5 Vintage Hobbies To Try for A More Retro Lifestyle

Guest post by:
Mara Sampson

Mara is a wordsmith extraordinaire who has a burning love for classic cars. From the rumble of a V8 engine to the gleam of polished chrome, she doesn't pull any stops when crafting engaging content that brings these beautiful machines to life. Her passion for classic cars is only matched by her love for her faithful Abyssinian cat, Munchkin, who enjoys napping on the hood of her favourite ride.

While driving classic cars never goes out of fashion, some hobbies have fallen by the wayside over the years. However, that’s all changing, and old school is cool again. From crocheting to bird watching, tinkering in the garage or shed, and painting, more than half of Brits have expressed interest in starting a new hobby that’s more than a touch nostalgic.

These five vintage hobbies take you back in time, giving you the opportunity to relax and create something new.


Woodworking is an extraordinary hobby that allows you to craft something truly unique by hand. The possibilities for making wooden furniture, toys, decorations, and other practical items are almost endless. 

The woodworking community is full of casual and professional artisans who enjoy meeting new friends, sharing ideas, and giving feedback. You can meet them by attending local workshops and events or by joining one or multiple online forums. 

Woodworking can even save you money as you can make your own shelves or cabinets, or repair or restore old or damaged wood items instead of buying new ones. We live in a world where we’re very quick to throw something away rather than repurpose or refurbish it, and woodworking gives you the opportunity to breathe new life into older objects, just like we did in the past.

It’s also among the best hobbies for making unique gifts that really demonstrate your appreciation and love for the recipient.

You don’t need expensive power tools to enjoy woodworking, and the whole point of this hobby is to enjoy it in an old-school way. A basic saw, hammer, and drill, coupled with some nails and screws, will do the trick.


Baking is a fun and rewarding hobby that allows you to delve into the world of fancy bread, delicious cakes, and mouth-watering pastries. You can enjoy the simple pleasures of kneading dough or decorating cakes just like your parents and grandparents did.

The most appealing aspect of baking comes in its potential for building a happy home. You’ll have multiple opportunities to foster social connections and relationships. It’s a wonderful hobby for bonding with family and friends through recipes and stories over a delicious puff pastry.  It’s the perfect retro hobby to replace watching TV or scrolling through your phone, and it has far tastier results too. 

Restoring Classic Cars

The allure and reward of restoring classic cars lie in the potential to preserve a piece of automotive history with your own mechanical knowledge. If you’d like to try your hand at restoring a classic car, find one that suits your budget, workload, and level of mechanical knowledge. If you’re new to the world of classic cars, a non-running jalopy that needs an entire engine overhaul, chassis work, chrome fitting, and interior restoration may not be your best bet.

The most significant restoration success stories come from enthusiasts who do their homework upfront. If you know what to look for before buying a car to restore, you can determine whether the project is suitable or if it’s beyond your scope—for now, anyway. 

Just some of what you need to consider before starting this hobby include:

  • Car condition – Look for rust, damage, or missing parts. Assess critical areas like the engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, and electrical system. A well-maintained car will be easier and cheaper to restore.
  • Part availability – Some classic cars have scarce or costly discontinued components. You’ll need to choose between original and aftermarket parts, impacting restoration authenticity and quality.
  • Model popularity – Certain classics are more desirable, impacting pricing and potential profit. Factor in competition and uniqueness for appeal and recognition.
  • Difficulty – Different classic cars vary in restoration difficulty based on design and complexity. Factor in your time and effort commitment.

It’s a good idea to start small and work your way up to ensure that you don’t end up with a car in your garage that deserves to be on the road.


Painting is one of the most expressive hobbies for giving you peace of mind and working out your frustrations. There’s a reason why the world’s greatest philosophers, like Leonardo Da Vinci, enjoyed painting. It enhanced his problem-solving skills and challenged him to think strategically about how to complete his painting.

When you choose your colours, mix your paints, and apply your strokes, the process is invigorating. It releases positive emotions and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Painting has the unique ability to boost your cognitive faculties by triggering both the left and right hemispheres of your brain.

You can experiment with oil paintings, watercolour paintings, or acrylic paintings to find your style and see where your talents take you. If you want to add a real retro twist to this hobby, pack a watercolour kit and head off to the beach or the countryside (maybe even in your restored classic car!) and enjoy a day out painting the local scenery.

Film Photography

A true retro hobby that offers so much creative scope, taking photographs using older cameras and film can be a hugely enriching experience. Film photography is an art form that you can learn, and the excitement of waiting to see your pictures develop adds to the fun.

You can purchase older film online and use it with the appropriate camera and even learn how to develop the image yourself in a makeshift darkroom.

If you enjoy the technological side, you may want to extend this hobby beyond taking photographs and start restoring old cameras like the Leica IIIa or Rolleiflex, too.  You’ll learn a unique skill set that allows you to repair a shutter, align the lens mount, clean the film plane, or adjust a camera’s exposure. Plus, you can then take photos that are totally unique and harken back to days gone by.

Bringing Back The Past

A great hobby should be fun and relaxing while allowing you to express your creativity. Sharing that passion with others is the best way to go about it. These hobbies are uniquely retro but are making a comeback for good reason. Why not try something new that’s stood the test of time? You may end up with a classic car you can drive around proudly in, furniture you’ve made from scratch, or food and artwork that everyone wants to share and enjoy too.

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