Craft Stash Diving


I love digging into other people’s craft stashes. Anybody who does a lot of crafting has a big stash, often multiple stashes. My cousin’s wife, Sheryl, has one of the best stashes anywhere. Make that multiple stashes. Whenever Morgan’s working on something like a social studies project, she likes to put her board together at Sheryl’s house and dig into her office stash. Sheryl has all the cool colored papers, colored printer inks, markers, special scissors, stickers, stencils, and so on. I stopped by over there the other day while waiting on picking up kids (because I didn’t want to drive back and forth across the harrowing road more than necessary–once I go out, I stay out till everything’s completed!) and I took the opportunity to dig into her knit/crochet stash. I had brought my own knitting with me (the dishcloth I’m working on) but I had forgotten to bring my piece of paper where I keep track of where I am in the pattern. That’s the thing with knitting–you gotta keep track. Since I couldn’t remember what row I was on, I pestered Sheryl to show me everything she was working on. She uses a laundry basket to keep all her latest projects and materials handy.

This is a baby blanket made using cro-hooks. It’s almost finished.

A cro-hook is an enormous crochet hook with hooks on both ends. I don’t really understand how it works, but Sheryl keeps telling me it’s easy.

These are some really pretty (and easy even to me!) crocheted scarves. She’s got about half a dozen of them made. It’s all done in single crochet, 15 sc across, in a yarn she got from Wal-Mart that is self-striping. Look for “pattern stripes” in the description on the package.

She’s almost done with them–she just has to add fringes on the ends. I’m wheedling that pink one out of her.

This is another baby blankie she’s working on. It’s a round blanket.

And look at this one!

Isn’t that gorgeous? She has it almost finished but for piecing the strips together and working the cross-stitch pattern on the yellow strips.

It almost makes me want to have another baby just so I can wheedle that blankie out of her.

This little crochet dishcloth is the newest project Shery’s started. As with most crafty people, she has project attention deficit disorder (PADD), so she has numerous projects going at the same time.

The dishcloth is from this book:

I like this market bag from the book.

This little hat and sweater are cute. I wonder if the baby comes with it?

Then I needed more. MORE. Take me to papa. So we went upstairs to her guest/craft room where she keeps her big craft booklet stash. (Minus the other multiple stashes of multiple varieties in her attic. We didn’t make it up there.)

This box was filled to the brim with all sorts of crafty booklets, mostly knit and crochet, but also quilting and even macrame. These macrame books are original 1970s editions.

I really like these cute little crocheted farm animals. I love the sheep one the most.

I bet Dookie would be nicer to me if I made him one of these doggy sweaters.

Or not. Dookie has had three sweaters in the last three years. He took every one of them off (in some magic feat he performs only when alone) and lost each one.

My favorite booklets in the whole craft stash box were these old ones from the 1960s.

These booklets originally belonged to Georgia.

Georgia invented the word frugal, so I’m not surprised she had these books. And kept them all these years.

Scrap crafts!

She had a whole series of these little booklets from the 60s. They’re filled with odd projects like this faux milk glass vase.

You glue split peas to the sides of a vase (or other container) then spray the whole thing with white enamel paint. I’m going to have to inspect all the milk glass at Georgia’s house for split peas now.

You could also make chimes or a night light from cardboard rolls!

Or create flowers out of plastic wrap.

Or an Indian head plaque out of macaroni.

Make a mock ivory box out of those foam trays from the grocery store!

You could make an angel out of foam trays, too.

You could have an entire foam tray-themed holiday celebration! Make all your yuletide gifts and decorations. You could make anything out of foam trays. Build a foam tray world!

Or if that’s too much for you, you could make angels out of old paperback books instead.

Here are the instructions in case you want to give that a try.

Sheryl keeps her Suzanne McMinn book collection on a shelf in her craft room–on the same shelf with her royalty book collection.

Only that isn’t even half of the books I’ve written and I know I’ve given all of them to Sheryl. Methinks now that some of them were turned into PAPERBACK ANGELS!!!!!

At the end of these little booklets, the last few pages were advertisements for pen pals.

Judy from Minnesota was 10 and she listed the Monkees among her hobbies.

Mrs. Adeline Howell’s hobbies were towels and pillowcases. She was born in 1913.

Mrs. John Guessen was wishing for a birthday twin. Her birthday was June 10, 1922. If your birthday is on June 10, maybe it’s not too late to write her.

And by then it was time to go pick up kids. I’d gotten no knitting done as originally planned, but I did make a meandering detour via baby blankets back to the 1960s and it changed my life forever. I’m going to go find some grocery store foam trays now and build a barn!


  1. jennybek says:

    Thank you for not only diving, but documenting. That was fun. I loved the pen pal requests. My husband is only a day away from being a birthday twin. 51 years later. Wonder if she would accept that?

  2. melody says:

    Sure wish some of those neat crafts could be copied,they look like fun to make.

  3. Minna says:

    Were all those doggy sweaters for small dogs? I’ve been trying to find instructions for a doggy sweater or -better yet- doggy jacket for a bit bigger dog. My brother has this dog with very short hair and the poor thing was freezing when she was here for a few days. And he never seems to get around buying the poor dog a warm winter jacket. She would have needed one when the temperature dropped to -30 Celcius.

  4. CindyP says:

    Oh wow!! How fun! It was very amazing to see quite a few of those old projects…..those book angels were a big hit all over the internet this past christmas, well they were trees, but the same concept. And I ran across how to make faux milk glass vases, too. But I can’t find my link to see what they were using to make the dots instead of gluing on split peas. Everything always see to come back around……….

    And I didn’t realize I had an official disorder……PADD. Now I know, now I can embrace it! LOL!

  5. Julie Wriston says:

    PADD sufferer here too only I didn’t realize it until setting up a craft area with my three girls, one remarked that most of the things were “only half-way done.” πŸ˜• They enjoyed going thru my “stash”. I enjoy gleaning ideas from your blog. πŸ˜€

  6. Laura B. in Greenwood, IN says:

    My aunt used to have the “junk room” which was sooo much fun! It was a bedroom, but no bed. Just metal shelving units lined up to make aisles and filled to the brim with “junk”, really it was crafting supplies. So much fun!! I want a junk room/craft stash!

  7. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :bugeyed: too funny I think I have PADD too!! I love old pattern and cookbooks.thanks for sharing and helping me see I am not crazy!
    Love the new layout.
    Granny Trace

  8. Tabitha says:

    I love this post! I have “stashes” from my various craft stages too, LOL!

    I remember making those book angels! My little sis and I used to love making them! We’d get the pages all folded down, then take the book outside and lightly spray paint it with silver or gold paint to give it a little shine. We’d use a styrofoam ball for the head, with yarn for hair.

    I’d love to know how to use those huge crochet needles. Think you could get your friend to give us a demo?

  9. Diane says:

    What a treat!! Thanks for showing us your cousions crafts and stash. She makes pretty scarves out of that walmart yarn. Makes me want to make one too now.

  10. Kelly Walker says:

    Thanks so much for sharing that. I know I have PADD but didn’t know what it was called. I always have 3 or 4 projects going at one time. So glad to see the crochet as I have been addicted to it lately, posted some on my blog. Love to see more patterns.

  11. Nancy says:

    This was a wonderful museum quality tour of crafts. A homage to all creative people out there!


  12. NorthCountryGirl says:

    I love those scarves. It’s fun to check out other crafter’s stashes. My own stash contains mainly fabrics, yarns, and quilting supplies. Oh, and every conceivable sewing gadget I could get my hands on. I can relate with the PADD! I’ve got knitting (socks, scarves), quilting (patchwork quilt), and sewing (clothes, mending, curtains) all going on for like the past…YEARS! I’ve got a knitting machine to set up which I’ve wanted to use for the past several years. Now, all I need is the time and ambition to complete them all.

  13. Susan at Charm of the Carolines says:

    I remember the paperback Reader’s Digest angles and Christmas trees. We thought we were so creative and clever making them. (The Christmas tree was much easier!)

    I had to laugh. My home is filled with SO MANY craft stashes… hat-making, purse-making, jewelry-making, stamping, slide scanning, sewing, canning, gift-wrapping,…just too many to name. It comes from being creative and ADOS (Attention deficit Oh Shiny!)


  14. Chic says:

    What a treasure trove of fun stuff your cousins wife has! I love the scarves and those baby blankets are beautiful. Those craft books would be a hoot to go through…who’d have thought you could make so many things out of things we just throw away! Thanks for sharing this Suzanne. Oh by the way…it was nice seeing that stack of your paperbacks on the shelf too. Have fun crafting! :hungry2:

  15. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Yes, I will admit it! I have PADD! I glad Suzanne gave my disorder a name. lol :happyflower:

    The year I was trying to make the yellow baby blanket is the year I broke my left thumb and had it in a splint for 5 weeks. The baby was born and I didn’t have it finished. I think I will save that blanket for my first grandchild!

    Have you ever made a Christmas tree out of a Reader’s Digest magazine? Just fold the pages and spray paint green. You can glue little flat ornaments to the edges of the pages (tree surface).

    Suzanne – I have the rest of your books – – just in another “book stash!” πŸ˜†

    Minna – I will look at the doggy sweater patterns and see if they are adjustable for larger dogs.

    Happy Crafting everyone! :snoopy:

  16. Debnfla3 says:

    That was wonderful to see all those booklets. I never realized I had PADD! But I do! I flit from one project to another but evenually I get them all done…LOL


  17. Lynda Dunham-Watkins says:

    Georgia and my mom would have gotten along quite nicely!

  18. Elaine says:

    If anyone could build a barn out of foam trays it would be you. You are awesome!

  19. Euni Moore says:

    Thank you. thank you, thank you. I finally have a name for an illness that has plagued me or years. I have PADD. Now I can tell DH what thw problem has been. Loved thw trip down craft memory lane. All those projects from the 60’s filled a lot of time for my children. Finally, I am going through my stash and at least have the yarns, fabrics, needlework projects organized so I can find them. Doing something about thwm is another thing.


  20. SharonBinWA says:

    How comforting to finally have a name for my condition. I have had PADD for years. I really loved seeing all the crocheted goodies. I’ll have to search for that yarn your cousin used for the scarves. I remember those craft books…we used to use them in my Camp Fire club in the 60s. I even found newer versions of them again in the 90s when I was a leader, and they still had great craft ideas.

  21. MousE says:

    I can’t knit. I’ve tried. This crocheting looks more doable….. Thanks for taking us with you on this visit!

  22. lisa brawner says:

    Beautiful work . I love seeing everyone craft stash .. is a walk thru history

  23. Townie Farm Girl says:

    When my husband left our marriage a year ago, I looked at his empty closet when he moved out and cried….for about 20 minutes. That’s how long it took me to realize I now had a new place to store my fabric and craft stash! Nothing like getting your priorities straight!

  24. B. Ruth says:

    I never miss a good buy of old craft books or artist magazines at a yard sale…
    They are a treasure trove of history and change in the crafting world…This is the artist in me, so I have APDD. I sometimes look back at some of the “tacky” looking things I’ve made in the past….What fun! Things do improve with practice!
    My parents were from the depression…and “made do” projects..
    We “made do” in the 60’s….
    and now are recycling and “making do” change but stays the same…LOL The advances in our crafting supplies, new glitters, hair, wire materials can make our paper-back angels, egg carton ornaments and macaroni beads truly works of art…

  25. Becky Bozic says:

    :sheep: I too suffer from PADD, I have multiple projects going, knitting and quilting mostly. Sometimes I just feel like doing something different. But I won’t even begin to tell you of my UFO’s in quilting. If I live to finish them all I’ll be 100+!!! :bugeyed:

  26. Joy says:

    My passion is my garden but I plan it just like a detailed crochet project! Winter has me by the “throat” this year, will he ever leave???

  27. mrnglry says:

    Now, that makes me want to visit my favorite aunt in Oregon and head up those steep, narrow steps to her attic – she always has something up there worth digging in. There is also something about an attic in an old house that is way over 100 years old!
    Of course, I have a lot more here, but I’ve seen all that. I guess I could be content finding an old box I haven’t opened for a while, or dig to the back of the closet….

    Grace in CA

  28. Carol says:

    I too have multiple unfinished projects. At first I thought it was some kind of disease, but no matter what I did I couldn’t cure myself. So…now I know it was PADD.
    Not finishing projects was only one thing about myself that I thought I should change. I finally realized that all of my quirky habits are what make me who I am, and now I accept and embrace each one.
    P.S. I have a very large stash. And I’m frugal.

  29. Angela P says:

    :sheep: I wanna go to Sheryls too. Then I want to adopt Georgia…. :yes:

  30. Debbie in PA says:

    That was fun! I have quite a few old craft books as well. My son, when he was younger and embraced his crafty side (LOL) used to look for them when we went to the thrift shop.

    Our church’s youth group made angels out of old hymnals as a fundraiser this past Christmas.

    Lastly, I was struck by the innocence of it all. I have had to deal a lot lately with kids (not necessarily mine) and their rather snarky attitudes and sense of entitlement, and these craft magazines using basically recycled goods and the desire to connect with a penpal was just sweet.

  31. Deborah says:

    I loved all of the fun projects made from random things such as split peas, foam trays and plastic wrap. It makes me think of my grandmother and all of her handmade decor. Our throwaway society is missing that “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” mentality.
    I have a craft stash like no other I fear. It threatens to consume the house. Anyone need to dive in?

  32. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Beautiful colors!!! You make me want to learn to crochet. My grandmother tried to teach me when I was little but I was more interested in hanging out at the chicken coop with her, learning how to cook on her little wood stove and to plant garden. She passed away when I was 10 and I still miss her so much.

  33. Cindy says:

    That was a really fun look at all the crafty books, thank you!! Be sure to share your foam barn (chicken coop, perhaps?) with us when you’re finished πŸ™‚

  34. Sheryl - Runningtrails says:

    Wow! What a great stash of books and beautiful projects! I have PADD too. I think,, like you do, that most crfty people do. What I lack is FOCUS but I am determined to change that.

  35. Cheryl Shaver says:

    Well, I’m not sure my official diagnosis is PADD because even though I start lots of projects, I finish very few. I have crochet projects started for my son when he was little and he’s 30 years old now! But I’d rather say that I have PADD than saying I’m a hoarder which I’ve also thought I was. Sure would love to get my hands on those macrame books. I still have a macrame owl towel holder in my bathroom from the 70’s. O.K., maybe I am a hoarder…

  36. lavenderblue says:

    Hi! My name is Debbie and I am a PADD sufferer. And a craft stasher. And a hoarder. I think it’s genetic, my mom had a spare room filled to the brim with craft supplies, sewing, crochet and weaving as well. When it came time to clean out her house, it took longer to clean that room than to clean her cellar and that was packed too!

    Of course, I brought home a ton of her stuff and everyday I think of something else I wish we’d saved.

  37. JeannieB says:

    My name is JeannieB, and I suffer from PADD!! Please help, send me your unwanted stash items. What I really want is a macaroni Indian head dress!! With all your chickens, save the feathers and send them too.

  38. auntbear says:

    thanks…snooping thru your cousin stash was fun :chicken:

  39. Rose says:

    The angels made from books, brought back a lot of memories. We use magazines, and painted them. A lot of fun. Recycling before it was in.

  40. Tori Lennox says:

    What a blast from the past! My mom used to have a bunch of those Pack-o-Fun magazines when I was a kid. And I think they were old when she got them. Fun times. *g*

  41. M.J. says:

    A friend of mine has always said that when she retires she is going to open a “half finished crafts” store. People can bring in all the craft projects they started but never finished and trade them for someone else’s half-fihisned project. Sheryl’s stash could be the reference room!

  42. Marianne G says:

    What an amazing collection!

    I’m with Tabitha, I’d love to know how to use those big crochet hooks.

  43. Karen Anne says:

    PADD, now I feel a little better about having leventy leven things going on at once.

  44. 22angel says:

    I love the look of the cro-hook afghan – it may be something I’ll have to try at some point! And that sheep is adorable!

    I now know what I have: PADD! Awesome lol. I’m trying to cut back on things that I start before I’ve finished one….small things kind of work lol. But I still have a lot of “small” projects.

    I love reading your blog & am glad you’re able to update multiple times a day (if you want πŸ™‚ ). Thanks!

  45. sahmcolorado says:

    You need to talk Sheryl into demonstrating those cro-knit hooks for us!!

  46. Karen says:

    I wish your friend could put those books up online for us crafters since they seem so different than anything out there now! :sheepjump:

  47. Ellen in DE says:

    :woof: I can’t believe it!!! The glass with the split peas on it….vase, whatever, my mother made those!! She put a piece of red cardboard in the top, poked holes in it and poked in a candle and some greens for Christmas!!! The funny thing is she carefully packed them away and we used them for years until one time we were getting the boxes out of the attic and found that bugs had gotten to the antique (by then) split peas and had eaten every one of them!!! The peas were hollow! Thanks for bringing back a good memory….And I too am ‘knitting challenged’ but really, REALLY want to learn…. :hissyfit:

  48. bonita says:

    One of the neatest things about the double hook crochet hook is that you can use it to fashion REVERSIBLE items. It’s way more like crocheting than like knitting.

  49. bonita says:

    Oh and I’m Bonita and I have PPAD. I also have “INDTIOD” (it’s never done till its overdone). During my macrame days my primary reference was Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Rope Work [Hardcover]β€” 700 pages of knots. oh to be young and ambitious again.

  50. kyle says:

    Thank u l now know what my problem us PADD.l would also like to learn how to use the cro hooks.

  51. Carol Berridge says:

    glad to finally have a name for my “madness” I am a PADD THANK YOU :dancingmonster:

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