The best craft books to help you find a new hobby

Looking for a new hobby but don't know where to start? We've found 11 books to get you inspired for a new hobby at home

Woman knitting on sofa

by Sophie Knight |
Updated on

Have you been itching to start a new hobby but haven’t quite got round to ticking it off your to-do list yet? Taking on a hobby is a great way to develop a new craft and skill that perhaps you thought you’d never have. Sometimes we all need to take time for ourselves, embarking on a new activity can be incredibly therapeutic, especially if you need some relaxation and escapism.

If your yet to find the activity for you, then don’t worry as we have an array of amazing options that will have you becoming your very own creative connoisseur in no time. From quilting to wood crafting, painting and knitting, we’ve chosen some of the best craft books that can inspire you to take up a new hobby.

Read next: The best mindfulness books to bring you a sense of calm

You can order these online and get them delivered to your door – along with any of the equipment you might need – and get started straight away.


Best Craft Books

The Quilter's Bible - How to make a quilt and much more1 of 11

The Quilter's Bible - How to make a quilt and much more

This book is a comprehensive guide to quilting, covering pretty much everything you need to know to get started. There are patterns to try, advice on what stitches to use, how to quilt circles, and little projects to get started. Even when you've been quilting for years, you'll still refer back to this for hints and tips.

Beginner's Guide to Quilting: 16 Projects to Learn to Quilt2 of 11

Beginner's Guide to Quilting: 16 Projects to Learn to Quilt

Kick-start your new quilting hobby with 16 simple projects. From paper piecing to appliqué, this book covers the essentials with lots of inspiration for newbies.

How To Knit: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners3 of 11

How To Knit: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners

A great introduction to knitting, this book is full of great photos and illustrations, to help you quickly learn the basic techniques. There are lots of projects to get started with, such as fingerless mittens, scarves, and baby toys.

Knit Yourself Calm: A Creative Path to Managing Stress4 of 11

Knit Yourself Calm: A Creative Path to Managing Stress

Just seeing the cover of this book made us feel a bit calmer, and that's exactly what we need at the moment. This book combines knitting and mindfulness advice and techniques, and covers the basic skills and patterns for any beginner to get to grips with.

How To Crochet: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners5 of 11

How To Crochet: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners

If you know nothing about crochet but keep seeing lovely blankets and toys that everyone else is making, then this book is ideal for newbies. From explaining the stitches in easy language to loads of small projects to get started on, there's everything you need in one place.

Crochet Step by Step: 20 Easy Projects6 of 11

Crochet Step by Step: 20 Easy Projects

Does what it says on the tin – lots of techniques and patterns for the crochet newbie to get to grips with.

Artist's Painting Techniques: Explore Watercolours, Acrylics, and Oils7 of 11

Artist's Painting Techniques: Explore Watercolours, Acrylics, and Oils

A great introductory book into all the different types of painting techniques, whether you're interested in oils, watercolour, or acrylics. There are lots of step-by-step guides and helpful tips to get you started.

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner8 of 11

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner

Watercolour painting is a beautifully calming hobby to enjoy, and this tome helps you understand the techniques needed to get started on your own landscape paintings. Start off with detailed advice from the experienced author, then simple step-by-step exercises, then bigger projects such as painting a windmill and mountains.

The Urban Woodsman9 of 11

The Urban Woodsman

I recently gifted this book to my friend, an experienced tree surgeon, to give him something to use all that leftover wood for. He has raved about this book, and has even made me a spoon. You don't need much specialised equipment to get started, but you will need some wood!

Easy Origami10 of 11

Easy Origami

If you've never tried origami, then this book is ideal for real beginners – it has 32 simple projects to help you fall in love with the art of paper folding. Soon your home will be covered in paper decorations. It is a simple book, and not at all complicated – you'll enjoy doing this with the grandchildren.

The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners11 of 11

The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners

Add a touch of flair to your letters and cards with some calligraphy. Not many people keep up with this hobby any more, as people are mainly stuck in the digital world – but you can create some unique and beautiful works if you follow the advice from this creative author.


This is an ancient hobby that remains hugely popular, with lots of quilting groups around the country. But if you’re staying at home, you can still join in with online communities, many of which do virtual sew-alongs so you can still take part in group activities.

It’s pretty easy to get started with quilting; you don’t even need a sewing machine, as you can do it by hand. All you need is some fabric, and you can get started with old clothes. It’s a great hobby as you can enjoy it thoroughly without any specialist equipment (although, of course, there’s plenty of stuff you can buy if you want to!).

You could make a quilt for yourself, or for a present for a family member or friend. Plus, there are schemes such as Project Linus where quilts are given to children in need.


If you haven’t already embarked on knitting as a hobby, you’re about to join a massive community – there are more than 7 million knitters in the UK at the moment.

Not only can you be really creative with the patterns you follow, but you’re also being productive too, making your own clothes or toys for little ones. You will need equipment for this – wool and needles, obviously. But, if you can’t find any wool, you could always unravel an old jumper and re-use the wool.


Crochet has seen a resurgence in recent years, with Facebook groups and YouTube tutorials everywhere you turn – one of the best recommended YouTube experts is Bella Coco.

It’s easy to start, and easy to get addicted to – it just takes a few stitches and you’ve made something, so it’s no wonder it’s a fast hobby to adopt. To get started, all you need is some yarn or wool, a crochet hook, and some scissors.

You can make all sorts of things with crochet, from blankets to hats, scarves, and bags.


Whether you fancy painting a watercolour landscape, a still life of the fruit in your bowl, or some modern techniques with acrylics and oils, painting is a hobby that anyone can get started with, whatever artistic talent you think you have. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the next Rembrandt, as long as you’re enjoying the process.

It can be daunting knowing where to start, so get yourself a good book that explains the basics and give it a go. It’s a great pastime when the weather’s lovely and you can sit outside, but equally enjoyable when it’s raining and you’re indoors.

You will need some kit to get started painting, from paintbrushes to materials and canvases.

Wood craft

If you have some spare wood knocking around – either from your wood stores for your log fire, or perhaps a fallen branch off your tree – then you’ll be surprised how much you could create from one piece. Whittling is a really mindful process, as it requires tiny but precise movements. One you can easily do from your armchair – although it does take some tidying up afterwards – but you’ll be so pleased when you’re cooking dinner using a spoon you made yourself.


Find a bit of paper lying around and off you go with this craft that originated in China nearly 2,000 years ago. Paper folding was originally often religious in nature, but now is a simple craft that doesn’t require much in the way of equipment but does need a lot of concentration and dexterity.


It’s generally recognised as the script from ancient Rome, and a bit of calligraphy can bring words alive. Whether you fancy learning for fun or to create your own pieces of art, practising calligraphy is a beautiful hobby.

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Sophie Knight is Editor of WhatsTheBest and Contributing Editor for Mother&Baby, Closer, Heat, Yours and Empire websites.

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