Starting Simple Craft Ideas

When I was young and trying different crafts, my mother taught me basic sewing and embroidery techniques, which I loved! It was a great feeling to create something, even if it already had a pattern. Over time, I took “home ec” classes and learned a few more sewing skills.

My journey through working and motherhood left little time to practice these skills, but I saved ideas and pictures in a folder for “one day”. So – “one day” is finally here. With grown children, my time is a little more flexible and I can make some time for my ideas.

If you don’t  have time to create something huge, start small!  You can search on the internet now or through old-fashioned craft books and magazines for really simple ways to start.

Ways to Start Crafting:

  • Use a folder or 3-ring binder to save ideas you find in magazines. I tear out the pages with ideas for crafts or decorations and recycle the rest of the magazine.
  • When you have leftover pieces of cloth from sewing, save it to use later for quilting or other craft projects.
  • If you have a great outfit, shirt, dress, with material that you love, but the outfit has outlived its best, you can save the material to re-cycle into a new item. There are lots of blogs and sites that have great ideas for turning old t-shirts into dresses or children’s clothes. I turned 4 old t-shirts into pillow cases (more details to come).
Pin Cushion (from a bridesmaid's dress)

Pin Cushion (from a bridesmaid’s dress)


  • I love shopping in craft and cloth stores! Look for ideas and patterns that you can use as they are, or you can adapt for your use. I have used 2 or 3 different cross-stitch patterns to create individualized items for my husband and grandson. (more later)!
  • Sometimes you may know what style or pattern you want, and other times you may just see a great material and then have to find the perfect use or pattern for it!
  • For small projects, you can use remnants and cloth you already have on hand. After making nursing covers for my daughter when she was expecting, I used the leftover cloth to make an owl pillow and a cover for a door latch.
Leftover material saved in containers

Leftover material saved in containers

  • To save time and money, we can search online for sewing patterns, cross-stitch patterns, cloth and supplies. Craft stores cannot hold all that is out there, but you can search online and then save the searches in a folder on your desktop. Make a wishlist or idea folder.
  • When searching online for cross-stitch patterns, start with “free pattern cross-stitch” and you may find one you can print out for free.
  • Patterns you find online can be free, have a range of costs, but always be wary and check out a site if you are not familiar with it before ordering.
  • Above all, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and materials. I never felt I was “creative”, but you and I can create and adapt!

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