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Old-Fashioned Hobbies to Pick Up in 2017

There’s always something vintage coming back in style. It seems we can never quite get enough of past-decade nostalgia, whether it’s 60s fashion or 80s music. There’s just something charming about putting aside your electronics and delving into a treasured pastime from history. Here are some old fashioned hobbies you can easily get into, and which will keep you entertained for hours on end.


Calligraphy is described as ‘decorative handwriting’ and is a whole art in itself. Some like to study beautiful hand-written scripts and scrolls from past centuries, while others prefer to try out their own hand at modern calligraphy. The first thing you’ll need is an appropriate writing kit and high quality paper. Once you develop your skills, you can start to take up letter writing and journaling. A great way to practise is through copying your favourite quotes or poems onto paper, and by starting with easier pens and working your way up to real quills.


Poker is still a widely popular hobby today, but unlike in the days of housewives’ weekly poker games and nights at the casino, players have mostly reverted to online poker rooms. Technology may have transformed the classic card game, but nothing beats an old-fashioned poker session amongst friends. All you need is a decent poker set, good playlist, a basic knowledge of classic variants such as Texas Hold’Em, and the ability to stir up a few cocktails throughout the game. If you’re the social type, then this one’s for you.

Lindy hop dancing

The retro, fast-paced jazz dance style known as ‘lindy hop’ has seen a major revival in the past few years. Classes in cities all over Europe and America are offering lessons in the quirky dance; its revival coinciding with the emergence of electro swing – a contemporary musical genre which incorporates electronica and techno with the brass band jazz of 20s and 30s America.


The freedom of being able to design and create your own clothes exactly as you want them is a luxury few people enjoy. If you have patience and a creative flair, then there’s nothing stopping you from doing exactly that. The beginner’s stage of getting into this hobby is perhaps the most burdensome, as you will need to get hold of appropriate sewing equipment, learn how to choose appropriate fabrics, learn how to measure the fabrics correctly, and become confident in using a sewing machine. Becoming a half-decent dressmaker takes commitment – but it’s also one of the most rewarding hobby you could ever have as a fashionista.


Discover your inner pirate with this traditional form of swordsmanship. Fencing developed into a sport in the mid-18th century when it was an especially popular activity in France, Spain and England. It’s a skill which will impress others, and makes for great exercise too.


If you want to put your creativity to use with a skill mostly lost upon our generation, then try out embroidery or cross-stitching. One of the best things about this form of embroidery is how you can work on a cross-stitch project between commercials, on the bus home or during practically any other occasion you’ve got some spare time on your hands. Not only can this hobby be very relaxing – it will enable you to make beautiful and personalized gifts out of your new craft!



Why does nobody go to roller blade discos anymore? Where did the milkshake-serving waitresses on rollerblades go? These days, rollerblading as a sport only seems to be popular amongst kids – but that means adults are missing out on a fun transport method that was once just as popular as bicycling. What’s more; rolling around in blades looks awesome, too – especially if you can sport some of those 80s leg warmers at the same time.


An ancient craft which encompasses many different styles; woodworking is a satisfying hobby which has diminished considerably with the rise of cheap furniture and plastic products. Unless you have had some experience with the craft in your youth, woodworking is admittedly difficult to pick up. There are a lot of materials, tools and techniques with which to become familiar before you can begin on any half-decent project. Most woodworkers would recommend starting on a small project – making boxes or wood carvings, and then build your way up to bigger stuff like furniture and boats.


The days of pre-made cake mixes have made us lazy bakers. Gone are the days of a Sunday afternoon spent in the kitchen, whipping up delicious pies for neighbours, friends, family and colleagues. We know you’re too busy to live the life of a full-time 1950s housewife, but wouldn’t it be nice to revisit the sentiment of baking something nice for the people you like? A little effort goes a long way – and in the case of baking, it can be as simple or creative as you want. With spatula in hand, revisit the vintage practise of regular cake, pie and muffin baking.



Gardening is perhaps not so much a retro hobby as it is a hobby enjoyed primarily by older generations. Though you may associate gardening with your grandparents, there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t get some green fingers of your own. If you have a garden, backyard patio, balcony or even just a sun-facing window ledge, then you can invest in some heavenly scented plants and learn how to care for them. With enough experience, you can start to grow your own vegetables or arrange flower bouquets for friends and families. Furthermore – surrounding yourself with fresh plants has been proven to keep you healthy!