13 in 2013: Clean Up Your Stash and Help Others with Craft Cart Projects

craft cart destash

This is the time of year when a lot of crafters are going through their stashes and clearing out things they are sure they will never use. There are lots of things you can do with that excess stuff, from selling it to giving it to a friend or donating it to a senior center.craft cart destash

Another great way to use parts of your stash and feel good while you’re doing it is to create projects for a hospital craft cart.

These carts are usually for children who are spending a lot of time at the hospital. The little crafts give them something to do to take their mind off their treatment.

As Penny Tramontozzi of the Volunteer Services Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Center put it, “Craft projects have a significant impact on both our inpatients and outpatients as they are a most welcome distraction to their daily treatments.”

Different hospitals will have different criteria for the projects they accept, but basically you put together a bag of supplies with instructions for a craft that a child can complete without a lot of supervision. There are specific guidelines about some items that should not be included in the projects (latex balloons, small objects, food items, etc.). They also ask that projects be religion and culturally neutral.

As with any crafty charitable donation, check in with the place you want to donate to find out what their needs and requirements are before you make any plans.

What Can You Make?

Looking at your stash of craft supplies, it may be difficult to come up with a project that would suit a craft cart, particularly since items need to be new. But there are probably lots of potential projects in your collection if you think small and get creative.

• Scraps of paper can be used to make beads or be bound together into a small book.
• A single gift tag or blank bookmark could be the basis for a craft project.
• A handful of beads is enough to make a necklace or bracelet with a length of yarn or twine.
• Extra felt can be cut into a variety of shapes to make puppets when attached to a craft stick.
• Lengths of ribbon can be combined with buttons, beads or other materials to make jewelry.
• You can always supplement your stash if need be with small packs of crayons or paints, glue sticks, etc.

More Ideas to Get You Started

I first learned about the craft cart at St. Jude from my friend Paige, who suggested making the craft kits for a project called DIY Date, found at Laid-Off Mom.

You can see all the projects created for that particular event on her site, but here are a couple of my favorites.button caterpillar craft cart

Stephanie at Pretty and Delectable took chenille stems, buttons and googly eyes (who doesn’t have a bunch of all of those things?) and made these cute little button caterpillars.cupcake friend craft cart

Louise of Laid-Off Mom used cupcake liners, craft sticks and other little bits to make cupcake friends, proof that even little bits of leftovers can make an adorable project.

They also started a Pinterest board full of great ideas. I looked through my Pinterest boards and found a few other likely candidates:

• A craft stick, a pen and some washi tape makes and adorable Lolly Dolly, from Teawagon Tales.
• Sparkly pom-poms and feathers combine for a pretty dragonfly at Caution, Twins at Play. (You’d have to use regular glue, of course, not a glue gun!)
• Combine pom-poms and chenille stems for adorable finger puppets courtesy of Craft Jr.
• Not all of these would be appropriate, but using craft sticks, clothespins and other basics leads to lots of crafty goodness over at Parents.

Have you ever donated supplies to a craft cart? I’d love to hear how it went and what you made!

3 thoughts on “13 in 2013: Clean Up Your Stash and Help Others with Craft Cart Projects”

  1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for including the button caterpillars in this post… they’re really easy to make and a great way to use leftover buttons. Great links… I want to try making those pom pom finger puppets with my girls!

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