At some point in the past year, we all hunkered down at home and indulged in at least one vintage pastime: puzzles, bird-watching, card games. There’s something about absorbing, hands-on activities that calm us when the world seems chaotic. These old-fashioned hobbies are popular again with younger generations who are bored of passively gazing at screens.
It seems like everybody has posted about their baking triumphs (and failures) online. During the pandemic, baking bread was such a sweeping trend that stores experienced flour and yeast shortages. Some say that the appeal is that it engages all our senses. Others muse that it’s a primal urge that hearkens back to the very beginnings of civilization. And then there were those of us who were just hungry. Even the famously carb-free Gwyneth Paltrow confessed to eating bread during lockdown.
Paint By Number
The demand for all things Bob Ross in the last few years interested us in painting all over again. At this point, though, it’s become obvious that not everyone has talent. Enter paint-by-number kits, which even Oprah Winfrey endorsed. Hunting for the tiny numbered spaces can be as satisfying as fitting a puzzle piece, and watching the artwork develop keeps us painting. When you finally finish it, you’re full of pride. While technically the design might be by Matisse, you painted it.
Both knitting and cross-stitching have had their moments in the spotlight, but if you’re looking for a real challenge, quilting is the way to go. The art form originated as a way to recycle old scraps, but today, you can choose a wide variety of fabrics to design a masterpiece. You have several techniques available to you, and YouTube tutorials are making it easier to learn. And you can always start with a quilting kit until you’re ready to spread your wings.
How can you be sure that an old-fashioned hobby is popular again? If there’s a reality show about it. HBO Max has a hit with “Full Bloom,” a program for contestants not afraid to call themselves “the Beyoncé of flowers.” Everyone got into gardening again during the pandemic, and flower arranging is the perfect way to bring the outdoors inside. Whether your style is bold or delicate, there’s a lot to like about the art: exploring color theory, focusing on the moment, learning about new blossoms, and appreciating concepts such as balance and the beauty of impermanence. Afterward, you can give them away—and get someone else hooked on a “granny hobby.”