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7 Hobbies and Crafts Like Cross Stitch


January 23, 2021

Time reading

4 minutes
cross-stitch set

Cross-stitching is a popular hobby that requires a certain level of focus and attention to detail. Many people enjoy cross-stitching projects, and in recent years, the pastime has seemed to be gaining a new following with younger people interested in creating stitching projects with modern, relatable patterns. Whether you like to create your own designs or prefer to follow store-bought patterns, cross-stitching is  a fun craft that can also help relieve stress and tension

As much as you might enjoy cross-stitching, it never hurts to have other creative hobbies.Perhaps you’re feeling burnt out on this particular type of needlework or, maybe, you’re just ready to try your hand at a new craft. In either case, there are plenty of creative hobbies from which to choose. If you’re a crafter who’s looking for new, but similar, hobby ideas, we’ve created a list of some optionssimilar to cross-stitching, including diamond painting, sewing clothing by hand or with a sewing machine, quilting, and even gardening.

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woman doing diamond painting


1. Diamond Painting

One of our favorite hobbies like cross-stitch is diamond painting, as it requires a similar type of concentration and patience. This type of mosaic art usually takes several sessions to complete, similar to cross-stitch, which means that both types of projects are long-term — something you can work on over time. And, like cross-stitch, the process involves using smaller elements to gradually create a larger artwork. The difference is, instead of using different colors of embroidery floss to create an image, as you would in cross-stitch,  you use faceted, resin “diamonds” to compose a sparkling masterpiece.

If you’ve never tried diamond painting before, the concept is fairly simple. With your first diamond painting kit, you’ll receive everything you need to create a beautiful work of art, including a canvas imprinted with codes of letters and numbers. These correspond to a specific color of drills (the diamond beads used to create the painting). With your placer tool, you’ll follow an outlined pattern, placing individual beads in their correct spots. When you’ve finished, you’ll have a gorgeous picture that isready for framing and hanging in your home or for giving to someone special as a gift. For the avid cross-stitcher, this can be a great new hobby, especially since many aspects of it will feel familiar.

2. Knitting

Many people who enjoy cross-stitch will often try knitting as well, because the movements involved are similar in nature. However, knitting is a distinctly unique hobby in which you can produce actual clothing and accessories, whereas cross-stitch has a more limited range of what you can construct. While cross-stitch allows you to try embroidery, by which you can jazz up your existing clothing, knitting, gives you the chance to  learn how to make a scarf, blanket or even a sweater if you’re feeling ambitious. If you’ve never tried knitting before, we recommend using a beginner’s guide for your first project and trying something considered to be more straightforward, like a scarf. 

3. Sewing Your Own Clothing

Sewing, knitting and cross stitching are three hobbies that tend to get lumped together because they use similar materials and methods. For anyone who doesn’t have a sewing machine at home, you may want to try hand sewing at first. It is very difficult and time-consuming to create new articles of clothing like this, but you can try hand sewing for simple fixes like sewing on a button or fixing a rip. Once you’ve mastered the more simple techniques, you can invest in a small machine and start purchasing clothing patterns that you like.

scrapbooking tools

4. Scrapbooking

If you’ve never tried scrapbooking before, you should know that it is one of the creative hobbies which can quickly become a major project, so it’s best to start with a small, simple event or theme at first. Scrapbooking involves using different papers, stickers, ribbons, markers, photos and other tools to create a visual collage that tells a deeper story. We recommend working on one page at a time. Look for supplies that fit with your theme and don’t limit yourself in regards to what you can use. Part of the joy of scrapbooking is in finding the decorative bits and pieces you use, whether collected recyclables from around your house, stickers purchased from the dollar store, or specialty papers and trims from a boutique shop. Then, let them inspire your imagination and create a one page composition – which you can frame and display in your home – before you move on to larger projects involving an entire scrapbook. Many DIY and craft stores even offer workshops in scrapbooking where you can learn the basics and find inspiration from other’s projects.

5. Gardening

Although gardening may seem very different from cross-stitching, they actually have a lot more in common than you might think. Cross-stitch involves a level of planning and organization that is integral to gardening as well. You plan out where you need to place stitches in order to create a composed pattern or image when finished, much like you plan the setup of a garden,allowing each plant room to flourish. And, no matter what you choose to plant, from  herbs to flowers to vegetables, their arrangement in the ground can look as lovely as a cross-stiched sampler! Of course, gardening is also a unique hobby that allows you to spend more time outdoors, which can have great mental health benefits – from connecting with nature to teaching us how to be more present in the moment. Plus, much like cross-stitch and needlepoint, gardening is a hobby that your grandmother or great-grandmother likely enjoyed. Taking it up for yourself is an excellent way to experience a bygone era and learn more about your ancestors’ lives. 

6. Quilting

Quilts can be both visual stunning and tactilely appealing. Combine that with quilting’s rich social history, and it’s no wonder why it is still a popular pastime. Mastering the art of quilting, however, may seem like a daunting task. As with a lot of things, it simply takes patience and practice. You will be able to re-purpose some of your cross-stitch needles and thread, and if you own a good quality hoop, you may be able to use that as well. The basic premise is fairly straightforward; sew together various 6”-12” squares of fabric. There are plenty of tutorials out there for beginners, to walk you through the first stepsand once you’ve figured out the essentialss, you can make everything from table cloths and baby blankets to large, bed-sized blankets. Plus, while you’re doing the piece work, the project is portable, just like cross-stitch. You might even incorporate some of your finished cross-stitching projects as elements in a larger quilt. If you are wanting a new hobby that will really take your crafting skills to the next level, you should definitely give quilting a try. 

7. Drawing or Painting

Drawing and painting are versatile activities for adults that are never too late to learn. One of the great things about these hobbies is that all you need to start is a pencil and paper, which you probably already have.There are plenty of online tutorials, or you could enroll in a local art class. Because there are so many different styles and techniques, just about anyone can find enjoyment with these hobbies. There are even people who draw using a cross-stitch style. Instead of making x-shaped stitches with embroidery floss, you can draw x’s with colored pencils or markers to create the same look. This is a great way to create your own needlework patterns, too, and test out your ideas without wasting floss or Aida. Drawing is easily incorporated into your life as a portable skill that you can do wherever you are; whether at home, sketching out your next DIY project or at an art gallery, mirroring the lines of a masterpiece. 

Find a New Hobby That You Love

Finding a new hobby that you love doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. By exploring projects that are similar to hobbies you already enjoy, and starting with the basics, you can broaden your horizons without straying too far outside of your comfort zone.

For anyone seeking new hobbies like cross-stitch, diamond art painting is an excellent option. This type of project is a kind of mosaic art where you build an image out of small, faceted beads known as diamond drills. Diamond painting is a productive hobby that calls for the same type of patience and accuracy as cross-stitching and rewards your efforts with a beautiful piece of artwork. You can also test out some of the other hobbies on our list to expand your crafting adventures. 

If you’re ready to take a break from needlecrafts and are interested in trying diamond painting for the first time, browse our collection of designs and find something that speaks to you. Then, read through our diamond painting tips to learn tricks that will take your masterpieces to the next level. 

Discover Our Favorite Diamond Painting Tips


Image Credits

Liubov Kuskova/

Vladimir Melnikov/