Stash-busters! 30 easy arts and crafts to do at home

Crafting is known to benefit our mental wellbeing and can soothe and occupy us during times of turmoil, so curl up and enjoy our list of 100 stash-busting makes to use up your craft stash while you wait for online backup supplies to arrive!

Knitting abbreviations

As more and more crafters find themselves stuck inside in the weeks to come, whatever the reason, we’ll be bringing you everything from stash-busting free patterns you can make using your existing craft kit (below) to crafty podcasts to try and ideas for refashioning craft supplies from household items (watch this space).

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Whether you’re housebound through self-isolating, you’re unwell or are just looking for new crafts that you can try without much expense, this list of ideas is for you.

Here on team Gathered we often hear from our readers and followers that crafting has helped them navigate tough times, so we’ve also included therapeutic projects in this list that you can easily make with your hands to help calm your mind if you’re finding the news unsettling at the moment.

For more on the benefits of crafting, check out this post by Mollie Makes on Why crafting is good for your mental health.

Stash-busting makes

These easy-patterns don’t require much fabric, yarn or thread to make. In this section we’ve listed free cross stitch patterns that just need a small piece of aida for example, or sewing projects that only need one piece of fabric from your stash.

1

Make your own bow ties

If you’re stuck at home, you may as well get ahead and craft up some gifts for the coming months while you’re at it (especially if it’s tricky getting out to the shops to buy them). We’ll show you how to make bow ties using just one fat quarter of fabric.

How to make bow ties

Bow tie sewing pattern

2

Fold easy origami boats

It’s official – there is nothing more happy-making than folding small pieces of paper into satisfying shapes. Find out how to make origami boats from small pieces of patterned paper you have at home with our tutorial.

How to make an origami boats mobile

How to make an origami sail boat mobile

3

DIY Macrame plant hanger

Turn jam jars around the house into an on trend knotted macrame plant hanger by Alice and Lois – you’ll need some white paint and some string to give it a go.

DIY Easy Macrame Plant Hanger

DIY Macrame plant hanger
© Alice and Lois
4

Knit your own Easter eggs

Grab a few favourite yarns and our free pattern by Kirstie McLeod and you can whip up a batch of Easter Eggs that are calorie free and can be used again and again for Easter Egg hunts without melting!

Free Easter Eggs knitting pattern

Free Easter eggs knitting pattern

5

Fast fat quarter: DIY tablet holder

If you’re going to be stuck at home watching Netflix you may as well do it in handmade style. All you need is 1 fat quarter of fabric, some filling and basic sewing supplies to make this quick and easy project to make binge watching your favourite series or cooking to online recipes so much easier!

Quick-sew tablet holder tutorial

How to make a tablet holder

6

The joy of pom poms

Is there a more happy-making mini make than a pom-pom? Not only do they barely need any supplies (just some cardboard, a small amount of yarn and some scissors), but you can whip up a batch in an evening or two and string them together to form a garland to brighten up your home. Can’t remember how you made them in school? Refresh your skills with our step-by-step guide.

How to make pom-poms

Giant orange pom pom

7

Make simple fabric hearts

Take a few small fabric scraps, some ribbon and a bit of stuffing and you can whip up these simple but super-cute heart decorations in just an hour or two!

How to make heart decorations

How to make fabric heart decorationsjpg

8

Knit a pair of slippers

The beauty of these me-made slippers is that they don’t take much yarn to make and they’ll keep you feeling cosy all year round. “Each pair only takes a ball or two from your yarn stash, so they’re great for using up odd skeins from other projects, and they’re washable too,” says designer Kirstie McLeod.

Try our 1 ball slippers knitting pattern

Free slippers knitting pattern

9

Add cats to your cardigan pockets

What’s not to love about this cool embroidery idea? Cut some scrap fabric from an unwanted garment to embroider your cats on to, then add him to a plain cardi with our free tutorial and cat design.

Here kitty kitty

Cat Embroidery Design

10

Crochet amigurumi heart balloons

Hooks at the ready, our free balloon heart pattern doesn’t need much yarn but is sure to fill your heart with the joy of cute crochet!

Amigurumi heart balloon crochet pattern

Free_Balloon_Heart_pattern_title

11

Turn fabric scraps into a zip pouch

Even the tiniest scraps of fabric can find a new home with the right sewing project. Sarah Ashford and the Mollie Makes team show you how to turn small fabric pieces from past projects into this sweet zip-pouch.

Make an easy zip pouch

Mollie Makes How to make a zip pouch

12

Sew a scrap-busting pin-cushion

In the second part of our stash-busting pair of projects for Mollie Makes, Sarah Ashford shows you how to make a simple pincushion from small fabric leftovers in your stash. We’ll be whipping up a batch of these as gifts for fellow makers when we’re stuck at home in the weeks to come…

Easy pincushion DIY

Mollie Makes pincushion

13

Hook up a granny square or two

Ah the humble granny square, we salute you! Not only do you not need much yarn to make these most-comforting of crochet treats, you can mix and match different leftover yarns from past projects to create dazzling new designs and then sew the results together to make blankets or cushions.

Dive into our free granny square crochet pattern collection and give it a go

Free_Granny_Square_Patterns

14

Sew sweet gift bags

What do you get when you cross a fat quarter of fabric, a small piece of interfacing and a button? Why the cutest handmade gift packaging ever known of course! Jennie Jones and Simply Sewing magazine bring you this cute DIY gift idea – whip up a batch and fill them with sweets or small gifts to send to friends and family to brighten their days.

How to make fabric gift bags

How to make a fabric gift bag

15

Sew a seldvedge travel case

Sew a pretty patchwork pouch which is made up of all the scrappy edges of fabric from your past projects. It’ll set you up for sewing on the go as it includes a needle case and handy pockets to store fabric markers, threads or your favourite notions.

How to make a scrappy patchwork pouch

How to sew a travel case

16

Knit teeny tiny animal bobble hats

These super cute miniature hats were created by Knit Today magazine for The Innocent Smoothie campaign but you can still make them as a fun little dress-up toy for children’s toys – they’ll fit everyone from Barbie to the Care Bears.

How to knit tiny hats

Innocent smoothie hat pattern

17

Papercraft Easter baskets

All you need is some paper or card and basic craft supplies to make these fun Easter baskets – hide some eggs around the house or garden and you can have your very own Easter Egg hunt without even leaving the house.

How to craft Easter treats basket

Papercraft easter baskets

18

Cross stitch for crafters

Reach for your stitching stash, grab an off cut of aida and some left-over threads and you can whip up these cute cross stitch motifs for fellow makers. Each one only measures a few centimetres high so they’re also satisfyingly speedy to stitch.

Free cross stitch patterns for crafters

Free cross stitch patterns for crafters

19

DIY pencil case

Just because you can’t leave the house to shop for pretty stationary, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a desktop boost, especially welcome if you’re working from home. Our pencil case tutorial only needs 1 fat quarter of fabric, a zip and a few basic sewing supplies to make.

Quick-sew pencil case tutorial

How to sew a pencil case

20

Easy-sew sunglasses case

Reach for your favourite fabric prints in your stash and treat your sunnies to a me-made accessories case with our beginner-friendly tutorial.

How to make a sunglasses case


21

Under the sea plushies

What can you make with a few small scraps of fabric, basic sewing stash and the odd bead or button? Why these sealife softies of course! Turn them into keyrings or toys for nature-loving kids in the family!

How to make sea creature softies

Sea life plushies

22

Crochet a necklace with just 1 ball of yarn

This lacy necklace by Carol Meldrum has been one of our most popular free patterns and it’s a great way to use up neutral yarns in your stash.

Find out how to make a crochet necklace

Necklace crochet pattern

23

Crochet a super cute bow

This mini bow will only take you an evening to make and whichever yarns you have lying around in your stash and makes a great last-minute gift. We’ve added ours to a headband but you could also turn into a brooch or use to dress up a plain pair of shoes.

Sweet Crochet Bow Pattern

Free_Crochet_Bow_Pattern_main

24

Crochet rainbow flag pencil topper

Simply Crochet magazine created this fun pattern to celebrate Pride, and whether you’re proudly flying your flag on parade or just want to brighten up your stationery, this little rainbow flag pencil topper will help you show your colours!

Crochet rainbow flag pattern

Free_Crochet_Rainbow_Flag_Pencil_Topper_Pattern

25

20 minute tote bag

Yep you heard us right – these simple yet stylish tote bags by The Purl Bee over on the Mollie Makes blog are one of the speediest projects in this round up. They use about 1/2 yard of fabric but you could make them smaller if you don’t have that much.

Find out how to make a tote bag here

20 minute tote bag tutorial

26

Why grow your own when you can knit a cactus?

Knitting your own plants makes for great gifts plus you never have to worry about them needing watering. Choose from three different designs with our free patterns.

Free cactus knitting pattern

Free knitted cactus pattern

27

Handmade headbands

Grab a couple of fat quarters of pretty print fabrics and our step-by-step guide to me-made hair accessories.

DIY headbands tutorial

How to make headbands tutorial

28

Crochet a rose

Use up leftover yarn to make the prettiest of petals with our free crochet rose pattern.

Hook up some petal power

Free_Crochet_Rose_Pattern

29

Cook up some sweet stitches

It only takes an hour or two, and leftover threads to stitch this baking-inspired gift tag…

Free cross stitch baking pattern

Free baking cross stitch pattern

30

Make a rag rug

You will need to splash out on a matt to make this but a rag rug is the ultimate in stash-busting craft projects. Start one now and you can add to it every time you or your family outgrow clothing, turning your unwanted wardrobe into a cosy treat for the toes. Everyday Art show you how it’s done over on Craftaholics Anonymous.

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Rag Rug Tutorial by Everyday Art

How to make a rag rug tutorial