8 Exciting Crafts & Activities Like Puzzles


December 02, 2023

Time reading

4 minutes
house cats diamond art painting

Few things are better than escaping into a much-loved hobby at the end of a long day. Engaging in activities like puzzles can lower your stress levels, improve memory, enhance problem-solving skills, and much, much more. And, as many of us experienced after pulling them out to occupy time in quarantine, they’re really lots of fun! If you have been doing jigsaw puzzles for a while and are looking for a new way to unwind, we have some great suggestions. From creating beautiful art with diamond art kits to learning a new activity like knitting or crocheting, here are a few of our favorite ideas.

1.  Diamond Painting

Diamond painting is a lot like doing puzzles in that you strategically put small pieces in place to form a larger picture. The primary difference is that instead of searching for and fitting each of the pieces together in a specific place, you simply match resin diamonds (called drills) to their coordinating symbol. Sound easy? It is! Think of diamond painting as an exciting activity that combines all the best aspects of puzzles, paint-by-numbers, and cross-stitch into a relaxing hobby that has taken the crafting world by storm. 

Check Out Our Diamond Painting Kits!

By purchasing a kit from Diamond Art Club®, you will receive all the diamond painting supplies you need to complete your first masterpiece and then some, including a pre-printed, self-adhesive canvas, extra sparkly diamond drills in a variety of brilliant colors, a diamond placer tool with matching comfort grip, a diamond drill tray with stopper, a heart-shaped wax container with two wax pads to help you pick up drills, an elegantly shaped cover minder to help you pull back the protective canvas cover while you paint, a complimentary roll of beautifully designed washi-tape, resealable baggies for storing your loose drills and an inventory sheet with pre-cut sticker labels to help you stay organized. Each kit also comes with detailed, printed instructions, but learning how to paint with diamonds is a breeze! Once you have grasped the basic technique, completing this type of art is a relaxing and rewarding way to enjoy your free time. There’s nothing quite as thrilling as seeing hundreds of tiny diamonds transformed into a breathtaking work of art. 

2. Word Puzzles

If you enjoy solving jigsaw puzzles, switching to word puzzles is an excellent way to change things up. Crosswords, word searches, and cryptograms are all outstanding options that will engage your mind, broaden your vocabulary, and keep boredom at bay. They aren’t the only types of word games that are worth checking out, though. If you are tired of traditional crossword puzzles and want to try something new, try putting your brainpower to the test with logic puzzles, ciphers, or even rebus puzzles. Brain teasers and riddles are fun, too, and will put your critical thinking skills to the test.

3. Knitting or Crocheting

Like putting puzzles together, knitting and crocheting enable you to make something beautiful using your own hands. But, instead of carefully arranging cardboard pieces to form an image, you follow a pattern and link various stitches to complete a soft, woven item. In the end, you’ll have a unique textile that you can either give to someone special or enjoy for yourself. And one of the best things about taking up one of these hobbies is that they are portable. Pack up a knitting bag and you can enjoy your hobby just about anywhere. The same certainly cannot be said for jigsaw puzzles

flat lay composition embroidery

Source: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

4. Cross-Stitch

Think cross-stitch is just a boring pastime for graying grandmas? Think again! This traditional handicraft has seen a significant resurgence in popularity over the last few years, and its comeback has resulted in the publication of new patterns featuring every type of imagery imaginable. Modern cross-stitch is a fun, light-hearted hobby that is a wonderful option for anyone looking for a new crafting activity. And, like working with the pieces of a puzzle, it keeps your fingers busy. Whether you are a beginner when it comes to needle arts or you have some experience, you’ll have no problem finding patterns to suit your skill level. 

Discover 7 Hobbies and Crafts Like Cross-Stitch

5. Building Models

Take your game up a notch — instead of working on two-dimensional puzzles, try your hand at building a three-dimensional model. Whether you love cars, planes or architecture, there are model kits on the market to match your interests. And, building blocks and brick sets aren’t just for kids anymore. There is no glue needed since click-together sets now allow you to create replicas of characters and scenes from film and television shows like Star Wars, Sesame Street, and Friends. Similar to working on puzzles, constructing models engages the brain while easing stress and enhancing problem-solving skills

6. Gardening

Planting a garden is excellent for both your mental and physical health. And, in certain ways, it’s comparable to doing puzzles. When you plant a garden, you have to plan the space and figure out which plants to place near each other. You also need to consider how much room each plant needs. Plus, you may need to use your critical thinking skills to overcome issues like pests, weeds, and diseases. You will also need to spend time thinking about things like fertilizers, pruning, and moisture levels. Because of this, planting a healthy garden is a lot like arranging the pieces of a puzzle. Only, in lieu of a pretty picture when you’re done, you’ll have lovely, green plants and loads of fresh veggies, herbs or flowers to enjoy. 

sudoku puzzle pencil coffee

Source: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

7. Number and Math Puzzles

Explore number and math puzzles to give your brain a dynamic workout. Sudoku is a timeless classic that challenges reasoning and logic skills in a 9x9 grid. KenKen is another grid-based puzzle for arithmetic lovers, and Kakuro is similar to a crossword puzzle but provides numerical challenges that test logic and addition skills. Cryptarithms are puzzles that combine numbers and words. To solve one, you’ll need to decode math expressions using digit-letter assignments. And lastly, logic grid puzzles challenge critical thinking skills and are perfect for anyone who loves unraveling challenging scenarios. No matter which one you choose, these puzzle activities are perfect for number lovers and are great for keeping your math skills sharp! 

8.  Board, Card, and Video Games

They may not be the first things that come to mind when you think about activities like puzzles, but board games and card games are excellent choices when you’re looking for engaging activities you can enjoy with friends and family. Plus, their strategic nature makes them similar to puzzle games in many ways. 

Board games foster strategic thinking and create dynamic scenarios that engage players in problem-solving and tactical decision-making. And a simple deck of cards can provide hours of strategic entertainment–even when you are alone! Video games can provide cognitive benefits, and there are plenty of digital strategy and puzzle games from which to choose. No matter what type of game you decide on, playing board, card, and video games can enhance cognitive skills while giving you a much-needed break from traditional puzzles. If you’d like to explore games from a more craft-related or DIY angle, consider making your own! There are now DIY kits that enable you to design your own game — or you can make your own up from scratch using materials you have lying around the house. Get creative and have fun! 

portrait diamond art painting

Closing Thoughts

If you enjoy hobbies like puzzles but are looking for new ways to pass the time, diamond painting along with the suggestions above are some excellent options other crafters love! They certainly aren’t the only ones, though. Anything that takes your mind off the stress of daily life and helps you relax is perfect. Try your hand at something you’ve never done before, like diamond painting, and you may just be surprised to discover that you have a new favorite diversion. Depending on which activity you choose, you may even discover a new favorite way to spend time with the people who mean the most to you.