Where to Find 8 Things You Need (Even If Your Store Shelves Are Bare)

In the last few months, many of us have found that our lives have changed dramatically because of the Coronavirus crisis. Global supply chains have been disrupted. As a result, many of us haven’t been able to find essentials we need.

But maybe we’re looking in all the wrong places.

Even if your local store shelves are bare, you’re likely to find that micro-niche businesses have all the supplies you might need — and you can find many of them available for sale on Etsy.

Check out some of the possibilities:

1. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is available for sale at Etsy -- Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Hand sanitizer is available for sale at Etsy — Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Quite a few Etsy shops have alcohol-based hand sanitizers available for sale. Some of the current bestsellers include this one and this one.

If you’d prefer to make your own hand sanitizer, you might find it helpful to purchase a hand sanitizer recipe.

2. Paper(less) Towels

Whether or not you’ve been able to find paper towels at your local store, I have a suggestion: Grab some environmentally-friendly cloth paper towels. You’ll be glad to have them if you run out of the paper kind. I think these look good, but you’ll find bunches of different options if you shop around on Etsy.

3. Garden Seeds

If you didn’t already buy your seeds this year, you’re probably having a hard time finding them now. Many local garden supply stores are totally sold out of them; and virtually all of the best-known online suppliers I’m aware of for heirloom seeds have either been so overwhelmed by demand that they’ve had to close their stores (temporarily, I hope) or made the decision to only sell their seeds to farmers.


What’s a gardener, or aspiring gardener, to do?

Well, that’s an easy one. You can buy seeds on Etsy.

In some cases, the sellers on Etsy are farmers who actually grew the seeds themselves. I’ve been compiling a list of them because I want to buy seeds from them, myself. Here are a few that I have bookmarked:

4. Gardening Tools

I recently bought a couple of garden trowels on Etsy and can highly recommend the seller who made them available; at the time of this posting, she has more of the same trowels available for sale. They are super affordable, with lovely wooden handles, and made in the USA. I think they’re a great deal for the money — in fact, I bought 2 of them. However, if they’re sold out by the time you read this, don’t hesitate to shop around on Etsy for other possibilities, because I found many other options that I thought looked wonderful. The selection of vintage tools is always changing, so this is something to check on frequently, especially if you’re in need of tools you can’t easily get locally.

5. Gardening Instructions

One of my favorite craft authors is Stephanie Rose, whose business name is GardenTherapy. Stephanie has an Etsy shop, where she sells her craft and gardening books and tutorials. I highly recommend her work!

6. Planters

Gardeners around the USA are reporting that their local sources for planters and pots are sold out. However, talented artisans on Etsy are making a broad variety of beautiful planters available for sale. Check out some of your options HERE.

7. Essential Foods

You might be surprised at how much food is available for sale at Etsy. Some of the food sellers are small farmers who are selling their own crops directly to the public on the Etsy marketplace. Others are talented chefs who are selling their concoctions on Etsy. Here are a few possibilities:

8. Indoor Things to Do

If you’re like most people, all of a sudden you’re finding that you’re spending a lot more time at home than you used to. Perhaps you have bored kids at home, too. Etsy is a fantastic place to load up on craft patterns, craft instructions and craft supplies for keeping everybody busy and productive.

And if you’re feeling a bit down, you might also enjoy checking out the Etsy Editor’s picks for fun, cheerful items that will make you smile!

Etsy Is a Trusted Source of Income for Small Businesses

Remember, too, that Etsy isn’t just a marketplace where you can buy things you need. It’s also a marketplace where you can sell your own handcrafted items, your best vintage finds and any craft supplies you’re not planning to use. If you’ve lost your job or suffered a major reduction in work hours, Etsy could be a lifesaver in helping you bring in some of the income you need to keep going. Many of you have crafting skills that could be put to use in making and selling much-needed items such as hand sanitizer and items similar to the others listed above.

If you’re a crafter in need of additional income right now (or any time), you have my permission to use any of my crochet patterns from this site and Knittingandcrochet.net to make items for resale — You can use any of the patterns with my by-line (Amy Solovay) if you’re interested. Etsy is the ideal venue for selling your finished items. I give almost all my patterns away for free, so all you’d need is yarn and hooks to get started (You can get those on Etsy, too — search here for hooks and here for yarn). But whatever your particular talents are — whether you crochet, knit, quilt, sew, make soap or do some other craft — Etsy welcomes your creativity and gives you access to a valuable source of potential buyers for your handcrafted items.

I hope this information is helpful to you as you attempt to navigate the “new normal”. The floor is open for comments if you have other recommendations for great Etsy sellers who are making essential supplies available for sale right now. Thanks so much for your interest, and for any recommendations you have to share.

This page was last updated on 8-1-2020.

Dishcloths and Potholders Make Fantastic Summertime Crochet Projects

You don’t need to take a vacation from crochet during the summer months; it’s a great time to work on making lighweight, quick projects such as potholders and dishcloths. Here you can see a coordinating crochet kitchen set that makes an ideal summertime crochet project:

Color Mix Afghan Stitch Crochet Projects: Kitchen Set With Potholders and Dishcloth
Color Mix Afghan Stitch Crochet Projects: Kitchen Set With Potholders and Dishcloth

But of course, these aren’t your only options for summertime crochet projects. I invite you to check out our list of summer knitting and crochet ideas HERE.

Accessorize for Fourth of July With a Handmade Bracelet

Accessorize for 4th of July With a Handmade Bracelet
Accessorize for 4th of July With a Handmade Bracelet

You can make this simple-but-lovely bracelet using metallic floss and round glass beads. If you’ve never crocheted with beads before, this bracelet is a fantastic introduction to the technique; it’s a quick project that proves that bead crochet does not have to be difficult, despite what you may have heard to the contrary.

For those of you in the USA, this bracelet is an ideal way to accessorize for patriotic holidays such as the Fourth of July. It’s a fabulous everyday accessory as well.

Related Crochet Resources:

Father’s Day Craft Ideas for 2020

Did y’all make any plans yet for Father’s Day this year? If you want to but haven’t yet, you still have some time to figure out what to do, although the date is soon approaching. This year, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Also important: have you selected some gifts for the dads on your gift list yet?

Perhaps you might like to make a DIY gift for dad. If so, you’re invited to check out our DIY father’s day gift list.

Whatever you decide to make for dad or give him as a gift, here’s hoping he’ll love it.

Free Mother’s Day Craft Ideas

Mother’s Day is approaching. We’ll be celebrating Mom’s special holiday on Sunday, May 10, 2020. Do you want to make a card or a gift for your mom, stepmom, grandma or other beloved mother-figure this year? If so, here are a couple of pages filled with free ideas, patterns and instructions you can use.

Celebrate Spring With a Rainbow of Lovely Crochet Patterns

Double Rainbow Crochet Square Pattern
Double Rainbow Crochet Square Pattern

You know the old rhyme: April showers bring May flowers. But you know what else April showers sometimes bring? RAINBOWS! Whether or not it’s raining in your neighborhood right now, you can crochet a lovely rainbow pattern to introduce more color into your life.

Pictured here, we have a double rainbow dishcloth you can make and use for spring cleaning this month (or, really, any time). It’s a quick and easy crochet project that will look cheerful and lovely in your kitchen.

Make Fun Easter Crafts for a Child You Love

Easter Crafts
Easter Crafts: Photo Courtesy of Sebastian Staines at Unsplash.

Wow, can you believe it’s already spring? You know what that means: Easter is coming right up. This year, we’ll be celebrating Easter on Sunday, April 12, 2020.

If your family celebrates the Easter holiday, perhaps you’d enjoy making some fun Easter craft projects for a child you love.

Knitting and crochet are my crafts of choice – so when I find myself with free time available for crafting, I tend to reach for a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles.

There are bunches of different Easter projects that can be crocheted or knitted. For starters, how about making an Easter basket? You can grab a broad variety of different basket patterns that would be suitable for that purpose.

Another idea: Knit or crochet a stuffed Easter bunny toy for your favorite child (or make multiples for your favorite children). You can embroider the eyes on your bunny, or use attachable safety eyes. Some of the available bunny patterns even include instructions for making cute clothing the bunnies can wear — how adorable is that?

You could also make an Easter-themed collage, painting or drawing.

This list of Easter patterns has even more ideas for fun Easter craft projects.

For those of you who don’t celebrate Easter, there are plenty of other spring knitting and crochet patterns you might enjoy. The list includes projects for spring flowers, spring cleaning and the other spring holidays like Mother’s Day.

I hope you’ll enjoy your Easter crafts, and that you and your family will have a blessed Easter 2020.

More Knitting and Crochet Resources

Accessorize for Memorial Day With a Crochet Bracelet

Accessorize for Memorial Day With a Crochet Bracelet
Accessorize for Memorial Day With a Crochet Bracelet

This year, our Memorial Day celebration in the United States will take place on Monday, May 25, 2020. This is a day when we honor the men and women who died while they were in the military service of our beloved country.

If you plan to dress in red, white and blue for Memorial Day this year, perhaps you might enjoy making and wearing this simple-but-lovely red and blue beaded bracelet to accessorize your ensemble.

This is an ultra-simple bead crochet project. If you’d like to learn how to crochet with beads, this bracelet is a good way to get started with learning the technique; it’s a fast, low-commitment project that’s not too challenging. You might have heard that bead crochet is hard or complicated, but when you make this project, you’ll quickly see that there isn’t anything mysterious or complex about it.

I hope you’ll enjoy using the skills you learn from this project — and wearing your bracelet — long after Memorial Day has passed.

Related Resources:

Crochet a Baby Hat With Flowers for Spring

Want to crochet a baby hat with flowers for a sweet baby girl you know? If so, I highly recommend the Pretty Posies baby hat from Dressing Up Baby by Darla Sims, published by Leisure Arts.
Want to crochet a baby hat with flowers for a sweet baby girl you know? If so, I highly recommend the Pretty Posies baby hat from Dressing Up Baby by Darla Sims, published by Leisure Arts.

What do you do when spring weather in your neighborhood isn’t as warm as you’d like? Well, you have to dress warmly — and if you have children, you have to be doubly sure of keeping the kiddos warm when you dress them. But you can certainly choose warm clothing designs that incorporate flowers and other spring friendly design themes.

The hat you see pictured here is one of my favorite options for a warm, cozy, spring-friendly baby hat. It’s perfect for wearing while chilly spring weather persists.

This hat is known as the “Pretty Posies” baby hat. The pattern for crocheting this design is included in a book called Dressing Up Baby by Darla Sims. Leisure Arts is the publisher. If you were to ask me to recommend a baby pattern book to you, this is definitely the one I’d choose; I LOVE the adorable patterns in this book, and all of them are fast and easy to crochet.

The book is focused on giving you matching baby layette sets including patterns for matching baby blankets, booties, hats and sweaters. The book has designs for both baby girls and boys, although there are more patterns for baby girls than there are for boys.

Learn More About This Book

More Knitting and Crochet Patterns for Spring

More Crochet Flowers

More Baby Items to Crochet and Knit:

More Knit and Crochet Hat Patterns

Valentine Heart Crafts

Valentine Heart Crafts
Valentine Heart Crafts

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If your Valentine’s Day plans include crafting this year, we invite you to check out these lovely heart patterns:

Some of these designs are components, meaning that you’ll be able to use them for making or embellishing other, larger craft projects. The appliques can be attached to just about any item for a bit of updated, handcrafted chic. The squares can be used to make blankets or other projects. You can apply a bit of imagination and creativity to come up with bunches of different projects you could make. I hope you find these ideas inspiring.

Wishing you a lovely, enjoyable Valentine’s Day!