10 Old-Fashioned Hobbies Making a Comeback in Quarantine

Gardening, knitting, and origami are just a few of the retro activities that are all the rage right now.

Quarantine has forced people to get rather creative in finding ways to pass the time. And many are finding inspiration in the past. Old-fashioned hobbies are making their way back to the forefront as the coronavirus pandemic changes the way we live. Life has slowed down for a lot of the world, leading to a resurgence in activities that require patience and investment. From knitting to baking bread from scratch, these are the old-fashioned hobbies quarantine is helping to revive. And for more things you can do at home right now, check out the 15 Useful Skills You Can Learn While You Quarantine at Home.

Flower arranging

Florist at work: pretty young woman making fashion modern bouquet of different flowers.

Instead of ordering a professional bouquet to brighten your day, try arranging flowers yourself to bring some color into your quarantine. For The U.S. Sun, Jo Dunbar wrote that floral design is the "granny hobby" that helps her "to switch off from the usual chaos rattling around [her] head," and it could do the same for you. The site FiftyFlowers even has flower arranging kits you can use to get started. Don't forget to show off your beautiful creations on Instagram! And for more fun things to do in the house, check out these 19 Family Games for When You're Stuck in the House.


A few origami figurines on the wooden table, in the background hands folding colored paper.

Origami—the act of folding paper into interesting and unique creations—is a recreational activity that became popular in Japan in the 17th century and has never gone away.

Trevor Dieterle, a personal trainer and yoga instructor, told CNN that he picked origami back up after the pandemic shut down his studio. "It's been pretty nostalgic. I found a stash of authentic Japanese origami paper that I had apparently been saving," he said. "Also dredged up some good memories that I had forgotten about. It's really the perfect distraction, engages your mind and your hands."

Chances are, you don't have your own stash lying around. If you're new to this hobby and would like to teach yourself this art, check out Origami.me, which has a massive database of origami diagrams, including plenty of beginner tutorials.


seamstress sews clothes. Workplace of tailor - sewing machine, rolls of thread, fabric, scissors.

Sewing isn't just a soothing activity. It can also help you keep yourself safe and healthy.

"People have the time now to invest [in sewing] and that is not true of our typical rushed and over-scheduled world. We also are finding ourselves in a situation where we must re-learn some of these old-fashioned skills out of necessity," says Natalie Clausen, speech-language pathologist and founder of Full Green Life. "Need masks for your family but can't buy them? Dust off your sewing machine and craft them yourself."

Don't have a sewing machine? You can buy one retail or even rent. As for technique, blogs like Tilly and the Buttons have great tips for beginners to help you get started. And if you're looking to craft your own face covering, check out The 7 Best Materials for Making Your Own Face Mask, Backed by Science.

Scavenger hunts

A shot of a mother and her son in the kitchen, the young boy is reaching in the cupboard.

"Scavenger hunts are a great activity to bring back during quarantine because they are interactive and get kids moving and excited," says Zaria Zinn, Evite's celebration expert. "You can easily create one in your home, backyard, or extend to the neighborhood, all with personalized clues that are sentimental your family. We're also seeing adults do scavenger hunts as a fun way to bring some lighthearted nostalgia back for summer."

Not only are families creating scavenger hunts for the household, but many parents are also planning them for kids' virtual birthday parties. And for some creative ideas to get you started, check out 10 Scavenger Hunt Clues to Keep Kids' Brains Busy.


Senior couple in garden

With lockdowns in place and the weather getting warmer, you may be finding yourself out in your garden more often. It's a hobby that has many practical benefits, from occupying your mind to beautifying your yard. And as some are trying to make less essential visits to grocery stores, they may be looking at their gardens as a primary food source these days.

"Gardening to grow your own food also helps in quarantine because you don't face the shortage of resources like herbs and vegetables," says gardening enthusiast and founder of Gardening Mentor, Kevin Rodrigues. "My advice to beginners is to start small and keep adding more to the garden. One of the best ways to start is to grow a herb like basil or cilantro. They are easy to grow and don't need much maintenance."

Apartment dwellers can also get in on the fun. Simple Dollar has a great guide to gardening without a backyard, which explains how to use spaces like balconies and windowsills to grow things. And to keep your garden healthy, check out 9 Natural Weed Killers That Actually Work.


Shot of a beautiful young woman doing embroidery at home

In this strange time, many are becoming passionate about embroidery, which is the art of applying decorative designs to fabric with various needles and types of stitches. Once you're confident in your skill, you can create everything from home decor to hand-embroidered clothing.

If you're looking to get started right now, you're not alone. Mariana Barran de Goodall, owner of Texas handmade embroidery studio Hibiscus Linens, says that she has not only seen a huge increase in interest in the daily step-by-step tutorials that she posts on the company's Instagram, but also in the DIY starter kits that she sells.

Making bread

Bakery business. Culinary art. Chef kneading dough. Top view of hands working. Rolling pin and flour on wooden table.

If you've checked any form of social media during quarantine, you've seen a lot of homemade bread. That's probably because baking is a proven stress reliever. A 2016 study in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that pursuing daily creative goals, like embarking on a new recipe, helped young adults think more positively.

It's no surprise then, that there was such an increase in home baking at the end of March that The Washington Post reported that many grocery stores were running out of yeast and flour. If you can find those necessary ingredients, however, and want to give baking your own bread a try, there are plenty of tasty recipes online. Taste of Home, for example, has a basic bread how-to that even beginners can handle. And for more happy thoughts, check out 7 Ways Quarantine Has Been Good for Your Health.


senior sitting on the couch and knitting at home

Have you been known to start knitting projects only to abandon them when you get busy? Well, quarantine is the perfect opportunity to actually finish those scarves and sweaters. And the physical result is only one benefit of this hobby. A 2013 study in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that respondents who knit reported feelings of calm of happiness.

The industry is definitely seeing greater interest in this activity. Alberto Bravo, co-founder and creative director of the Madrid-based knitting supply retail supplier We Are Knitters, told Vogue Business that the retailer's U.S. sales (including those of their starter kits) jumped a whopping 270 percent in the last month.

Doing jigsaw puzzles

happy parents and daughter connecting puzzle pieces at table

Like knitting, working on a puzzle can distract you from feelings of anxiety. They're also easy to share with your family.

"It really takes your focus off of whatever's going on, because you're trying to find that peak of the barn or that piece of sky or this element of cloud," toy industry expert Chris Byrne told NPR's All Things Considered. "It really takes a lot of attention and focus. And that can be very healthy in terms of, I'll just say, distraction."

In fact, puzzles are in such high demand during quarantine that manufacturers are racing to keep up. To get your search for the perfect challenge started, check out 19 Puzzles for Adults That'll Keep You Busy For Hours.

Playing board and card games

Close up of unrecognizable women playing board game.

Video chatting and marathoning TV shows are popular quarantine time-wasters, but if you're also working from home, they may mean adding too much screen time to your day. That's why Camille Hugh, owner of In Stitches Games and creator of the game Cards That You Make lol, says people have returned to playing cards and physical board games.

"Games are one of the easiest ways to connect with people and completely take your mind off of life's worries because you have to remain engaged and present," she says. "And best of all, physical games are typically affordable." Sites like boardgameco even facilitate board game swaps. And for more fun things to do right now, check out the 15 Great Home Projects to Tackle While You're Quarantined.

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