Craft Projects

Granny Square Afghan Rug (Crochet)

This is the basic granny square as taught to me by my great-grandmother. It's a good way to use up all those yarn scraps in the stash — I have an on going granny rug which I'm hoping will get big enough to cover a double bed, made from my own stash, donations from knitting friends, odd balls bought on special, and scraps in thrift shops.

Important: Note to American readers: I'm pretty sure that 'tr' in English/Australian terminology is 'dc' in your terminology. This pattern uses the English terminology, so just substitute dc for tr.

I use 5-ply and 8-ply yarns mixed for this, and a 3 ½ mm hook. I use 2 ch spaces, not 3 ch as I was taught, because my chains are generally loose and I feel a 2 ch space gives a tighter line to the squares. If you find your work is pulling or curling, use 3 ch spaces.

Ch4, join with sl st to make circle.

Rnd 1. Ch 3, 2 tr in ring, ch3. *3 tr in ring, ch2. Repeat from * twice, join to 3rd ch of ch3 with sl st. Fasten off yarn. Join next color in any 3ch space — or if you want to use same color, sl st in top of 2 tr and 1 sl st in 3 ch space.

Rnd 2. Ch 3, 2 tr in space, ch 2. 3 tr in same space, ch 2. * 3 tr in next sp, ch 2, s tr in same space, ch 2. Repeat from * twice. Join to top of 3 ch with sl st, fasten off yarn and join next color as before.

Rnd 3. Ch 3, 2 tr in space. Ch 2, 3 tr in same space, ch 2. 3 tr in next space, ch 2. * 3 tr in next space, ch 2, 3 tr in same space, ch 2, 3 tr in next space, ch 2. Repeat from * around, sl st in 3rd of 3 ch. Fasten off and join new yarn as before.

Rnd 4. Ch 3, 2 tr in space. Ch 2, 3 tr in same space, ch2. 3 tr in next space, ch 2, 3 tr in next space, ch 2. *3 tr in next space, ch 2, 3 tr in same space, ch 2, 3 tr in next space, ch 2, 3 tr in next space, ch 2. Repeat from * around, sl st in top of ch3, fasten off and join new yarn as before.

You can make the square as large as you like — just continue around in this manner, working 1 cluster of 3 tr in each 'side' space and 2 clusters separated by 2 ch in corner spaces. Every round will have one more space along each side of the square. I usually make each square 4 or 5 rounds. You can work the last round of each square in black or ecru or some other neutral color (I'm using black). My great-grandmother used to keep going and make rugs and cushions out of one enormous square.

Knitted Draft Stopper

Easiest thing to make, keeps cold air from creeping in under your door, and another fantastic way to use up scrap yarns.


  • Approx 50-60 g assorted 8-ply yarns
  • 1 pair 4.50 mm needles
  • Stuffing (rags or used pantyhose are good)

Tension: 22 sts and 30 rows to 10 cm.

Cast on 36 sts. Work in stocking stitch or garter stitch until approx 85 cm (34 inches) long. Cast off.

Sew long sides together, keeping ends open. Thread a yarn needle with 50 cm of yarn, weave through stitches about 6 rows above bottom (cast-on) edge. Pull yarn ends tightly to close opening, and tie ends in a bow. Stuff tube tightly and close other end in the same way as the first.

Knitted Egg Cozy

Another good way to use up odds and ends of 8-ply yarn.


  • 8-ply yarn
  • 4.50 mm needles

Tension: 22 sts and 30 rows to 10 cm.

Cast on 34 sts.
1st row (wrong side): Knit.
Work 12 rows stocking stitch, starting with a knit row.
14th row: K2. *K2 together, K2, rep from * to end… 26 sts.
15th row: Purl.
16th row: K2, *K1, K2 together, rep from * to end… 18 sts.
17th row: Purl.

Break off yarn and run through remaining stitches, draw up and fasten off securely. Join side seam.


A neat way to recycle scraps of material and spray-can lids, and the steel wool keeps the pins very sharp.


  • Aerosol can lid
  • Circle of fabric large enough to fit over top of lid
  • Steel wool for filling
  • Decorative materials (if desired)
  • Glue (if needed)

Take the spray-can lid and pack steel wool in tightly until full and bulging out the top. Cover the steel wool with the circle of fabric, and either tuck and glue the fabric edge inside the lid or fasten it over the lid's outside with glue or an elastic band. Decorate as desired — a wide ribbon band to hide the fabric edges looks very nice.

Jeans Tote Bag

I've seen these for sale commercially in trendy shops like Sports girl, but they're very easy to make yourself.


  • Old jeans
  • Sewing machine and all its paraphernalia

Cut off the jeans legs just below the crotch leaving a seam-allowance. Turn inside out and sew the tiny remains of the legs up. Make straps out of the legs — cut to desired length and about 10 cm wide, fold right sides together and sew, turn right side out (I use a thick knitting needle to push them inside out) and stitch to each side of the waist. I expect a zipper or other fastener could be added to the top if you like.

Wound-String Plastic-Bottle Vase

This looks countrified, very nice and rustic.


  • Clear plastic bottle
  • Natural string
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors

Cut away the top of a clear plastic bottle (like a soft-drink bottle) so you have about 8 inches left — mark out the cutting line with tape so you can cut it straight. Wrap natural-colored string around the vase, starting just above the center of the vase and working downwards. Secure the first few rounds with craft glue and wind the string firmly in place. Go right down to the base of the vase and secure the last few rounds with craft glue.

Plastic Bottle Planters

I think these would be a great idea to make for small children to plant seeds in, since you can see the root growth through the sides if you use a clear bottle. I just started making them because I've run out of small-to-medium sized pots.


  • Bottles or plastic containers (I generally use clear soft drink bottles, but have also used plastic milk cartons and large yogurt containers)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Pointed nail scissors
  • Tape

Wash or peel the label off, if there is one, and mark a straight line to cut along with tape about 6-8 inches from the bottom of the bottle. Pierce the bottle initially with pointy nail scissors, then switch to your normal craft scissors and cut along the tape line. If the edges are sharp, you can always mask them with tape. The bottom of the bottle makes your pot, and the top can be dumped in the recycling bin.

Now turn the pot over so the underside is facing you, and gouge some drainage holes with your pointy nail scissors. Make the initial hole and then sink the scissors in up to the screw and rotate to make the hole nice and round. Try to have any sharp edge bits sticking inside the pot rather than outside it (so you don't cut yourself). You can put the holes right on the bottom, or on the sides where they join the bottom. I use soft drink bottles with those knobby bits at the bottom, so I gouge my holes one each side of each knobby bit, very close to the bottom. Turn the pot up, and voila! It's ready.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License