Fun and Functional Crochet

By A Guest Writer – 6 Comments
A Guest Post by Sarah Maccarelli.

It’s upsetting to hear people say, “It’s cute, but what is it?” when referring to something you spent a lot of time and effort to make.

I’m writing this article today to inform you that all those adorable, crocheted items really can be functional. All it takes is a little creative thinking.

crochet cupcake

I enjoy making all sorts of crocheted items, including obviously functional scarves, handbags, and jewelry. On the flip side, amigurumi animals and other cute items are so much faster and easier to make, but they can do more than just sit on a shelf and look cute.

A few years ago I started crocheting three-dimensional cupcakes that looked similar to the real thing. Originally the cupcakes were just for decoration. Eventually it dawned on me that they can also serve a purpose. So I stuffed them with cotton balls with a few drops of essential oil and made my own natural air fresheners. Some of the cupcakes also serve as pin cushions to keep my pins handy for sewing. Any three-dimensional crocheted item can become a good pin cushion, especially adorable crocheted food.

Baby toys and pet toys are another great use for amigurumi, provided they are large enough not to be swallowed and aren’t stuffed with anything that would be harmful if ingested. Stuffing amigurumi with cat nip is a cheap and easy way to use leftover yarn and makes a great gift for cat-lovers. I got that idea from my friend, Annie.

When I saw the pattern for the crocheted rainbow on Crochet Spot, I immediately thought of how cute it would look on a bag, hat, or sweater. The rainbow would also look great as a pendant, dangling from a necklace. I haven’t made a rainbow yet, but I plan on making some in the very near future.

I recently purchased “Stitch N’ Bitch:The Happy Hooker” and immediately made a crocheted flower from the pattern in the book. The flower is flat and round. It became a decoration for a purse that I made. I plan on making more flowers to use as coasters (as soon as I finish my scarf!) Flat crocheted objects can also be turned into great bookmarks and magnets for the fridge.

In keeping with the spirit of Crochet Spot, here’s an idea (instead of a pattern) for easy arm warmers that combines recycling with crafting: Take a sweater you are willing to part with and cut off both sleeves from the elbow down. Cut out a hole for your thumb and you’re done! Sweaters will come unraveled if they aren’t felted, so be sure to stitch where you cut with a needle and thread or a sewing machine.

Sarah is an avid crafter. She loves crocheting, sewing, and making jewelry. As a kid Sarah was dressed exclusively in clothing that was made by her Grandmother and her Mom, two of her biggest inspirations. Sarah recently started a blog about clothing deconstruction: upcycling clothing into clothing and other accessories. To learn more about Sarah visit her blog Make Me One Too or her Etsy shop.

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  1. Tina says:

    Great ideas! I have people ask me all the time, what I’m going to do with the ami I’m making. And they always end on the shelf in my collection. It’s nice to know that I can use them for other things 🙂

  2. Taylor says:

    Hey, I thought I would add that you can cut up an old t-shirt and use that as filling for a pet toy or even for a baby that way you know it’s safe!

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, Tina.

    That’s a great idea, Taylor.

  4. Mary Kazmer says:

    Sometimes one feels compelled to ask “What is it?” I once observed someone knitting a roundish red thing. I asked her what it was, and she replied that it was a uterus. I never would have guessed.

  5. Theresa says:

    Great tips!! I love making little toys and such but never know what to do with them, haha! I recently bought a length of chain and some key rings, and voila, I have a ton of adorable little crocheted animals and plants that have a function…and that people love getting as gifts! I LOVE the air freshener idea. I attempted this with some dried lavender, but if you use dried plants be sure to sew them in a pouch before sticking them in your work, or they will come out! Thanks for the awesome ideas!

  6. Thanks for the kudos! That’s a great idea, Theresa 😉

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