I love making things. The more things I can create with my hands the happier I am. However being a student often leaves us with little time, space or money to make things. So while we may not have a big shop to work in, high quality tools or even a space to be messy I want to share with you some ideas for satisfying things you can make on a university budget and get that joy you get from making something.


Knitting is great for so many reasons. It’s easy, it’s satisfying, it’s practical and you can do it almost anywhere. Also, the idea of knitting only to be done by certain people should be a thing of the past; it’s satisfying and fun for everyone. Knitting needles and a ball of yarn should run you about $20 at most and you’ll get hours of fun out of it, plus there are countless patterns, YouTube tutorials and advice online so you can easily teach yourself – even better though, ask around! You never know who in your family or community knows how to knit and learning from them can be a great bonding experience!

Wood Carving

Wood carving is another great hobby that allows you to use your hands while being manageable on a budget. A good whittling knife can run you about $40-60 but a good knife will last you years! In the meantime, all you need besides a knife is some wood which you can find in many locations, even free scrap wood can be easily used for woodcarving. Again there are plenty of online resources to teach you how to carve but again asking around your family and community might lead to some great connections!

Cooking and Baking

Working in the kitchen is another tactile experience that gets your hands moving and is incredibly cheap to get into; odds are you have everything you need for this sitting in your place right now. This is another incredibly satisfying hobby and you can learn easily! The result is that you can eat healthier, cheaper and amuse yourself while doing it. There are millions of recipes online or you can find a cookbook at a thrift store with good ideas. Your family members are another great resource as you can learn traditional recipes from parents and grandparents that connect you to your family and its history. The best part about cooking is sharing so take your time and impress your friends and family the next time you invite them over.

And Then Some!

These are only three easy and inexpensive hobbies you can take up. There are literally endless possibilities for things you can make and craft with your hands. Some of my favourites that I’ve done in the past are homebrewing, gardening, leatherworking and cross stitching. There are endless possibilities to try though! Painting, sewing, model making, sculpting, crocheting, macrame, beading, embroidery and more. Even things like playing an instrument gets your hands moving and has you creating something. So if you find yourself bored, stressed, or needing a way to unwind, try and find a hobby where you can make things. Too many of us are consumers in today’s world, become a maker!

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