects.
Of course, to crochet, you need crochet hooks, and with BeCraftee’s Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set, you’ll get a set of nine high-quality crochet hooks in all the sizes you’ll need, plus stitch holders and counters, measuring tape, yarn needles, row counter, and a handy carrying case.
Add the dozen skeins of colorful yarn from Mira Handcrafts, which includes seven free ebooks loaded with patterns, and you’re all set to start crocheting.
Pros: Visual format makes it easy to learn crochet techniques, thorough coverage of the basics plus techniques that are more advanced
Cons: A handful of customers felt the lessons weren’t clear
The best book to learn how to sculpt with polymer clay
Why you’ll love it: With the detailed instructions in The Polymer Clay Techniques Book, you’ll soon be making beads, figurines, boxes, and bowls.
Unlike traditional clay, which comes from the earth, polymer clay is actually made of a moldable plastic that hardens in the oven — no kiln necessary. Nor do you need to paint or glaze the finished project, as you’ll find polymer clay in a wide range of colors.
The Polymer Clay Techniques Book guides you through all the basics of working with this fun and versatile crafting material. You’ll learn about color mixing, how to cut, carve, buff, and manipulate the clay, how to create millefiori and other types of beads, all about armatures, the basics of sculpting figures, and so much more.
By the end of the book, you’ll be ready to move on to more advanced projects, such as those found in Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay: Tools and Techniques for Sculpting Realistic Figures, which covers the basics before moving into the techniques involved in turning a lump of polymer clay into a realistic sculpture of a person or fantasy creature.
Before getting started, you’ll need some polymer clay. The Sculpey III Multipack contains 10 vibrant colors, including red, yellow, blue, green, and brown, and is excellent for beginners.
Pros: The best guide to all the basics of working with polymer clay
Cons: None to speak of
Buy Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay: Tools and Techniques for Sculpting Realistic Figures on Amazon for $21.99
- The best smart light strips you can buy
- The best pillows you can buy for your bed
- The best laundry stain removers you can buy