How To Make Budget-Friendly Crocheted Gifts This Holiday Season
Posted on December 12, 2021
Happy December, everyone! While this time of year is exciting and nostalgic, it can also be extremely stressful for students. Not only are we stressing about final exams, but on top of it, we need to worry about gift shopping for our friends and family! For those of us with smaller budgets, this can be an added challenge.
When money is an issue, a great option is handmade presents. They show your friends and family that you care, and they are usually much cheaper than buying something new from a store. But what if you’re not much of a crafter? Don’t worry, there’s still time to pick up a new skill!
Like many, I learned to crochet during lockdown. I quickly realized that although it can look difficult, it’s actually super easy to get the hang of. It’s also growing in popularity (Harry Styles cardigan, anyone?), and is even starting to show up in mainstream fashion. It can be intimidating to learn a new skill, but I’m here to break down everything you need to know to start crocheting (and suggest some easy gifts you can make once you learn!)
A crocheted top I made earlier this year!
Unlike knitting, the technique of crochet cannot be replicated by a machine, so if you see something crocheted, it’s guaranteed to be handmade. Using a crochet hook, you basically create a series of intentional tangles in the yarn. There are various sizes of crochet hooks, so I recommend buying a set, which you can get from Michaels, Walmart, or Amazon for under $20.
The next thing you’ll need is yarn! Yarn ranges in price depending on thickness, colour, and material. I normally buy mine from Michaels, where you can get yarn for under $5. (Download the Michael’s app on your phone to get weekly coupons!)
Finally, grab a pair of scissors and a tapestry needle, and you’re ready to begin! To me, the hardest thing about crocheting was simply learning how to hold the crochet hook properly. I found this youtube video super helpful.
For your first project, I recommend learning how to make a simple Granny Square. These are small squares that can be repurposed into tons of projects. There are lots of different tutorials for granny squares, and they’re a great way to learn the fundamentals.
Image Credit: rielovegrove on Flickr
Most beginner level crochet projects use a combination of a few different stitches: Chain, Single Crochet, Double Crochet, Triple Crochet, Half Double Crochet, and Slip Stitch. You’ll learn most of these in your Granny Square tutorials, but make sure you are comfortable with them all before starting to make your gifts!
Easy Crochet Gifts
Image Credit: Aseem Creations
A bookmark is a super fast and cute crochet project. You can follow a simple tutorial, and add a bead at the end to finish it off. Paired with a book, this is the perfect gift for the readers in our lives!
Image Credit: Hayhay Crochet
Perfect for someone who recently moved, coasters are a fun and easy project. I made a set of these ones last year for my mom. Make them in a fun selection of colours, tie them up with string or ribbon, and you’re done!
Image Credit: Crochetlovemelbourne
3. Water bottle holder
This project is perfect for friends and family who love hiking or going camping! I made one for a friend last year, and paired it with a reusable water bottle to make sure that I could measure it to fit perfectly (and you can match the colours that way, too!). If you have some knowledge of sewing, make a small granny square and sew it to the side for a phone pouch.
Image Credit: Crochet 365
Toques/beanies are actually one of the easiest crochet projects you can make. This is my favourite tutorial. Make sure to use a super soft chunky yarn for them, and if you’d like, add a pompom on top!
You’ll probably only spend a few dollars on each gift you make, and you’ll definitely impress your friends and family with your handmade creations. Plus, you’ll have a new skill you can use to make some stuff for yourself, too! Good luck!