The holidays have gotten me back in a crafty mood, as I start hurriedly trying to hand-make presents for all of my friends. Now, when most people think of things like knitting and crochet, they picture little old ladies sitting in armchairs making socks and scarves. But there's a whole world out there of craft projects that cater to us weird and spooky folk. And thanks to the internet, you can often find patterns and instructions for such things available for free! Below are four fun projects I found for four different types of crafters:
Knitted Dragon Wing Cowl
What better way to keep warm in winter than with this elegantly knitted, bat-like dragon wing. Follow this link
to find detailed instructions by creator Jessie Rayot. The instructions come in both list form and chart, with helpful pictures and even a video to help illustrate the most difficult part. The cowl is made mainly with simple garter stitches, and it's far less complicated than it appears. This one's probably not a project for first-time knitters, but once you have the basics down, it's a great way to break out from boring scarves and shawls!
Crocheted Cthulhu Plushie
If, like me, you're more into crochet than knitting, I've got something for you, too! (What's the difference, you ask? Knitting uses--usually--a pair of needles, while crochet uses just one hook.) One of the things that I love about crochet is that it's ideal for making these little stuffed creatures, sometimes called amigurumi. And who doesn't need a tiny Cthulhu plushie? You can find a free pattern for it here.
You can customize your Cthulhu with different color yarn and plastic eyes, or even give him a little shirt to wear. The designer helpfully includes links to illustrated tutorials for the more challenging sections.
Want to craft, but don't now how to knit or crochet? Not to worry! I tend to think of cross-stitching as one of the easiest crafts out there, although it does require a certain amount of fastidiousness and attention to detail. Cross-stitching is a type of embroidery that involves making little 'X'es with your thread over and over, following a pattern that's made on a grid. It's usually done on an easily countable woven fabric like aida cloth. Cross stitch is a great beginner craft, and you can usually find self-contained kits at your local craft store. Once you get tired of making flowers and butterflies, though, head over to the internet for a more varied selection. One of my favorites that I found is this simple black-on-white skull pattern from the Skull-A-Day blog. You don't even need much in the way of instructions. Just grab some black embroidery thread, a needle, and some aida cloth. Then follow this link
to find a downloadable PDF of the pattern. Make a black X wherever you see one filled in on the grid, and voila!
Does cross-stitching sound a little too tedious to you? Want something a little more creative and free flowing? Maybe you should check out the Victorian art of paper quilling! This craft has fallen out of fashion a bit, but there are still quite a few dedicated practitioners in the corners of the craft world. Quilling involves taking thin strips of paper, curling and pinching them into different designs, then gluing them in place. The craft has been around since the Renaissance, but it became particularly popular with ladies of leisure in the 18th and 19th centuries. If paper quilling appeals to you, why not start off with this adorable little bat? Use it to adorn greeting cards or just to decorate your workspace. You can find basic instructions for the bat here
. You'll need a corkboard and pins to wrap the wing-parts around, then just some glue and strips of paper in the color of your choice. You may need to look up some of the basic quilling techniques, but it's a craft that can be learned pretty well through the process of trial and error.
What kind of crafting do you do? What's your favorite kind of off-beat craft project to make? Share your thoughts in the comments and let me know if you try any of the projects above!
Written By: TheGothicLibrarian