Vintage style needlework kits now available from Betty Crafter

Yes: Happiness is Homemade

happiness is homemade crewel kitYou know what maybe gets me most excited of all, vetting stories for the blog these days: When I see other people — longtime “friends of the retro and vintage”– take their design passions to a whole new level. I’ve known Betty Crafter since pretty much the start — she’s been famously featured on the blog here and here and here..  And now: Kaboom, this talented Betty has introduced her first, vintage-inspired “Don’t Be Crewel” kit: “Happiness is Homemade.” You can purchase the kit directly from Betty Crafter.  Go, retro ladies, go!vintage crewel kit

“Who, what, where, when, why and how?” I asked. Betty Crafter responded:

Basically, anyone who knows me or reads my blog has figured out that I’ve lost my dang head over vintage crewel work. Sadly the really awesome ones are SO hard to find – I spent a year looking for the Try A Little Kindness kit and when I finally found one on ebay I paid $100 for it! So I started thinking about what a shame it was that no one was making these kits anymore, and then I started thinking about what kind of designs I would like to see, then I decided it was high time I just made my own! Before you know it, my little “Don’t Be Crewel” cottage industry was born.


My first design, my Happiness Is Homemade wall hanging, is definitely a nod to the elusive Try A Little Kindness and God Bless Our Pad classics. I have several more designs in the pipeline, both pillows and wall hangings. My hope is that there are other crewel nerds out there who will also be excited about readily available crewel kits that mimic the fabulousness of the 1960s and 1970s ones. And the really great news is that I’m designing them so that they will be easy enough for a beginner to do – no experience necessary!


Thanks so much for your support Pam!

Link luv:

Categoriesliving room
  1. Sarah g (roundhouse) says:

    I’ve got probably 20 vintage crewel peices and I just vacuum them with the soft bristle brush attachment. Just doing that can really brighten them up. I’ve never tried cleaning them but is suggest just spot cleaning then a quick handwash then lay flat to dry and steam out, you wouldn’t want to flatten the crewel work. If others say oxiclean works well for yellowing it would be worth a try. In the cleaning industry I’d suggest sodium perborate. And this is all applicable if the backing and yarns are Cotten, linen, polyester, nylon or rayon. If you suspect it is wool or silk it would definitely needs to be dry cleaned or professionally wetcleaned.
    Also!!! Test to see if any of your yarn colors may bleed! Take a damp white hanky with a diluted mild detergent and press or rub lightly on the yarns to see if any dye rubs off. If it does, I wouldn’t risk it!

  2. Heather says:

    Yippee!!! I have fallen in love with crewel in the past year, and I am always on the lookout for great designs. I think this one would look just lovely in our den 🙂 Keep ’em coming, Betty!

  3. linda h says:

    Cool! I was planning to buy another bullet planter anyway, so I decided I need this crewel kit even if Betty hasn’t come out with the smaller size yet. If it doesn’t come in the smaller size, I will just have to make room on the crewel wall that I am running out of room on.

    1. Lynne says:

      Linda…I am seriously thinking of getting a Hip haven bullet planter. Tell me, do you plant right in the “bullet” or do you use an additional pot? I am no gardener, and I am concerned that I will kill anything I put in it if I don’t do it right.

      1. Betty Crafter says:

        Lynne, I plant directly in my bullet planter, but I’m sure you could do it either way. I just put some rocks at the bottom under the soil to improve drainage.

        1. Lynne says:

          Thanks Betty! Umm….if I could ask what sort of plants do you have the best luck with? Sorry, I know this is WAY off topic.

  4. tammyCA says:

    I remember when crewel kits were popular in the ’70s (anyone remember that great store Lee Wards?), and I made a few very small ones. Never thought they would be popular again. I’ve seen some cute completed ones at Estate sales/thrift store but they are always so dusty that I pass on them because I didn’t think they could be washed. Wished I hadn’t passed on a very colorful mod owl awhile back at an estate sale…the lady was a prolific needleworker.

  5. Annie B. says:

    I’m not crafty in the least, but I celebrate Betty Crafter’s ingenuity and talent. Congratulatons, Betty, on being able to fill a niche in the retro-lover’s world and to turn your love of needlework into a cottage industry. May you have a long string of successes.

  6. Janet says:

    I love these and so neat they are available again! I had the one on the ebay carousel that has the owls and birds on the tree limbs, and a beautiful moth pillow. Of course, this was before kids when I had time to do them! But my question is, how do you clean them? My sister-in-law did one I gave her and it is pristine, but due to my husband’s smoking and our old dusty furnace, the off-white background on mine looks very soiled. I tried several things and nothing seemed to work.

    1. Betty Crafter says:

      Janet, I’ve had success soaking crewel in a bathtub of warm water and OxyClean. Works for vintage clothes too. Good luck!

      1. Janet in CT says:

        Thanks, Betty! I have been doing that for years with vintage doll clothes! I thought of it but wasn’t sure if it would shrink up. It is framed so I guess we will have to take it out of the frame. I haven’t even seen it since we moved here nine years ago. I hope I can find it!

Comments are closed.