Old-School Crafts
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20 Old-School Crafts Due for a Comeback

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Old-School Crafts
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Beads and Strings and Glitter and Things...

Back before videogames and smartphones, people actually had to get creative and make things with their hands in order to pass the time. Crafting's popularity has never gone away, of course — just look at the recent legal dustup over whether stores like Michaels and Jo-Ann are considered "essential" during the cornavirus pandemic. Time-honored pursuits like needlepoint, crocheting, even paint-by-numbers do more than pass the hours, they engage your brain, keep your fine motor skills sharp, and may offer other health benefits, too. Young or old, you'll want to get your hands on one of these 20 awesome old-school crafts and project kits.

Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: 55 Subscription Kits to Entertain and Educate Stir-Crazy Kids

Latch Hook Rugs
Amazon

Latch Hook Rugs

Price: $19 from Amazon
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You don't need to know how to knit or how to crochet in order to create shaggy wall hangings and accent rugs with a latch hook kit (although an appreciation for kitsch helps). Spend a rainy afternoon working on a small project like a mini-rug for a child's bedroom or this welcoming addition to a pet area.

Wood Burning
Amazon

Wood Burning

Price: $33 from Amazon
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Practice the art of pyrography, using the different hot blades and embossing tips to embellish wood, leather, paper, and fabric crafts. A kit like this one will get any beginner going with all the hardware, plus an instruction book and carbon paper for creating your first designs. Just don't burn your fingers.

Beadwork
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Beadwork

Price: $13 from Amazon
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Plastic beads can be used to make all sorts of cute little creations, and a kit like this one is a great way to introduce youngsters to crafting. Who knows, maybe one of your little ones will become the next Vera Wang.

Jewelry Making
Amazon

Jewelry Making

Price: $27 at Amazon
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Once you've mastered simple plastic beadwork, you may get hooked on jewelry making and want to graduate to something more professional. There are plenty of places to look for beads, gemstones, and the like, but you'll need a decent toolkit first. Look for one that contains must-have tools like beading pliers, awls, scissors, and hardware like clasps, jump rings, beading wire, and so on.

Stenciling
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Stenciling

Price: $30 from Michaels
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Stencils are a cheap and easy way to apply a little flair to just about any flat surface. These cute forms are simple enough for little ones to learn the basics. From there, you can move on to more elaborate stencil kits (characters, numbers, letters) or even create your own.

Needlepoint
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Needlepoint

Price: $40 from Amazon
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The great thing about needlepoint, as actress and needlepoint devotee Parker Posey says, is that you're just making the same stitch repeatedly. A kit like this one comes with everything you could possibly need to start your first project: embroidery hoops, thread, needles, plastic grids, and more. Just add your own inspiration.

Candle Making
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Candle Making

Price: $30 from Amazon
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If you can boil water, you can make simple votive candles to decorate your home, give as gifts, or put to good use in case the power goes out. Basic kits like this one include soy wax chips, wicks, and holders to center them. Practice the basics, then expand your repertoire by using different colored waxes, adding scented essential oils, and making new shapes.

Soap Making
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Soap Making

Price: $51 from Amazon
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Making soap is a hobby that's both beautiful and practical, and this kit includes everything you'll need to make colorful, scented shea-butter soaps — even gift boxes. Who knows? You may just have the makings of a new at-home business.

Related: 35 Hobbies That Pay Off in Jobs

Paint by Numbers
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Paint by Numbers

Price: $22 from Amazon
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Before there were color books for grown-ups, there were paint-by-numbers kits. From simple to elaborate, these kits are a great way to pass an afternoon and create artwork worth hanging on the wall. Prices range from less than $10 to $30 or more, with paints and brushes included (though you may want to invest in a higher-quality set of brushes if you get really hooked on this hobby).

Leather Tooling
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Leather Tooling

Price: $25 from Michaels
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Here's a truly old-school craft, one that's practical as it is beautiful. A beginner's kit like this one includes four small projects — luggage tag, bracelet, small pouch, and visor — with the leather already cut and shaped. All you need to do is add your personal stamp (pun intended) by embellishing them with the included tools.

Wood Carving
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Wood Carving

Price: $35 from Amazon
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Whittling a piece of wood is a time-honored way to pass the time, but it can be a practical craft, too. Basic woodworking kits like these include knives for shaping and detail work, as well as safety gloves, a smoothing stone, and your first project: a basswood spoon.

Knitting
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Knitting

Price: $13 at Michaels
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Knitting is more than a practical pastime, it's been shown to improve mental well being, too. A decent beginner kit will get you started with knitting needles, stitch holders, and instructions for basic projects. All you need to do is add the yarn (and picking out yarn is always the fun part).

Bedazzling
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Bedazzling

Price: $28 from Amazon
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Nothing adds a little (or a lot) of pizazz to clothing, shoes, hats, and craftwork like rhinestones. And nothing more needs to be said.

Origami
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Origami

Price: $11 from Amazon
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People have been practicing the art of folding paper for centuries. Learn how to fold everything from a simple swan to an elaborate dragon and more. Paper and instructions are included.

Crocheting
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Crocheting

Price: $22 from Amazon
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If you've already given knitting a shot or want to try your hands at similar craft, crocheting is a great alternative. This beginner's kit comes with hooks, needles, and stitch markers. Instructions are extra, but you can find plenty of free tutorials on YouTube.

Macrame
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Macrame

Price: $28 from Etsy
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Some people may argue that macrame — the craft of knotting ropes or other fibers together — should have been left in the '70s. But macrame is no hippie hobby; it has its roots in the practical knot-tying of sailing. No boat needed for a project like this, though. All you need is several hours and a little manual dexterity to create a beautiful (if fuzzy) wall hanging.

Calligraphy
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Calligraphy

Price: $28 from Amazon
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Before smartphones and computers and typewriters did the writing for us, good penmanship was something everyone needed to practice. Impress friends and family with elaborately addressed cards, carefully scripted letters, and more. Look for a kit like this one, which contains multiple nibs and inks, for an artistic array of options.

linocut printing
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Printmaking

Price: $38 from Michaels
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Outline your illustration on the included rubber printing block, then carve it out, slap some ink on it, and leave your mark on paper, fabric, or any flat surface. Create cute stamps for your scrapbook, press patterns onto sewing projects, or design an elaborate illustration to frame and hang on the wall.

Shrinky Dinks
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Shrinky Dinks

Price: $10 and up from Amazon
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If this isn't the essence of Generation X childhood nostalgia, we don't know what is. 'Nuff said.

Scrapbooking
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Scrapbooking

Price: $20 from Amazon
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The cool thing about scrapbooking is that you can put anything into your books — including some of the other crafty creations in this slide show. You don't need to buy any special supplies, of course; any blank journal will do. But a kit like this one that includes fun stuff like stickers, ribbon, colored pencils, and basic tools makes a great gift for a bored-at-home kiddo or grownup.