DIY Skills & Techniques

How to Craft Fiber Accessories for Your Home

It’s amazing what you can make using a ball of yarn, a spool of thread, or a length of rope. Learn how to craft your own custom home decor with a new fiber arts hobby.
A person creating a macrame wall hanging in a living room.

Photo: istockphoto.com

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Looking for a new way to express your creativity? Give fiber arts a try! There are plenty of items you can create with different types of thread. While fiber arts covers a wide range of crafts, we’ve rounded up easy-to-follow tutorials and basic project ideas for a few of the most popular: crocheting, knitting, embroidery, and macrame. Each of these skills is highly versatile, giving you the chance to create wearable items, as well as an array of home decor pieces. From crochet figurines and knit home textiles to embroidered wall art and macrame plant hangers, you can create something new for any corner of your home. Best of all, supplies for these hobbies are budget-friendly, and there’s plenty of resources for beginners. Ready to get crafting? Continue reading to learn where to start.

Tips for Budding Fiber Artists

Fiber arts like crochet, knitting, embroidery, and macrame are appealing hobbies to try because they’re so affordable—you can likely pick up bare-basics supplies for less than $10 online or at a local craft store. But before spending any money, heed the following advice:

  • Check with family, friends, or your neighbors for supplies. You might know someone who has an old set of knitting needles or crochet hooks somewhere in storage. Also consider shopping at thrift stores or online secondhand sellers; you might come across someone trying to get rid of their stash for free or cheap (and this is better for the environment compared to buying new supplies).
  • While starting a new hobby is exciting, be prepared for some frustration. Many fiber arts can be straightforward to learn, but challenging to master. Luckily, when it comes to crocheting, knitting, embroidery, and macrame, there are plenty of resources available (free and paid, and both online and in the form of crafting books). If you get stuck on a step or a skill, look for more sources. Videos are incredibly helpful since they show rather than just explain the process. Try watching videos from multiple sources: you might prefer the way one person explains a process more than another.
  • There are also ways to connect with other fiber artists in person. Many people find it easiest to learn new crafting skills in person. Community centers or local libraries might host fiber arts groups where you can meet like-minded crafters—and also get inspiration for your next projects.

Crocheting

A person crocheting a small basket for decor in their home.
Photo: istockphoto.com

It’s incredibly easy to get started with crocheting—all you need is a crochet hook and some yarn. Between crocheting and knitting, many people find crocheting is easier to learn. When crocheting, you only use one hook that you hold in your dominant hand. Knitting requires you to use two knitting needles, one in each hand. It can feel easier to keep track of one hook rather than two needles. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try knitting as well!)

New fiber artists might be surprised at how versatile crocheting really is. Of course, it’s possible to make clothing and wearable accessories, but crochet can also be used to make 3D items and decor as well. Using basic crochet principles, you can make a whole range of home items, from hanging wall tapestries to crochet potted plants.

LEARN THE BASICS OF CROCHET: 
How to Crochet: 6 Basic Stitches to Learn
15 Crochet Patterns for Beginners 
The Best Crochet Hooks for Your Collection

Knitting

A person knitting a throw blanket for the home.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Knitting is another easy-to-learn craft that only requires a ball of yarn and some knitting needles. Similar to crochet, beginners may be surprised that you can knit so much more than just scarves, socks, and other wearables. It’s also possible to knit home textiles, like throw blankets and placemats, as well as home decor, like wall tapestries and 3D items. Just keep in mind, it is a little more difficult to learn how to knit 3D items compared to crocheting them.

It takes a trained eye to tell the difference between crochet and knit fabrics. Knit crafts tend to have a V-shaped stitch whereas basic crochet stitches look like knots—when it comes down to it, some crafters prefer the smoother look of knitting stitches, especially for some projects. It’s worthwhile learning both if you’re into fiber arts!

GET STARTED KNITTING: 
How to Knit: 6 Key Stitches to Master
15 Knitting Patterns for Beginner
The Best Yarn for Your DIY Projects

Embroidery

A person embroidering a flower on fabric.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Embroidery is pretty much like drawing on a piece of fabric using a needle and thread. Basic supplies required include an embroidery needle, embroidery floss (also known as embroidery thread), and an embroidery hoop (which helps hold the fabric taut). Anything you can draw, you can also recreate with embroidery, and you can even create detailed shading using different colors of embroidery floss.

Embroidering is an astonishingly versatile craft since you can pretty much create any type of design on any piece of fabric. There are a variety of embroidery stitches you can learn to add more interest and texture to a project. For beginners, it’s best to start with a simple design on sturdy fabric. With a few basic stitches in your toolkit, you can go on to decorate a wide range of home textiles, embroidering designs on everything from curtains to cushions, and even adorning clothing with embroidered art.

MORE ON EMBROIDERY: 
How to Embroider: 8 Important Stitches to Start With
15 Embroidery Patterns for Beginners
The Best Online Sewing and Embroidery Classes

Macrame

A person using macrame to create a fiber wall hanging for the home.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Learning macrame requires the fewest materials of them all—all you need is some rope or string. Really, since macrame is just a series of knots, it’s possible to use any type of string, though macrame cord is the easiest to work with. Beginners should use a string or cord that’s around 3 to 5 millimeters thick, which is suitable for a range of basic projects.

A common beginner macrame project is to craft a plant hanger, but this is only one of many home projects you can make with macrame. It’s also fairly straightforward to make macrame wall hangings, coasters, table runners, cushion covers, and other home accessories. Finished macrame projects tend to have a boho feel, so they’re great for crafters who love that type of style.

LEARN HOW TO MACRAME: 
How to Macrame: 7 Key Knots to Know
Simple Macrame Plant Hanger Tutorial
9 Ways to Decorate With Your Crafts