This project calls for upcycling some pull tabs and transforming them into these beautiful napkin rings, which are pictured above. The instructions for these napkin rings are available online for free.
Fabric Crochet Coasters
You can upcycle old textiles such as sheets, sarongs or clothing and transform them into rag balls to use for knitting or crocheting. There are countless environmentally friendly projects you can make using these rag balls; I have a whole list of them (plus links to free patterns) on my page about fabric crochet. Some of my favorite fabric crochet projects are coasters you can use for proudly setting the table on Earth Day. Check out these fabric crochet flower coasters and these heart-shaped coasters for a couple of fantastic project ideas.
Earth Day is coming up soon. This year, we’ll be celebrating Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 — mark your calendars!
If you’d like to celebrate Earth day with an eco-friendly crochet project, there are many possibilities to consider. For example, the gorgeous tote bag pictured above is a sustainable DIY project if you choose to upcycle old fabrics or clothes for your materials.
Another similar option is an earth-friendly market bag made using organic cotton. You can get the market bag crochet pattern on the Internet for free.
You could begin working on either of these projects today, and if you start using the bag every time you shop, it’ll result in fewer paper and plastic shopping bags that need recycling.
If you do still happen to have plastic shopping bags, or produce bags, hanging around your place, don’t throw them away; upcycle them! Our free scrubbie patterns give you the instructions you need for transforming the bags into useful dish scrubbers and pot scrubbers you can use for hand-washing your dishes (which in many cases is more eco-friendly than using the dishwasher, because the dishwasher uses more water.)
Learn About Plarn
If you’re still carrying groceries home in plastic shopping bags, here’s an idea you can use to recycle them: “Plarn.”
Sooner or later, everyone ends up with worn-out textiles — worn out clothing, worn out linens, etc. Once a piece of clothing is stained or torn, you probably don’t want to wear it any more, but you need not throw it away. You can turn old clothes into interesting rag crochet projects including rugs, hot pads, potholders, cat and dog beds and even jewelry. Here are a few ideas and free patterns to get you started:
Upcycle the pull tabs from cat food cans, soup cans, tuna fish cans or soda cans to make cool napkin rings you can use for dressing up your table.
Cloth napkins are environmentally responsible, because you can keep re-using them over and over again. Another nice thing about them: the napkins pay for themselves before long, because you don’t have to keep spending money on disposable paper napkins after you’ve made the initial investment. That saves you quite a bit of cash in the long run.
Once you start using cloth napkins, you’ll probably want to have some nice napkin rings on hand to go with them. The napkin rings linked above are a fun, eco-friendly DIY project that you can make (in part) from recycled materials.
This year, Mother’s Day will fall on Sunday, May 10, 2020. That gives you some time to delight a special Mom (or perhaps a grandmother, mother-in-law, or stepmom) by making a handmade gift to give her this Mother’s Day.<
If this is an idea that sounds interesting to you, we invite you to browse through our Mother’s Day gift ideas to find ideas for the perfect gift. Here we’ve presented a roundup of a few fantastic ideas for Mother’s Day craft projects; we hope you’ll be inspired by these suggestions.
Design a Sweater That Your Mom Would Love!
Melissa Leapman is an authority on sweater knitting design. She’s enjoyed a successful career as a knitwear designer and has designed sweaters and sweater patterns for bunches of books, magazines and clothing companies. Melissa shares a simple, beginner-friendly, step-by-step sweater design process in a brand new book called 6,000+ Pullover Possibilities. So if you’ve always wanted to design custom-made sweaters to give as gifts to your loved ones, this book will guide you through the process. If your mom knits, the book itself would also be a spectacular gift for her. Click here to shop for the book at Amazon, or click here for more info in my detailed book review of this title.
Crochet a basket for mom. Fill it with fancy, extra-special crocheted washcloths plus scented lotions, beautiful sculpted soaps and a bath puff — or whichever toiletries your mom would find most enjoyable.
There are so many things that moms might love that it's hard to fit them all in one blog post. I invite you to browse our website to find even more knitting and crochet patterns, some that mom might love, some to make for Dad for Father’s Day, and hopefully even some to use for making something nice for yourself too.
As a child, I adored Valentine’s Day. It delighted me to make paper Valentines for all the other children I knew.
As an adult, I haven’t outgrown my fondness for making Valentines. Nowadays I enjoy adding crocheted edgings to some of them, and putting other artistic touches on them as well. I find it satisfying to make lovely things to give to others, even small things like Valentine’s Day cards.
I’ve discovered that it’s even more fun to make Valentine gifts for my loved ones — or at least, to add handmade touches to my gifts at times when it isn’t practical to create an entire gift from scratch.
If you celebrate this holiday, and you plan on giving Valentine gifts this year, here are some ideas for things you can make:
Let’s say you want to give candy or some small item as a Valentine gift to a sweetheart, friend, or colleague. A heart-shaped pouch would be a fun way to package it.
This is one of those designs where you can really showcase your own creativity. There are many different ways you could decorate this pouch — so feel free to dress it up with appliques, beads, ribbons, buttons or whatever other pretty baubles your heart desires.
If your intended recipient is a guy and the heart idea isn’t quite right for this occasion, you could always choose another pouch design instead. Our list of pouch patterns has several guy-friendly options to consider.
Crocheted Hats for Him
If your intended gift recipient is a guy, perhaps a crocheted hat would be a nice gift for him. The one pictured here is part of a hat and scarf set that I think is particularly nice for guys. It’s a bit of a time-consuming project, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a gift for casual acquaintances – but for the right guy, I think it’s worth spending the time on it. I can say that, having made the set for my own husband (although not specifically as a Valentine’s gift…) and he got significant, daily wintertime wear out of the hat for years before it got too shabby to make any more public appearances. Which reminds me that perhaps it’s time for me to begin making him another one…
There are all kinds of interesting things you can do with pretty crocheted flowers. You can attach them to hair accessories like headbands and hair clips. You can transform them into brooches or magnets. You can use them as embellishments on gift packages. Et-cetera!
More Valentine Ideas
Here’s a link to a list of free Valentine crochet and knitting patterns. The list includes bunches more ideas for interesting Valentine and heart-themed projects you can crochet. Happy crafting!
Are you thinking of dressing up for New Year’s Eve this year? Do you want to whip up something unique and special to wear on this occasion? Here are a few ideas, with suggestions for patterns for knitting or crocheting each item.
Dressy Shawls and Wraps to Knit and Crochet for the Holidays
A lace wrap would look stunning worn overtop of a little black dress. There are so many incredible shawl and wrap options that it’s a challenge to choose just one to make and wear during the holiday season. I’m eyeing the choices available in Delicate Crochet as some of the most appealing possibilities for holiday apparel. The book offers you 8 different patterns for lacy shawls and wraps to crochet, plus bunches of other stylish, feminine apparel that would be perfect for holiday and everyday wear.
Pictured above is the wrap I think I’d most want to make for New Year’s Eve this year. It’s the “Gentle Whisper Shawl” by Judith Butterworth. I think it would be a gorgeous holiday wrap, yet it would also be wearable for many other occasions (and non-occasions) too.
But with so many fabulous shawl patterns available, it’s a tough choice. Of the 8 wrap patterns included in Delicate Crochet, my opinion is that 6 of the options are dressy enough for pairing with cocktail dresses and party dresses. If you were to stick with using the yarns suggested in each pattern, I think that the other 2 options are more casual than what you’d probably want to choose for New Year’s Eve, although they are lovely.
This one book gives you SO MANY fabulous options for holiday apparel beyond just wraps and shawls. Some of the other patterns included in the book are also holiday friendly — a lace skirt, dressy lace tops, a dazzling sequinned cardigan, a beaded necklace, lacy ribbon trimmed fingerless gloves and more.
If you’d rather knit your shawl than crochet it, check out Vogue Knitting’s collection of shawl and wrap patterns. The book includes patterns for making just about every imaginable type of knitted shawl or wrap you could want — including many styles that are appropriate for pairing with party dresses.
I designed this easy, beginner-friendly neck warmer with the holiday season in mind. This piece is sort of like a cross between a necklace and a scarf; it’s warmer than a necklace would be, and it’s dressier than your average winter scarf. In fact, it’s dressy enough to wear out on New Year’s Eve, so if you are tired of freezing in the name of fashion, why not give this project a try.
Dressy Holiday Jewelry
This gorgeous necklace is lovely for accessorizing on any occasion that calls for a bit of sparkle. It’s a bit artsy and, I think, totally fabulous. It’s often a conversation-starter when I wear mine; people are typically fascinated by the dichroic glass pendant, and interested to learn that each one is unique and handmade.
If you’re spending your New Year’s Eve socializing with a rather conservative group, a pearl necklace might be a better choice in the jewelry department.
Whatever your plans are for New Year’s Eve this year, I hope you will find something fabulous to wear — and that you’ll have SO MUCH FUN ringing in the new year! Here’s wishing you a prosperous, creative, JOYFUL 2020!
This year, the first day of winter is today — December 21, 2019. Happy winter, everyone!
To me, nothing says “winter” quite like snowflakes. So here’s a free pattern for a winter snowflake applique that you can use for embellishing many different kinds of craft projects.
I’ve made this pattern bunches of times. So far, my favorite thing to do with this snowflake is using it as an embellishment for this snowflake potholder. It could also make a cute Christmas tree ornament; simply add a hanging loop made of chain stitches, or a purchased wire ornament hanger.
Find More Fantastic Crochet Snowflake Patterns:
If you want to get your hands on a whole bunch of amazing snowflake patterns, I recommend Crochet Snowflakes Step by Step by Caitlin Sainio as a book you’ll want to check out. This book is exclusively dedicated to the topic of crochet snowflake patterns — and the book includes thorough step-by-step instructions for each snowflake, with pictures. Not only that, you also get international symbol crochet charts and written-out text instructions, too. It’s a lovely book!
Another book I highly recommend is Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng. It isn’t at all supposed to be a book of snowflake patterns; it’s actually a library of crochet motif patterns, with a few more elaborate finished projects like a blanket, shawl, pillow and table runner also included. However, the book includes a whole section of hexagon motif patterns, and some of the hexagons included in the book make AWESOME snowflakes. Pictured at right, you can see one example. I’ve also crocheted this same motif in solid ice blue, which is another option for making this motif look like a snowflake. You can see the blue version pictured on this page.
This book also includes international symbol crochet charts for each project. This book was my most-used crochet pattern book last year in 2018, and I’m looking through this book again as I plan my new projects for 2020. I think you’ll LOVE it too!
I hope this post has pointed you in the direction of some lovely new snowflake patterns to crochet! Here’s wishing you and yours a blessed winter season this year.
Don’t you just hate it when you run out of cash before you run out of gifts you need to buy? That’s such a complete and total bummer, isn’t it?
Happily, for crafters who maintain a sizeable yarn stash and some related craft supplies, this sort of thing is almost a non-issue.
If crafting has taught me anything at all over the years, it’s this: if I have supplies left in my craft supply stash, and at least a couple of hours left before I have to present the gift to its recipient, I’ll never be empty-handed in the gift department. I’ll always have a gift worth giving, and it will be a gift created exclusively with the recipient in mind. (Except, I admit that I sometimes make a few extra give-to-anybody-type-gifts ahead of any gift-giving occasion, in case an unexpected long-lost relative or guest drops by for a visit.)
We’re getting dangerously close to Christmas, given that today’s date is December 16, 2019. I’d bet money that, by now, some of you have exhausted your gift-giving budgets, but you’re still stressing out about about what to give somebody-or-other. Yikes!
I’m here to help you with some suggestions for last-minute gifts you can make using supplies that most knitters and crocheters would typically have on hand.
Gift-Worthy Projects You Can Whip Up in a Hurry:
If you need to crank out a quick gift, hurry up and grab any of these free patterns from the Internet. Then raid your craft supply stash and get busy!
Quick Christmas Ornaments
See that cute little Christmas tree-shaped ornament pictured at bottom left in the photo posted above? You don’t need anything fancy to make this — the pattern is free on our website, plus you need a little green yarn, a little brown or tan yarn, some stuffing material, and a few buttons or beads for decorations. If you don’t have any buttons or beads, you could try cutting out some little felt or fabric circles to stitch to the tree. Or embroider some little ornaments using colorful yarn, embroidery floss or crochet thread.
This is a reasonably safe idea for a gift, considering that anyone who celebrates Christmas could probably use an ornament.
An even quicker ornament: this easy lace crochet wreath is super quick to make, and it’s really pretty, too. If you have a little ball of green yarn left over from another project, you have most of what’s needed to make this project. You’ll also need ribbon and a scrap of red yarn, or other appropriate baubles for decorating your wreath.
Another idea along the same lines: this cute little wreath ornament is another quickie gift idea — although it’s small, so you might want to make a coordinating set of several wreaths to put in the same gift box.
Pouches make fast, easy gifts (not to mention that they make fantastic giftwrap substitutes, if you run out of actual giftwrap.) The only potential problem with that idea is, you might not have the right zippers in your craft supplies stash — but if you do, this idea is definitely a keeper.
You can give pouches to people of either gender and any age; just customize the pouch accordingly. Bonus points if you can add a few goodies to the pouch, like wrapped candies, small toys, pencils or pens, to “sweeten” the gift.
Potholders and Kitchen Gift Sets:
If you have some appropriate yarn and a few hours, you can whip up sets of potholders, or kitchen gift sets, for the chefs on your gift list. If you happen to have red, green and white or off-white yarn in either wool or cotton, you could make cupcake potholders like the one pictured. No need to have these colors specifically, though. If you have any 3 – 4 cupcake-friendly colors of yarn on hand, you could re-color the design to use what you have.
You have a head-spinning number of options for different potholders you could make, so please check out our list of potholder patterns if this idea appeals to you.
For the ladies on your gift list, jewelry makes a great gift. Bracelets, especially, are pretty quick to make, and don’t use up many supplies.
If you’re a passable chef, Christmas cookies are a no-brainer as a last-minute gift. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you can usually find a cookie recipe that’ll work. Even if your pantry isn’t all that well-stocked, look for a sugar cookie recipe that doesn’t require much more than flour, sugar, butter, salt, eggs and a flavoring like almond or vanilla.
Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it! I hope you will enjoy every minute of your holiday.
I also find wire crochet endlessly fascinating. I’ve completed quite a few projects in this technique. While I don’t find it relaxing to work in this technique, I do usually love the results.
OK, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Make that sometimes. Sometimes I love the results.
The thing is, wire crochet is not always the ideal technique for perfectionists. If you find it satisfying to crochet nice, neat, precise, evenly spaced stitches, you may find wire crochet a bit disappointing. While it’s technically possible to crochet evenly using wire, in practice it is pretty darned difficult to do.
This is one reason why I love the results sometimes, and sometimes not.
When working in yarn, I’ve practiced the afghan stitch to the point that I’m technically proficient at working it; I’m able to make a pretty tidy fabric using the stitch.
When I tried working the afghan stitch in wire, however, all of that went right out the window.
In the picture above, you can see my first attempt at working the afghan stitch using wire. I crocheted a small sample strip of the stitch using copper craft wire, which I then transformed into a beaded bracelet.
I think this design is pretty, and it has significant potential — although I’m not entirely happy with my first attempt. I’ve concluded that it would take more practice for me to produce a piece that’s up to my usual standards.
If you’d like to read more about my experiences with making this bracelet, and the techniques I’ve used to complete it, I invite you to take a look at the free bracelet pattern and instructions that I have shared.
If you’re new to the wire crochet technique, this is NOT a good starter project; I’d recommend trying this beaded wire crochet napkin ring first. That project is much easier than this one is.
If there’s ever a time that you want to set a pretty table, it’s Christmas dinner. The table sets the mood for the entire meal; you want it to look amazing for your loved ones, not to mention for the family photos (especially if you’ll be posting them online.)
There are many possible ways to pretty up your table, and many different elements that could enhance you table settings and make them spectacular.
Of course, if you have a set of fine china or holiday dishes, it’s the ideal time to get them out and put them to use. Christmas is also the ideal occasion for using a pretty tablecloth or table runner. If you own a beautiful vase, it would be lovely to fill it with flowers and create a unique centerpiece.
And once you’ve done all that, you’d feel pretty silly putting paper towels on the table to use as napkins, wouldn’t you? Of course you would.
This realization could lead you down a whole new rabbit hole: How do you fold the napkins and keep them in place?
The answer, of course, is that you’ll want to use napkin rings to do that.
For you DIY types who like to make creative pretties to dress up your home decor, I invite you to consider the following free patterns for crafting your own napkin rings:
If you like the idea of making napkin rings, but the ones pictured above aren’t quite what you have in mind for your table, you’re invited to check out this list of 16 ways to make napkin rings. The list includes bunches more ideas, some of which involve craft techniques other than knitting or crocheting.
Want to crochet a ladies’ scarf for Christmas? If so, you have zillions of possible choices — but the one pictured here is a particularly lovely choice. It’s totally gift worthy. And if you celebrate Christmas, this cheerful scarf could be a fantastic addition to your own wardrobe, too.
For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas — and even for those of you who do — a quick color change would transform this scarf into an everyday design you could wear any time. You might prefer to crochet it in colors that match a favorite outfit, or a favorite sports team’s colors. There are many possibilities. I crocheted a couple of other versions in different holiday-themed colors.
The free crochet pattern is available here on our website, along with many other similar and not-so-similar patterns that might also be of interest. I invite you to browse through our pattern library to find a variety of different options for future crochet projects you’ll enjoy.