Skip To Content

    People Are Showing Off Unexpected Hobbies They Picked Up During Quarantine, And They Are Exceedingly Delightful

    "It's super calming for all my pandemic anxiety, and it’s been a great stress reliever."

    Even though the pandemic has been — and will continue to be — a challenging time, some people have been able to find small bits of joy and meaning through new hobbies they've discovered.

    The author's easel and paint station at her home
    Michelle No

    One small silver lining of all that extra time at home? Extra hours to fill. I personally got super into painting. I've found that it's a great outlet for my anxiety and reminds me that I'm capable of doing things other than looking at screens. I call this one "Feet in Park (2020)."

    So we recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us all about the new and unexpected hobbies they picked up during quarantine. Here's what people said.

    A blooming house plant; fresh dough in a mixing bowl

    1. Doing DIY nail art.

    Five nails curled into a bottle of Essie nail polish. The nails have tropical designs on them, with the ring finger sporting a design that says, "Summer time"

    "I learned how to do my own nails, and now I do nail art for fun on the weekends. I'm definitely going to keep doing it because it's relaxing and it makes me feel cute."


    2. Thrifting

    Slouched beige carry-on bag with rainbow Apple logo

    "I picked up thrifting. At first it was just a way for me to buy new-to-me clothes for work, but I came across a vintage Apple carry-on bag and decided to post it online to sell. Made $40 off a $7 purchase. And thus, my little side hustle began. It’s been six months now and I’ve managed to bring myself out of credit card debt."


    3. Turning shoes into skates.

    High-top Converse shoes fitted with roller skate wheels

    "I was inspired to start roller-skating from all the cool Reels from skaters on IG. Fast-forward exactly a year later and I started my own custom skate business where I transform shoes into skates!"


    4. Studying personal genealogy.

    A dark tomb on a sunny grassy area

    "I was able to finally focus more on my genealogy and recently took a trip to Boston to pay my respects to my ancestors (and solve a mystery)!"


    5. Paper quilling.

    Paper quilled drawing of a basket overflowing with flowers and butterflies

    "I taught myself how to quill with paper."


    6. Sculpting figures with polymer clay.

    Top of drawer is completely occupied with tiny animals made of polymer clay
    amandaram90 / BuzzFeed

    "I started making tiny animals out of polymer clay. My intention was to sell them on Etsy, but I ended up just letting them take over my room!"


    7. Historical sewing.

    Woman posing with a voluptuous medieval-style dress that balloons at her hips

    "I got really into historical sewing. It started with a simple pair of stays and has morphed into several historical dresses. I have stuck primarily to the 18th century for my first few pieces, but I am trying to go more into 19th-century pieces now!"


    8. Gardening.

    A smiling woman tends to her sunny outdoor garden
    Solstock / Getty Images

    "I started gardening. I have a small apartment, but I’ve completely taken over every little nook and cranny of outdoor space I have to make a super-lush garden. It’s technically a container garden, but it really pushes the boundaries of what you’d expect from such a small space. I’ve grown carrots, broccoli, eggplant, cucumbers, lots of cut flowers, ginger, culinary and medicinal herbs, and of course just pretty green plants, too. It really is just all of my anxiety poured into a living, breathing ecosystem, and now it’s always covered in pollinators and lil' lizards.

    "It’s also completely changed how I see my life going. I’m looking into different career paths, with a focus on plant life, and I'm looking forward to buying land so I can set up a bigger operation."


    9. Book binding.

    Five homemade books with swirling patterns on the covers

    "My early efforts weren't good, but I've been improving fast at both typesetting and the mechanics of binding. I've made 70 books since February, and I'm still going strong."


    10. Crocheting.

    Woman posing with homemade striped scarf

    "I started crocheting again! I learned when I was 10 but didn't do it for years afterward. When the pandemic hit and I had oodles of free time, I bought new hooks and a ton of yarn and started making people scarves, pot holders, hats, and other items. I even made myself this absolutely massive scarf in about six months!"


    11. Taking care of a rescue cat.

    Small kitten sitting on rattan surface, looking up with big eyes

    "Here's my pandemic bb. He’s a 12-year-old rescue, wet in this picture because he loves being petted from the bathtub."


    12. Crocheting amigurumi (small stuffed yarn creatures).

    Small crocheted Yoda figurine

    "Crocheting! We have a whole amigurumi menagerie now, including bunnies, foxes, cookies, jellyfish, a narwhal, Grogu, a crazy-ass kraken winter hat, and a Demogorgon! I’ve moved on to sun hats and sweaters. The repetitive hand motions are super calming for all my pandemic anxiety; it’s been a great stress reliever."


    13. Professional food photography.

    Close-up of cheeseburger with crispy french fries on a white plate

    "Before the pandemic, I had been taking photos of food as a hobby. It wasn’t that serious, but I enjoyed it. I learned a lot of new photography techniques during my time at home and started a legit side business taking food photos for restaurants!"

    Michelle K

    14. Growing plants.

    Close-up of a violet shooting out of a green plant

    "I am birthing a violet!"


    15. Watercolor painting.

    Seven watercolor paintings on white paper are taped to a clear window

    "I also got very into painting. On bad anxiety days (like yesterday, for example), I’ll crank out five or six tiny watercolor paintings just for something to do with my hands other than picking at my face and cuticles."


    16. Learning how to play the keytar.

    Woman plays keytar keyboard slung over her right shoulder

    "I took up playing the keytar! I’ve been playing piano but wanted to get some different sounds, like guitar and bass. I have actually learned several bass lines on it and went to an open mic night last Friday and played bass on it. Would have never gotten a keytar if it weren’t for the pandemic."

    Rachel Beth

    17. Learning how to play the violin.

    Woman smiles, while playing the violin in front of her laptop
    Emirmemedovski / Getty Images

    "I bought a cheap violin on Amazon and downloaded a violin teaching app. Of course in the very first lesson, they warn you that the violin is one of the hardest instruments to learn, which I didn’t realize beforehand. But I’m still having a lot of fun, even if it will be a while before I’m willing to play in front of anyone besides my cat."


    18. Doing karate.

    Woman with beginner yellow belt poses with a smile in front of her mirror

    "I started taking karate with my kids, and soon after, my husband started taking classes too. I just recently earned my blue belt and can't wait until I can say I'm a black belt. That has honestly been the best thing to come out of the pandemic for me."


    19. Learning how to speak another language.

    Woman smiles with using an app on her phone
    Miniseries / Getty Images

    "I decided to try to learn another language. I picked Russian, which doesn’t really have any practical use in America, but I wanted to learn a difficult one to keep my brain busy. Been having a blast with it!


    20. Cross-stitching.

    Cross-stitch of Kermit the frog and text that says, "But that's none of my business"

    "I still worked through the entire pandemic. But I did take up cross-stitch and hand embroidery. I have made a couple of projects for friends, and they love them."


    Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Have you picked up a new hobby during the pandemic? Share in the comments — and upload a photo, if you have one! I'd love to see.

    Want awesome DIY tips in your inbox three times a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed DIY newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form