66 Hobby and Craft Niche Ideas
Hands-On Activities 1

ractically everything under Hands-On Activities requires education.  There are many, many available ways to get the information you need because traditional learning was not reaching the people who had responsibilities but still wanted to learn.  Online or offline, there is a way to get the information to provide a service that answers people’s needs.  The time invested will reward you with a steady stream of new and, even better, repeat users.

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12. Fruit Gardening

Apple picking- provides or creates cookbooks with apple recipes, encourage a recipe exchange among pickers. Expand the hobby by creating Apple Pie or Apple Dish contests. The winner can be featured in a newsletter with their recipe. Winner can win a percent off the next time they pick apples or receive a couple of baskets free.

List organic farms where people can pick apples, for example,  they can pay an advertisement fee or you can agree on a barter plan.

13. Herb Walking

A success at this is “Wildman” Steve Brill in New York. He published his book, now books, on the same subject. As a native New Yorker I'm fascinated that he found all of this information. He used to give walks and was arrested repeatedly. Mr. Brill, credit to him, was well-versed in what plants and conditions could harm and which were beneficial. He also had a program on WBAI Pacifica Radio, discussed the material and gave the dates and times for his walking tours. Now they can be found on his website.

14. Landscaping

From weekend projects to beautification projects, landscaping requires the appropriate knowledge to ensure that the landscaping will remain and thrive for years to come.  There is nothing more aggravating than using the time and money to plant a tree that was said to be suitable for the particular environment only to watch it die.

These are my late brother's watches. That's a picture of Vern in the background. I had no idea that he was a "timekeeper."

15. Collecting

Collecting things can be separated into two categories: things we no longer use that in them make an interesting display or have an equally interesting history but may be of no value beyond the sheer pleasure of collecting as many of these items as there are available.  The other is of items that are considered valuable - intrinsic or monetary.

Angel Statues by Allison L. Williams Hill

Evaluating Collections: You can offer services to appraise personal or corporate collections.  Keep up with trends to predict future valuable collections. 

Cherry by Stanley Turrentine, Jazz Saxophonist

15a. Music Collections-Vinyl Albums and CDs

There are certain albums I heard friends and avid jazz fans discuss about the value of certain, difficult to find vinyl albums.  With jazz, a genre loved by many but not as much as popular music, there were fewer released pressed vinyl albums.  CTI, for example, produced wonderful albums by Freddie Hubbard, Eumir Deodato, Stanley Turrentine, and others with distinct covers.  Finding them over thirty years later would certainly be worth the time.

Personally, I did not appreciate the recording industry replacing vinyl albums with compact discs.  I rather like the market dictating what succeeds and what does not.  In other words, let the people and their money determine what remains.  CDs have a limited shelf life as do all recordings. Because they are inexpensive, purchasing a half dozen of the same at a time might be a worthwhile investment.  If you are into predictions, doubling that order for certain recordings may make a profit later.  

15b. Comic Book Collections

DC and Marvel paved the way for the appreciation of comic books initially thought to be a complete waste of money.   My brother collected Marvel comic books when he was a boy.  When he left for college, all of his comic books were discarded, complete years of Silver Surfer; Dare Devil; Iron Man, and then some.  Since then, I’ve learned that the product should be kept in as pristine a condition as possible and safe from vengeful stepfathers.  Plastic sleeves with cardboard maintain their mint store-purchased condition.  Humidity and sunlight are the enemies of all paper products.  Take care to preserve them in the best possible conditions. 

Other Traditional Collections

•    Antiques

Building Sketch by Allison L. Williams Hill

I created a guide about how to collect art.

•    Art

•    Ceramics

•    Chess sets

•    Cigars

•    Coins

•    Guitars; harps, and other instruments

•    Memorabilia

Chinese Military Statues by Allison L. Williams Hill

•    Military

•    Minerals

Minerals, as known as crystals, are used for several purposes such as electronic and human energy applications. For humans, focusing attention, meditation, and healing employ certain types and shapes for growth and improvement.

Crystals are beautiful. Their shapes and colors are attractive. People purchase them and display them in their homes or offices for their characteristics. A collection could be focused on type, color, or folklore. Read more at Crystals

15c. Car Collection

Classic and muscle cars have their own appeal and approaches to restoration. Investments appreciate and it warrants being knowledgeable unless you are in a position where you can throw away money.

15d. Greeting Card Collection

One may think this falls under memorabilia; however, this can chronicle different greeting card company publishers and how art was used in the celebration of the holiday over time. Some frame the cards; arrange them on acid-free paper in albums, or replicate methods.

Personally, I love keeping the greeting cards I was given. They do tend to grow in number. I use them now for bookmarker material; the memories are close and the paper stock serves well for this purpose. Lamination makes the keepsakes durable.

These are two copyrighted non-seasonal greeting cards I created. The colors of the text changes for holidays.

Love Is The Reason For Everything You Do card interior by Allison L. Williams Hill 

15e. Non-Traditional Collections

Non-Traditional Collections consist of things people no longer have a use for but have an interesting history.  Such things may be:

•    Beverage cans

•    Beverage bottles

I'd do anything for you...just anything...for you...Wonderful PJ

•    Dog items

•    Sheet music for a specific genre or time period

•    Bells

•    Playbills of Broadway, Off and Off-Off Broadway productions

I kept all of my Playbills from plays I saw in New York City. Classics in the Atrium in Paraquita Bay, Tortola distributed Playbills to attendees.  I'd intended to create two displays, one from New York and the other from the Caribbean.

All of the ones on Tortola were destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The performances at the Atrium, in the H. Lavity Stout Community College were unique. They included Awadagin Pratt and several other classical performers and an Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performance was in the auditorium as was "Tito" De Gracia. It was a wonderful time and it would have been nice to have kept them. 

•    Theater items

The items used in plays and productions are vast. A collection can grow around a specific prop such as hats; canes, depending on what will be done with it.

The late Debbie Reynolds collected costumes she eventually sold before her death. When they were displayed on a television show,the articles were draped on mannequins. It is unknown if the garments were displayed the same way in her home. Will the items be displayed? How  will they be displayed? The environment must be considered. Air conditioning  may be needed to minimize aging and deterioration and heating may be needed to make the space comfortable for occupancy.  

•    Darts and dart boards

•    Seasonal and non- seasonal  ornaments

My mother had Christmas ornaments made of metal and glass. They were beautiful. I remember hearing some explode when they hit the floor, never to be used again. They could not be replaced. There are businesses that specialize in ornaments just like those of old in glass, metal, and wood.
While the original ornaments were lost, new ones can be purchased that remind me of the memories I had with my mother and family during the season.

Non-season ornaments are available in sand dollars or starfish, for example, and other reminders of one's favorite times at the beach. They are great gifts that remind the receiver of a special time in life.

•    Key chains

I had to look up how old keys were. There is evidence that they existed thousands of years ago. There are antique and vintage collections of keys.
Keys were kept on a common item to ensure they were safely maintained.   Sophisticated women use tassels for keys! They're beautiful. I was gifted an angel key chain that I use for dowsing. When I misplaced it, I found another, also used for dowsing, not keys. I repurposed key chains and other things can be repurposed for key chains.

•    Produce crates or labels

Labels had artistry that made you want to eat them!  

•    Hair ornaments

The level of attention and craft for this item, hair brushes, mirrors, etc. was different then when compared to now. The industrial revolution accelerated production providing a greater distribution of less expensive items. Hair ornaments  from centuries before, were works of art and unique because it was rare that no more than one was fashioned. Their uniqueness made them expensive and rare. Wealthy families were able to afford them.   

•   Cutting boards

Cutting boards do not have to be collected by a chef. Cutting boards have history and were produced in different sizes,  shapes and woods that could make a collection interesting.

•    Tweezers

This item is unusual and unique. Antique tweezers were ornate. Design periods elevated common items to become beautiful and to be of beauty
for beautiful women to use. Never to be used, these can be mounted in a frame. They are elements of art.



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Looking West on Drake's Highway, Tortola towards the Caribbean Sea by Allison L. Williams Hill

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