Updated: Feb 19, 2019
When life is hectic and stressful, it is easy to turn to the internet and have whatever you want with the click of a button. In doing that, we lose out on intangibles that store-bought items cannot provide. Firstly, handmade items are an expression of love and show someone that you were willing to take the time to make them something. Secondly, crafting allows you to add personality or a particular style to something…or to dream up something truly unique. You can be as inventive as you want, and the sky is the limit. So how do you make a homemade item look just as nice as or better than what is sold in stores? Try out these easy projects…you will be amazed by what you can do yourself while sitting at home, drinking a cup of coffee, and watching your favorite TV show!
No need to buy this one in a store! With a few hours, a bundle of soft yarn, and a cozy chair to sit in, you can cross this one off your store list. Knitting a hat is as easy as following a few simple steps. Try out this step-by-step knitted hat tutorial to learn just how it’s done. For extra warmth and comfort, sew sherpa fleece into the inside. Knitted hats are a fantastic holiday gift idea, but expect to want to keep it for yourself!
Crocheted Pot Holder
Pot holders are everywhere…grocery, department, cooking, and even convenience stores sell pot holders. So why make your own? Not only is crocheting a pot holder quick, even for beginners, but it gives you the ability to create something that will give your kitchen that extra dose of personality. Make it red with a white border or change the color every few rows…your homemade pot holder will be better made and more beautiful than a factory-made item any day!
Knitted Coffee Cup Sweater
They can be found just about anywhere in colder months. Those cute coffee cup sweaters that button onto a cup are a popular store item that struggles to stay stocked, especially around holidays. Make it yourself, your way at home! Simply stockinette stitch a rectangle to be wrapped around the mug, leaving space for the handle. Attach buttons and loops to either end of the rectangle, and finish by buttoning over your favorite coffee cup. Viola…you have a cozy homemade masterpiece!
Mason Jar Candle
Whether you are melting down remnants of an old candle or melting purchased wax flakes, creating your own candle is an easy way to make a professional-looking item right in your own home. Allow the wax to melt completely in a double boiler, wick a Mason Jar, pour the hot wax into the jar, and allow the candle to cool at room temperature. It is difficult to mess up this fun craft. Finishing the candle jar off with a nice label will make it difficult to tell that it came from home and not a candle factory!
Making a scarf yourself is an easy and fun way to spice up your holiday gifts or your own outdoor attire. So how do you make your knitted scarf look like it came from a magazine and not a third grade art class? Check out this knitted scarf tutorial, which will leave you with a professional-looking scarf even if you’re a beginner! To avoid curling along edges, use either the garder stitch for the entire scarf or switch off each stitch between knit and purl…the key is to make sure that each side of the scarf has just as many knit as it does purl stitches since a difference in size between the two stitches is responsible for the curling.
One of the quickest and easiest crafts, believe it or not, is soap making! Simply melt a soap base in the microwave (usually only 30-40 seconds), stir in colors and fragrances, and pour into moldings…it is literally that easy, yet the results will be stunning and just as nice looking as expensive soaps.
Crocheted Baby Blanket
A crocheted baby blanket is the perfect baby shower gift. Blankets are cozy and warm and a thoughtful expression of love for a baby, especially when handmade. Choose yarn that is soft and durable. Popular designs are the wave and granny square designs, although you really cannot go wrong with any pattern your choose. A key factor for success is making sure that any loose tails are tied into the work and clipped to make everything look nicely finished.
Crafting gives us the opportunity to make just about anything you can buy in a store, while incorporating love and a personal touch that makes it perfect for gifting or for creating our own cozy space at home. Visit the crafting section for other impressive homemade items, and keep in mind that as with any crafts, patience and a little trial and error is key for success. Good luck with your next professional-looking masterpiece!