11 craft ideas from Grandma’s house

After spotting a feature at BuzzFeed called 17 Crafts That Remind You of Your Grandma’s House, I was swept away on a wave of nostalgia for the crafty delights that populated my Nan’s place when I was growing up. Remember these …

1. Granny square rugs


My sister and I would spend the winter holidays at my grandmother’s house knitting crochet rugs on our laps while watching Fantasy Island and The Love Boat on TV … bliss. For a step-by-step guide to knitting granny squares head over to Bunny Mummy.

2. Macrame plant hangers

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com
Remember these beauties? Get instructions on making a macrame plant hanger from This Year’s Dozen.

3. Knitted tea cosies

Nannas always served their tea in pots with cosies. Learn how to knit one at Knit Shear Bliss.
Knit reminisces: “I have such fond memories of visting my Nan as a child. My Nan always made you feel welcome and special. Of course Nan would put on the kettle and warm the tea pot, get out the english floral china tea cups and saucers. These would all go on a delightful tray with the sugar bowl and milk in a little china jug. Best of all Nan always had a treat of cakes or chocolate biscuits or even better chocolate fingers.”The hot water would be poured into the pot over tea leaves, never tea bags. And the hand knit tea cosy would be placed carefully on top on the teapot to keep the tea warm. We would follow Nan with the tray of tea to the “front room” or living room and chat while the tea brewed. It was always so special the way Nan made tea. Always poured from the pot with the tea cosy to keep the tea warm.”

4. Crocheted washers

My great-grandmother crocheted washers like a demon. My grandmother – who was her carer – was forever despairing over who to give them all to. We still have some in our linen cupboard and it always makes me smile when I scrub a kids’ faces with one. Flushed with Rosy Colour explains how to crochet around the edges on her blog.

6. Tissue box covers

Remember frilly tissue boxes? Blogger Megan Mills has recreated a pattern for them over at her website.

7. Greeting card trinket boxes

My sister and I were both given one of these growing up, made with the most amazing vintage cards. I wish I knew what happened to them. Make It Up Jeanie B has a step-by-step guide to making this flashback crafty project.

8. Macrame owls

There’s a whole website devoted to these guys, called Macrame Owl.

As it explains: “This organisation is dedicated to saving, rehabilitating and reviving the Macramé Owl. The Macramé Owl is a rare species that is dreadfully declining in numbers worldwide. This heartbreaking situation is partly due to the difficulty in finding jute at local craft shops.”

The site even include a picture of a macrame owl being “rescued” (below). It’s hilarious.
Greg and Ciaran rescue a Macramé Owl in the wild

There’s a pattern for a macrame owl over at Free Macrame Patterns. He doesn’t have a fluffy belly like the one I remember hanging on my Nan’s living room wall when I was growing up, but he’s still cute.

All Natural Owl

9. Frog door-stopper

I still have mine! He’s vibrant green corduroy and I decided he was definitely a toy. Blogger Typically Red gives great instructions on how she made one for her kids here. My tip: Don’t over-fill him and he can be propped into a sitting position on  a shelf … I’m not obsessed …

10. String art


Remember string art? I lovingly made one for my Nan when I was in primary school. A painted-black board, some nails and yarn … Remind yourself how it’s done over at String Art Fun.

11. Dolly toilet roll cover

BARBIE Doll / toilet paper doll/ light turquoise

No Nan’s loo was complete without one! So far, I’ve had trouble tracking down a pattern for these beauties, but don’t despair, you can buy one on Etsy from Blue Lady 540 for just $36.39.

 And finally …

One trend I wont be trying any time soon … this hand-knitted ’70s balaclava. Scary huh?

Have I forgotten anything you remember from grandma’s house? Send me a link!

12 thoughts on “11 craft ideas from Grandma’s house

  1. Hi there, thanks so much for including my macrame plant hangers in this post.

    And I remember those macrame owls. I made about 100 of them. All different sizes, shapes and color. What fun!! So glad to see macrame making a return. I am a self-taught macramer from the 80’s. Thanks again.


  2. Omg…I didn’t know the frogs were a common thing. I have mine from the 70’s. It is red and I remember eating one of the eyes. I love it and I remember my mum’s friend Sybil made it. Sybil…now there’s a name you don’t get now days.

  3. Omg this is hilarious Alana! That ski mask is nightmare-inducing. Do you remember paper tole? My Mum gave me a framed paper tole for one of the girls’ rooms that she picked up at an op-shop. It might be going straight back to the op-shop (hope she doesn’t ask me about it!).

  4. Remember at the end of the year at High School we could do a “special interest” thing (like the year I picked computers and the boys sat in front of the monitor and we girls stood at the back…). I was a macrame maven. I doubt any survive…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s