As a nation, we’ve spent more time indoors this year than ever before. Although lockdown has eased for the time being, the summer holidays are in full flow, which means you and your crew may be continuing to stay at home.
This, combined with the fact that as Britons, we’re resigned to uncertain weather conditions every summer, has made us masters at entertaining ourselves on a rainy day.
Puzzles, crosswords and model making are all dependable pastimes. But every so often, you want to step it up a notch by learning a new hobby or immersing yourself in a D.I.Y kit that gives you a beginner’s taste of a new art or craft.
So if you’re ready for some screen-free entertainment, we’ve gathered the best hobby tools, puzzles and all-in-one kits to help you dip a toe into a whole new world.
Some of our ideas also work fantastically as gifts, so if you want to treat a friend you can have one delivered to their door too.
From art supplies to sourdough bread making kits and designer cuddly animal mascots, we've rounded up the best indoor hobby kits to shop now.
See our favourites below
Selfridges Selection Bake Your Own Bread Kit
It feels like you can’t scroll on Instagram without seeing at least 12 home-baked creations. If you’re keen to jump on the carby bandwagon, Selfridges is here to save the day with it’s in-house BYOB kit.
Consisting of Cartwright & Butler wholemeal bread flour 1.5kg, Cartwright & Butler strong white bread flour 1.5kg, Fermipan dried yeast 500g and Cornish Sea Salt Co. Cornish sea salt 225g, this gourmet box of ingredients will help you bake your best loaf, baguette or roll ever. Knead, now.
Make your own Terrazzo Plant Pot
Give your houseplants a Club Med-style makeover with this kit, which will see you making a bespoke terrazzo plant pot for one of your leafy babies. With the help of an online tutorial video, you’ll create the flecked patterned pot using tools like a single use mould, Jesmonite, sandpaper and sealant, plus plenty more. A slightly more challenging kit for those who are excited to learn new skills.
Kintsugi Repair Kit
The Japanese art of kintsugi – where broken objects are fixed with golden glue – is based on the philosophy that things can become more beautiful through their imperfections. We think that’s rather lovely. This set comes with enough glue ingredients to fix several objects, plus two bowls to practice on.
Make Your Own Print Face Covering Kit 3 Pack
Face coverings are now just another fact of life in the UK: they’re the required accessory on all public transport as well as shops. If you fancy having a go at making your own, this kit will see you making three triple pleated ones in different prints. It comes with three patterns of pre-cut fabric, six pieces of elastic, three nose clips, sewing thread, sewing needles and plastic clips along with a set of instructions.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a sewing machine - these masks can be hand-stitched too. An extremely handy kit to have and technique to learn in these strange times.
Pom Pom Banner Kit
Brighten up your walls with this banner kit which comes accessorised with playful pom poms. You can choose from a selection of positive phrases which all come with a natural cotton rope hanging. There’s also a sturdy paper 4-in-1 Loome tool along with a roll of merino roll in your preferred colour.
The only things that aren’t supplied are household items like an iron and a pair of scissors which you’ll need to complete the design.
Retro Arcade Kit
If your childhood was spent down the arcade, feeding pocket money into the machines, this kit will be right up your street. A step-by-step guide will see you put together a retro game arcade, complete with coin slot, LED screen and sound effects. The finished result should be a Pong-style tennis game - an iconic piece of gaming, as any true fan knows.
Print Club London x Luckies – Screen Printing Kit
Screen printing is a lot of fun and a perfect garden activity, but for the uninitiated it can be tough to understand exactly what equipment you’ll need. No such issues with this kit, a collab from Print Club London and Luckies.
It contains everything you’ll need as a first-time screen printer, including a step-by-step guide, water based inks, silk screen, squeegee and reusable templates. Get ready to breathe new life into tote bags, t-shirts, sweaters, dresses and lots more.
Other screen printing kits:
- HobbyCraft Screen Printing Set - £40
- Daler Rowney System 3 Screen Printing Set - £69.95
- Silk Screen Frame,Screen Printing Set - £34.95
Crochet Hanging Plant Pot Mini Kit
You may not want to believe it, but autumn will roll around in a matter of weeks. Inject some cosiness into your homewares with this hanging plant pot which you will fashion yourself from crochet. What you’re paying for is not only the kit, but the partner workshop video which takes you through the crochet process, step-by-step. Choose from six colours.
DIY Synth Kit
It’s time to revive that faded dream of being a music legend, and this DIY Synth Kit is the first step on your journey to stardom. The kit takes you through the process of building your own synthesiser without having to embark on anything too technical or dangerous, such as soldering.
By the time you’re finished, you’ll be able to create a trio of synth sounds: a Dub Siren, Stutter and Atari. There’s even an option to hook it up to your computer with a custom keyboard! Don’t forget to thank us when you're collecting your Brit Award.
Pasta Evangelists Luxury Italian Pasta Making Kit
Fresh homemade pasta is easier to make than you think - especially with this kit on side. From food subscription company Pasta Evangelists, the box contains Doppio zero pasta flour (1kg), Italian sea salt flakes, a straight pasta cutter, beechwood rolling pin, beechwood gnocchi maker and a square ravioli stamp.
Just add water (and an egg) and you’ll be on your way. The six-piece kit is the perfect gift for the pasta lover in your life.
reCAP Mason Jars Fermentation Starter Kit for Food Lovers
Fermented foods are incredibly good for your gut and overall health, so if you’re looking for easy access whenever you want, then look no further. This kit is ideal for anyone looking to make small batches of everything from kombucha to kefir and kimchi. Get started with the help of an instruction guide, three recipes and a packet of raw Himalayan Pink Salt.
Modern Calligraphy Set
The art of handwriting has been brought back from the brink thanks to this calligraphy kit. Made for beginners, the parcel includes a calligraphy workbook, nibs, handmade black ink and a nib holder. Everything is beautifully made and feels high quality and although there isn’t an instruction book included, there are plenty of tutorials to guide you online.
Settlers of Catan
For those of you who are pining for the simple pleasures of colonising the planet and stewarding its natural resources, here’s a board game that brilliantly simulates the aforementioned experiences. Settlers of Catan is a fun, compulsive game for all ages. It’s a cult classic for good reason.
Ginger Fox Cactus Origami Kit
This kit contains a stock of colourful card, and instructions on how to fold it into five desktop-size cacti. If you’ve ever found yourself wishing for a risk-free opportunity to handle a cactus for an extended period of time, here it is.
Stanley STA0GR25 Heavy-Duty Glue Gun
A staple for everyone from builders to crafters, a glue gun is an invaluable tool to have at home. It’s biggest plus is its versatility: it works on wood, plastic, metal, glass, ceramics, rubber, leather, paper, card, fabric and polystyrene!
It heats quickly and bonds in 60 seconds using 25W. You can pick up glue guns in craft stores for less, but the robust, heavy duty feel of this Stanley model is reassuring and looks like it will last for 101 projects, and beyond.
Hobbycraft Mixed Pencil Set (44 Pack)
Bring a little colour to your quarantine with this versatile mixed pencil set. The contents include colouring pencils, watercolour pencils, pastel pencils, sketching pencils, metallic pencils, a sharpener and an eraser: everything you need to create a bright new world.
Lampshade Making Kit
If you have a specific look in mind for a lampshade but can't find anything like it online or in the shops, this is the perfect solution - simply make your own! This kit will show you how to make your own pendant or table lampshade using your covering of choice.
The straightforward instructions take you step-by-step through the process until you're left with a 30cm diameter x 21cm high lampshade that can hang from the ceiling or finish a table lamp. Your fabric covering is not included in the kit, which means you're free to use whatever you want - old clothes, worn bedsheets - to make a light covering that's uniquely yours.
#RaeburnAtHome DIY Panda Mascot
Making his eponymous label on sustainability, Christopher Raeburn is all about the modern three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. The label ties eco-responsibility with a streak of playfulness, best showcased in its animal mascots - which are now available to make at home for free.
Simply print out the pattern on A4, then pin it on off cuts or unwanted fabrics and stitch together using a machine or your hands. While the pattern is free, you can make a donation to Direct Relief, which supports frontline medical staff battling Covid worldwide.