What are some ideas for little knitted and felted wares?
October 18, 2010 8:43 AM   Subscribe

What are some small, knitted or felted goodies that will prove to be popular at an upcoming (Christmas) craft sale?

This is going to be a standard craft sale with the regular craft sale folks coming to buy - not a hip, trendy one. I'm already making some felted soap and really sweet mary jane baby booties. I like making dishclothes, but the prettiest ones are actually expensive to make for what people are willing to pay, plus, they can be pretty time consuming. What else can I make? Items should be relatively simple to make and geared towards moms and middle aged + folks. I'd like to keep the items at the $10 or less range as it won't be a wealthy crowd.

Ultimately, I just want to have fun with this and recoup costs. Suggestions?
posted by kitcat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (27 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
(Felted) Pin cushions. There should be tons of free patterns around your friendly interweb. Should be no problem to keep them under $5.

Maybe some Santa/xmas themed brooches/pins. It's hard to say what people will actually buy at these things.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:46 AM on October 18, 2010

Make little mice! I've made these for my cats. You can stuff them with catnip or something crinkly. They are relatively quick to knit up since I was able to complete a few and I'ma beginner. I used the pattern in the Debbie Stoller book.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:48 AM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hair clips.
posted by Dragonness at 8:48 AM on October 18, 2010

Fingerless gloves are a big hit at my mom's knitted goods booth at our local Christmas sale. She's mostly known for her hand-knit socks, but you'd be hard-pressed to price those at $10.
posted by litnerd at 8:50 AM on October 18, 2010

In my neighborhood the grocery store clerks all have their own little felted fruit and vegetable pins. My favorite cashier is watermelon girl, my favorite stock guy is carrot dude. They're variously sized felted concoctions with kind of wonky features and I think they're adorable. Apparently someone on staff makes them and gave one to each employee last Christmas and they've all kept wearing them all year! I don't know how hard they would be to make but they seem like the kind of thing you could make from scraps and piece together colors. Things like radishes, onions, mushrooms, and cucumbers are the most successful looking ones, I guess because they are kind of uniformly shaped but can be assembled from a melange of colors.
posted by Mizu at 8:51 AM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

This suggestion for handwarmers - I just made a pair last night for Christmas gifts and they're really cute, easy and functional, especially if you live in a cold climate with lots of walkers.

How about small little cat toys made out of scrap yarn stuffed with catnip and cotton?
posted by kerning at 8:52 AM on October 18, 2010

Response by poster: I should have mentioned - I don't know how to knit in the round just yet.
posted by kitcat at 8:59 AM on October 18, 2010

Hats, scarves, etc. are practical items that are always getting lost and thus needing to be replaced.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:01 AM on October 18, 2010

Now when you say geared toward moms and older folks, are you thinking stuff that they'd like themselves or perhaps things that they might like to give as gifts?

Mouse or any other amigurumi

Pawprint Cloth (although I don't know about price point)

Knitted baby hats.

I really like the handwarmer suggestion. A friend of mine just made me some. They are fabulous!
posted by Sassyfras at 9:02 AM on October 18, 2010


Can you crochet? I bought this book (I'm pretty sure it was this one, not the regular crochet one...) because it had loads of things that looked like snowflakes. I don't generally like the granny-square look of crochet, but I loooove lacy things, and small starched snowflakes are some of my favorite and most treasured ornaments.

We also have some really beautiful little God's-eyes. I know, they might seem like a camp craft, but if you take something the size of a skewer instead of a popsicle stick, have six points instead of four, vary your yarn colors (so you can have a green and red stripe, for example, and vary the thicknesses), tip the tops with beads or something else nice (even a dab of sparkly puffy paint might work) use fine materials, whatever, they can look really nice. Those are also among my favorite ornaments. I bet you could use up a lot of leftover sock yarn in different colors :)

Some other popular but perhaps time-consuming options are mini-sweaters and mini-mittens.

I bet, though, that you could modify a baby bootie pattern (something close to a regular but teeny sock) to make it look like a Christmas stocking ornament -- one you could actually put a couple things in, like Hershey kisses or something. That would probably be super cute and popular even with people who don't know any babies.

POTHOLDERS. But whatever you do, make them from wool and NOT acrylic. 100% wool!

Remember that some of the felted things you make, especially potholders, could actually come from preknit things like sweaters you buy at Goodwill. Look for those old sort of schoolgirl or Shetland or tweedy Lands End-type things, in the men's section too. The more muted colors could be a backing for the more festive colors, or you could felt a square and then needlefelt a cute design.

Take a look through the last few editions of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts and Interweave Felt. Most of those might be too complex for your needs, but they probably have a lot of cute ideas.
posted by Madamina at 9:03 AM on October 18, 2010

Oh, another one: I always see little felted flowers, used as hair clips, pins or both. Maybe felt some colored sweaters, cut out a couple of four-or-five-petaled shapes, sew or glue them together and then make the center our of a pretty button, an old earring, some sewn-in beads, or whatever you have lying around. Then attach them to some barrettes or a thick hair elastic or a pin; the best are the ones you can use in multiple ways (so they have a hair elastic that is easy to hide but has a pin back as well).
posted by Madamina at 9:06 AM on October 18, 2010

Felted Christmas ornaments. Anecdotal, but I love to hang small handmade primitive items on my tree, and the softer the better, given that I have small children and animals running around.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:06 AM on October 18, 2010

I find knitting in the round much easier than the seaming that is usually required on things that are not knit in the round.

If you are that level of a beginning knitter, potholders are a good idea. Also cotton dishcloths. Maybe trivets? You could probably also swing the felted pincushion idea above if you are good at seaming. Christmas tree ornaments, if you are good at increasing and decreasing to make stars, wreaths, and the like.

If it were me, I'd do hats and fingerless gloves, because those are things people are likely to pay real money for. I definitely recommend knittinghelp.com for all your knitting in the round instructional video needs.
posted by Sara C. at 9:11 AM on October 18, 2010

Adorable finger puppets! Don't need to be in the round, they could just be sewn up one side and gathered and then felted. You can make a lot of them and make a TON of different types w/ various googly eyes and little flair [this has a fin and is a shark, this has a comb and is a rooster, this has an udder and is a cow] and they seem like toys so people would pay a little more and you could sell them in sets.
posted by jessamyn at 9:13 AM on October 18, 2010

Along the lines of ornaments, you can also get those clear balls and then stuff yarn in them, like so:

Good use of leftovers.

Depending on your skill level you can also stuff them with mini scarves/hats/mittens using sock yarn and sock needles.
posted by like_neon at 9:25 AM on October 18, 2010

Lip balm holders to hang on a keyring. (examples from Etsy)
posted by flex at 9:26 AM on October 18, 2010

For that demographic, I think stuff for babies and small children would be the easiest to sell. In this economy, grownups don't buy themselves many knick-knacks (and the middle-aged/older folks already have too much clutter), but people still buy adorable stuff for their precious babies and grandchildren.

Baby stuff in particular seems to sell well (have a look at Etsy's "Recently Sold" section). Baby stuff is small, therefore cheap/fast to make, and can be priced accordingly. Also, babies quickly grow out of stuff so it has to be replaced regularly, and nobody wants their baby to chew on a hand-me-down toy (ew, gross). Thus, new stuff for babies at regular intervals!
posted by Quietgal at 9:27 AM on October 18, 2010

Baby and little girl headbands, either knitted or headbands with felt flowers on them.
posted by flex at 9:28 AM on October 18, 2010

I saw some adorable amigurumi patterns for Christmas ornaments that I want so badly I think I might go ahead and buy them right now... http://www.etsy.com/listing/59031286/pdf-knit-christmas-ornament-pattern-set

Amigurumi is actually very simple to learn. I taught myself in a couple of days using tutorials on YouTube and some spare orange acrylic felt. Even the "magic circle" starter loop thing isn't as tricky as people make it out to be!
posted by lhall at 9:28 AM on October 18, 2010

- rectangles of a simple lace motif, folded in half and seamed up the sides - a muslin inner bag of the same dimensions - potpurri - instant sachet. People love these.

- gift tags cut out of wool felt with embroidered or needle-felted embellishments

- small pincushions made out of felt or felted wool sweaters

- book covers made out of felted wool sweaters

- little flowers and other 3-d things made out of shapes cut from felt

- you can make great handwarmers by knitting a square, folding in half, and seaming to make a tube, leaving a hole in the seam for the thumb. This works really well with garter stitch or ribbing, depending on how you fold it. Quick and easy; embellish them with some cute embroidery to make them special.

Lastly: not to be a killjoy, but most published patterns are explicitly intended for personal use only. Get inspired from them, but don't make a billion Saartje's Booties for sale.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:31 AM on October 18, 2010

My mom bought a whole set of a crocheted Nativity Scene. My kids loved that thing for years.

Another idea is some of those corn-filled heating pads, in different shapes for different parts of the body.
posted by CathyG at 9:37 AM on October 18, 2010

You know what I bought a ton of? They were these felt characters, about 8" long x 5" wide, of Santas and snowmen. Their bellies were clear plastic, and they had zippers up their back. We stuffed them with candy and gave them as gifts. You could show examples of all sorts of little gifts stuffed inside them. One of the snowmen was a cowboy snowman, and we kept that one for ourselves!
posted by Knowyournuts at 9:44 AM on October 18, 2010

Nth'ing felted, knitted, crocheted, or fabric ornaments. One year, my mom with her rudimentary sewing skills made a ton of small sewn ornaments in simple shapes like hearts, stars, and gingerbread men/women, which she then stuffed with fiberfill, and added a small ribbon loop to hang them on the tree. They are still my favorite ornaments, and they always get compliments. They were made in the late '70s and still look brand new, too.
posted by medeine at 10:19 AM on October 18, 2010

I recently bought a cute little knitted iphone cozy. The lady I bought it from told me they sold like hotcakes and they were absurdly easy to make.
posted by backwards compatible at 10:57 AM on October 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would love felted flower hair clips!

DIY baby toys are very popular, I bet you could incorporate knitting or felting.
posted by radioamy at 11:14 AM on October 18, 2010

If you're willing to buy some corks, or have a bunch of old ones lying around, Korknissemake great ornaments, or just otherwise really cute gifts.
posted by runaway ballista at 1:47 PM on October 18, 2010

That reminds me. Anthropologie carries great handmade ornaments at Christmas time, and they go for $12-20. Check out their website closer to the holidays for this year's offerings.
posted by Dragonness at 2:01 PM on October 18, 2010

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