Better off thread: Easy craft ideas for adults

Living Well | Lucy Cleeve | Posted on 30 May 2019

Four easy craft projects, plus some of the best places in Victoria to shop for art supplies.

If you've always wanted to learn how to knit, or you're just looking for a good yarn, get your craftersize on with these fun, easy-to-learn craft projects that are perfect for beginners. 

A grey-brown scarf is draped over a wooden table, on top of an open diary

Four easy craft activities to try at home

Make pom poms

What you need: Cardboard, yarn, scissors.
Fun, fluffy pom poms give a pop of colour and great textural embellishment to bags, baskets or cushions. They can also be used to create fantastic statement earrings. Google will show you how to cut out cardboard rings, wrap yarn around them and run scissors through the cardboard to reveal pom pom perfection.

Make macrame your friend

What you need: Thick cord or string, scissors.
Macrame was huge in the 1970s. It is the art of making knots in string or rope in a pattern, and is making a big comeback four decades later. There are great tutorials online showing how to create wall-hanging art with a boho vibe, hanging planters and woven bags.

Knit a scarf

What you need: Needles and yarn.
Considered the easiest project for new knitters, a scarf is flat and beautifully simple. Use bulky yarn, larger needles and keep your scarf narrow for fast progress. Even if you don’t complete an entire scarf in one afternoon, you’ll be hooked on the lovely, cosy feeling that knitting brings.

Learn to cross stitch 

What you need: Cross-stitch fabric, needle, embroidery thread and hoop.
This style of hand embroidery using a simple cross shape is considered the easiest stitch to learn. There are thousands of free patterns and tutorials online, including edgy modern designs. The embroidery hoop provides a built-in circular frame ready to pop on the wall.

Get hooked on crochet

What you need: Good yarn and a crochet hook
When you think of crochet, it immediately brings to mind images of your nan's old tea cosies and doilies. But the crochet revival has seen this daggy stitch needle its way back to the top. The early 1910s and 1920s were crochet's golden age, with intricate lace details and designs hallmarks of the era's vintage couture. These days, though, you can start simple, with scarves and blankets easy to master.

Three balls of grey yarn bundled together with one thread coming loose
A woven black and white basket filled with brown balls of yarn on top of a wooden stool
A brown scarf-in-progress with a knitting needle threaded through, on a white background

 Put the extra time cooped up indoors this winter to good use by taking up a new crafty hobby


Where to shop for craft and knitting supplies


Malvern

WONDOFLEX YARN CRAFT CENTRE
The welcoming and knowledgeable staff make Wondoflex wonderful, but the shelves bursting with beautiful wool and threads also deliver warmth. Founded in 1938, this is the place to go for advice and great classes.

Ballan

MILLROSE QUILTING & GALLERY
In Ballan, west of Melbourne, you’ll find an old hall filled with a world-class selection of patchwork and quilting supplies. Peruse Japanese linens, hand-dyed Valdani threads, patterns and accessories, plus onsite classes and exhibitions. (And don’t miss the homemade cakes.)

Highett

THE EMBROIDERY DEN
Since 1972, The Embroidery Den has offered a huge range of threads, needles, beads and ribbons, as well as classes to learn to create stitched things of beauty. Enjoy free-form Australian floral embroidery classes, baby blanket workshops and weekly Sit and Sew sessions.

Melbourne CBD

L’UCCELLO
Specialising in vintage haberdashery, this Swanston Street shop is the perfect place to buy a gift for the crafter in your life. Find Liberty fabrics, pure wool felt, pretty patchwork squares and vintage millinery.

Healesville

CRUMBZ CRAFT
This high-street store is overflowing with all things haberdashery. They have all your wool, thread and needle needs, in a variety of colours and sizes. Plus, RACV members can knit for less with a discount on full-priced items.

Leopold

THE NAKED SHEEP
A short drive from Geelong, this friendly, family-run store stocks all your hand-made, hand-spun, hand-dyed craft supplies. Owner Amanda runs Sit and Knit Tuesdays, Spinning Group Thursdays, Crochet Fridays and fantastic kids’ classes too.