One of the most popular hobbies by far is collecting items — either because you enjoy them or because they have market value that’s likely to increase over time.
You probably know someone with an impressive collection of comic books, vinyl records, or vintage something or other.
And if you’re not looking at those collections and thinking, “But why?” you might be interested in one of the collecting hobbies listed below.
Once you’ve decided what to collect, you’ll find plenty of places to look for it.
21 Things to Collect as a Fun Hobby
Enjoy this list of the most popular collecting hobbies, and be honest about which ones appeal to you.
You don’t have to be interested in what your parents or siblings collect. Find something that’s 100% you and that fits your budget and living space.
Fun Things to Collect
You’ve seen them: boxes upon boxes of comic books, each lovingly wrapped in a plastic sleeve for protection from moisture. Most of them, decades later, will be worth pennies on the dollar. But a rare few might be worth ten times the lot.
While streaming music has become the norm, vinyl records and turntables are making a comeback. Many artists are releasing vinyl editions of their albums. And you can still find old classics if you know where to look.
If you already have a turntable, start by collecting some of your favorites.
Think jewelry, silk scarves, vintage heels, etc. Whatever makes you feel nostalgic or think, “Those should definitely come back into fashion,” make a place for it and consider adding more. If you have an eye for what sells, you can start a brisk side business of your own.
Retro Video Games
This is more about nostalgia than making money, but chances are, you’re not alone in missing Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and other games you played as a kid. Even if all you gain is a relaxing way to spend some of your “me time,” this is a hobby worth considering.
Bobble Heads or Funko Pop figures
If you belong to a fandom, you can probably find Funko Pop figures for your favorite characters. Find your favorites on eBay, Amazon, etc., and make a space for them.
If you’re hoping to resell them at some point, keep them on display in their unopened boxes.
Antique Keys or Skeleton Keys
If you like collecting small things you can store in a designated “treasure chest,” consider antique keys or skeleton keys.
You can often find these at antique stores, but you can also find them online. Use your imagination to give each key a special meaning or purpose.
Dollhouse Furnishings and Decor
If you have a dollhouse and enjoy decorating it, you can easily find various dollhouse furnishings online and in stores.
Make a plan for each room of the house — including particular styles and colors. If the finished product exceeds your expectations, consider selling it and starting another.
Cheap Things to Collect
This is easiest to do if you live near a beach since you can comb the seashore for shells or find plenty at the tourist shops in town.
Otherwise, the internet has more than enough places to help you build a beautiful collection to display and share with others.
Rocks and Crystals
Whether you find your own rocks and crystals or buy them from shops or online (and you can do both), it’s easy to build a collection with personal meaning attached to each piece.
E-pennies or E-coins
In this case, the “e” stands for “elongated.” It’s one of those souvenirs you can get by putting a penny or other coin into a machine that presses it and stamps it with a logo for the specific tourist attraction you’re visiting.
If nothing else, they can trigger pleasant memories.
Legos and Lego Kits
If you enjoy building with Legos and putting your completed projects on display, you probably already have an assortment of Lego pieces and kits to start with. And there are plenty of places to find new Lego sets to enjoy.
If you grew up in a house with a sewing machine, you’ve probably seen a collection of loose buttons and marveled at the variety of shapes, colors, and designs. If you already have a collection of unusual buttons with sentimental value attached, consider adding to it.
You’ve probably seen the detailed Schleich animal figures at stores like Target and online.
If you have kids, you might have bought some for them (maybe after hearing one say, “I wish we had a dog”). Look up your favorite animals to see if this might be a collection you’d enjoy.
If you enjoy making jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings, etc.), there are plenty of places to find beads for your crafting collection. You can also knit or crochet with beads to add extra bougie flair to your handcrafted gifts.
Valuable Things To Collect
Every country has its own, and the rarer they are, the more they’re worth. These can be fun to collect, whether or not you plan to sell any in the future. Get yourself a stamp collecting album and reference guide, and collect a certain kind that appeals to you — or gather a varied collection to treasure and display.
These are a classic collectible. And the better their condition, the higher their resale value, which is something even if you have no intention of ever selling them.
Invest in storage or display containers that will protect them and keep them in the best possible shape
These bear the image and performance stats of well-known sports athletes. Some of the oldest are worth thousands of dollars each, depending on their condition and rarity.
If you’ve held onto your collection — or inherited one — it’s worth looking into their value.
Antique furniture, as long as it’s in good condition and well-cared-for, grows in value as it becomes rarer.
Watch Antiques Roadshow to get an idea of how much these items can sell for, depending on the craftsman and their condition. The more a piece resembles its brand-new condition, the better.
Vintage Ceramics & Glassware
If vintage serving ware makes you nostalgic, it’s not hard to find pieces for your own collection on eBay and Etsy.
If you find you collect more than you can keep, you can also sell them in these places or from your own “vintage gallery” website.
Toys, Dolls, and Action Figures
Kept in mint condition, many popular toys — especially “limited edition” items, kept sealed in the box — grow in market value over time as they become harder to find.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with simply enjoying these items or letting your kids enjoy them.
Classics or signed copies of popular books are especially likely to grow in value, especially if they’re in excellent condition.
Keep that in mind when you’re reading them, or buy a separate copy (like a nice, pliable paperback) for reading and sharing with others.
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Did you find some intriguing things to collect?
Now that you’ve perused this list of interesting things to collect, which ones stood out for you? Or has this list reminded you of the beginnings of a collection you already have?
If you consider something worth collecting, chances are someone else out there does, too.
Honor your unique tastes (and your budget), and take your available storage and display space into account, especially if you share it with someone else (This is why so many small things make such popular collectibles).
May each item in your collection earn its place.