Great Garage Hobbies You Can Start (That don’t involve cars)

What are garage hobbies? Simply put, they are hobbies that can be done in your garage. What is typically thought of as a place to park cars and store lawn equipment can be turned into an amazing hobby space to explore your passion.

Don’t have a hobby? Below you will find 7 great garage hobbies you can start, and none of them involve cars…unless you want them to.

This page contains affiliate links in which we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Wood Carving

Wood Carving

Wood Carving is a hobby you can do just about anywhere, including your garage.  To get started, all you really need are a couple of carving knives and some wood.  From there you can start carving small wood figures and wooden puzzles.  As you progress you can add tools and equipment to your garage hobby space.  A bandsaw is a good addition as it will allow you to rough cut pieces of lumber and get rid of a lot of extra material.

Once you have completed your carvings, they need to be finished.  Whether you want your carvings to have a rustic folk appearance, or a super smooth sanded finish is up to you.  Should you paint or stain it?  You can also choose to seal your piece, or leave it natural and let it age on its own.  If you start carving, you may also pick up another hobby; knife and tool sharpening.  It is important to have sharp tools in your garage shop, especially when carving.

2. Scale Modeling

Okay, okay, technically this one can involve cars as a subject, but it doesn’t have to, and these cars won’t get you greasy or leave you with busted knuckles.

Scale modeling is a garage hobby that can be as simple or as in depth as you want to make it.  Whether you like cars, planes, or military vehicles, there is a scale model to suit any interest.

Model Airplane

You can start off building the model to look like the box art, however you can take your model in any direction you’d like.  You can paint the model to match a specific car example, or match it to a specific military unit.  If you want to make your model look dirty or battle damaged, that is an option as well.  

Once your model is complete you may choose to display it on a shelf, or build a diorama for it to sit on.  There are even models available of buildings and garages that you can fill with scale accessories and scenery.

Not much is needed to start a scale model hobby in your garage.  Side cutters, model cement, and some paint are all you need to do the basics.  As you progress you can add to your selection of tools.

3. Electronics

Next on our list of garage hobbies is electronics.  Get a soldering iron, a fume extractor, a microcontroller, and some components and you are ready to start making.  You will have to learn a programming language in order to write a program to your microcontroller, but most are fairly easy to figure out.  There are plenty of tutorials available on the web that can get you started.  

To begin, it would be worthwhile to order a kit that includes the microcontroller and a selection of sensors, LEDs, switches, and other components.  The kit will allow you to complete some basic projects while gaining experience.  Knowledge in electronics can lead to many practical applications.  You can create an automatic watering system for your garden, create a wireless temperature and humidity sensor, or even your own home alarm system. An Arduino would be a good microcontroller to start with.

Electronics are a great hobby to bring into other garage projects as well.  Microcontrollers can control lights, sounds, servos to create movement, and even locks.

4. 3D Printing

The garage is a perfect place to put a 3D printer.  With an upfront cost of around $200, you can get a fairly good 3D printer.  Depending on the printer you choose, they can either be somewhat loud, or produce fumes that you may not want in your home.  When you make 3D printing a garage hobby, you eliminate these issues.

When most people think of 3D printing, they think of all the little toys and figures you can download off of websites like Thingiverse.  In reality, learning a program like Fusion360, which takes little effort to learn the basics, opens up a world of practical things to 3D print.  Appliance parts, knobs, gears, and all kinds of other things can be designed and printed in a matter of hours instead of waiting for parts to come in the mail, or not being able to find replacements at all.

Garage Hobbies

5. Small Engines

Small engine repair is one of the most quintessential garage hobbies.  If you have an itch for motors but don’t have the room for vehicles, fixing and restoring small engines can be an interesting garage hobby that can even make a little extra money.  Small engines require less specialty tools than larger engines, and therefore less money to start working on.  

There are many interesting small engine designs that have been made over the years, and you have your choice of 2 stroke or 4 stroke, and gas or diesel.  You may even find yourself interested in hit and miss engines.  

Once you get a small engine running or restored, there are all sorts of options.  You can sell them, display them, use them to power other projects, or maybe even put them on loan to a museum.  

Once word of your new found garage hobby gets out, you may find yourself getting asked to repair other people’s engines for them.  Not a bad way to earn some extra cash if you truly enjoy the hobby.

6. Leatherworking

If you have a little bit of room in your garage, and a reasonable budget, you can look into leatherworking.  Never again will you have to search for the perfect wallet, you can go out to your garage and make your own.  

There are tons of leatherworking projects to try out.  Bags, belts, holsters, wallets, luggage tags, the list could go on.  

Leatherworking is another garage hobby that can repay some of what you put into getting started.  Leather items are always in demand and can be sold in consignment shops, local boutiques, craft shows, and online.  

Admittedly, leatherworking needs a good sized budget to start up properly, as there are a lot of specialty tools.  The leather itself can become pricey depending on what you want to use.

7. Metalworking

Metalworking takes many forms, but is another practical garage hobby to invest in.  Whether it be welding or blacksmithing, metalworking can lead to a lot of great projects and learned skills.

Scrap metal art would be the cheapest way into the metalworking door.  With a basic flux core welder, proper protective gear, an angle grinder, and some scrap metal, you can start making some pretty amazing art.  From there you can take your welding skills as far as you want, and use it in other projects  or repairs.

With Blacksmithing however, the initial start up cost can be pretty steep.  You need a forge, anvil, and the proper tools to hammer out metal into the desired shape.  As time goes on, the garage may even get cramped trying to store all of the things you may want, depending on where your blacksmithing journey takes you.  This definitely can be one of the more expensive garage hobbies.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully our list of garage hobbies has helped give you some ideas for your garage.  Hobbies can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long day, or use up idle time.  Hobbies make people interesting and provide something to talk about beyond work.  If none of the hobbies on this list get you excited, hopefully you can find something that does.  Remember, your garage is what you make it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *