There are a variety of in-kind donations that organizations need, so here are nine ideas for easy and creative crafts for a cause.
I am guessing you already have some tried-and-true things that you make to donate. But why not try something new?
Certain things are always in high demand, but those items change throughout the year.
Plus the pandemic has completely shifted people’s needs.
Many organizations serving vulnerable populations now have to COVID-related protection to their in-kind requests.
For example, a basic necessity now includes a disposable or reusable face mask.
Express Your Creativity In Small Batches
So now is the time to power up your small batch maker mindset in stead of staring at the big picture.
In fact, I have fallen into the trap of trying to boil the ocean.
It happened back in March when everyone was trying to get enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers in dire need.
I was sewing face masks and scrub caps as fast as I could for a local ER and felt overwhelmed a lot of the time.
As things started to level out, I realized that I needed to scale back.
Because let’s face it, burnout happens. And when you feel burned out, it really helps to shift what you’re doing.
It helps your mind and your body to make something different than before and try a new approach.
This is where crafting for a cause in small batches is the perfect solution.
Commit to making just 5 – 10 things and seek out things you’ve always wanted to do but hadn’t yet.
It will make a world of difference to your creativity and your desire to give back without feeling defeated before you start.
You’ll Love These Creative Crafts For A Cause
Each of these creative crafts for a cause can be made in a small batch. So even if you only have an hour to spare, you can make something to donate that will help a nonprofit in need.
Make A Fun Handmade Card
A handmade cards always makes a difference to the person receiving it.
This is also a project where you can let your creative juices flow.
A card can be as straightforward as a piece of construction paper with a handwritten message in marker, or you can create something more complex.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Whatever you do, don’t over think it! It’s better to make 10 simple cards than no cards at all.
Sew A Handful Of G-tube Covers
A gastrostomy tube, also know as a g-tube, is a tube that is inserted in the abdomen when people have problems eating and drinking through the mouth.
The g-button delivers nutrition and fluids directly to the stomach to ensure the person stays properly hydrated and nourished.
G-tube covers are also called “button pads” and they can help absorb leakage from the tube. This leads to reduced irritation and inflammation around and under the tube.
So, this small but mighty project not only brings someone comfort, but when you use cute fabrics, it also adds a little bit of fun to day.
You can easily make more than a handful of these g-button pads in an hour.
If you are looking for places to donate g-tube covers, start by contacting your local pediatric hospital because they are often in high demand for children of all ages.
Here is the free g-tube pattern:
And here is a tutorial on how to make a g-tube cover.
Make More Of Your Favorite Fabric Face Mask Pattern
Just like people, fabric face masks come in all shapes and sizes.
As you may already know, the initial face mask donation push was for healthcare and front line workers in various settings.
Now that wearing a mask as protection from coronavirus is required (in some form) in most states, many people find themselves without the right resources.
Even when masks are available the sizing and fit don’t always work.
One group that is especially hard hit is low-income families with children returning to in-person school. The children often have to wear masks that were made for adults.
So as creative crafts for a cause go, making mask will have a very big impact.
If you are able to make and donate fabric face masks, you will immediately make an impact if you take your favorite pattern and make it in a variety of sizes.
Face Mask Patterns To Use
Looking to try a new pattern? Try one of these patterns:
Face Mask Sizing For Children
Sizing for children will be different for each pattern, but if you’re working with a basic rectangle to start, you can adjust fairly easily.
What has worked best for me is for a tween/teen, the finished mask height should be 3.5″.
For a child under 10 the finished mask height should be 3″.
The length of the mask depends on how close you want something to the ears.
So basic measurements for a child means cutting 2 pieces at 4″ x 9″ and, for a tween/teen you want to cut 2 pieces of fabric at 5″ x 9″.
If you want don’t want the sides of the mask too close to the ears, take off 1/2″ – 3/4″ from the length.
Organizations That Need Face Masks
I confirmed that each of these organizations needs face mask donations as of November 2020.
If you plan on making masks in early 2021, please review their website using the links provided above or give them a call before sending to ensure the masks you plan to send still meet their needs.
Construct A Bunch Of Mastectomy Drain Bag Holders
Even the non-crafty can construct this mastectomy drain bag holder!
This project can be done with or without a sewing machine and you can easily buy the materials online.
There are a whole host of ways to make drain bag holders from old t-shirts or cotton fabric – but none of these options is waterproof.
So this drain bag holder waterproof design empowers a mastectomy patient to take a shower more easily.
These waterproof holders will be greatly appreciated by cancer centers and cancer support organizations nationwide.
If you’d like a specific recommendation, Latinas Contra Cancer, Cancer CAREPoint, and Bay Area Cancer Connection are a great place to start.
Sew Sweet Flannel Hearts
Sewing flannel hearts is basically a three-step process.
Cut two pieces of fabric using the flannel hearts pattern, sew the fabric right sides together, turn and top stitch.
This is a great fabric scrap buster because the pieces only need to be 8″ x 8″.
Flannel hearts are used to help parents and preemies bond during the baby’s stay in the NICU.
If you don’t have a local NICU that uses these handmade hearts, Preemies of the Carolinas will gladly accept your donations.
Make A Disposable Mask Wallet
I am a big fan of reusable fabric masks, but they aren’t the right solution for everyone.
For example, some people don’t have easy access to a washer and dryer.
For other people, the fabric masks are uncomfortable and make it hard for them to breathe easily.
So disposable masks are the answer and people typically need to have extras with them at all time.
To help support face mask use of any kind, I designed a fun face mask wallet that folds like an old-school air mail envelope.
These mask wallets are the perfect gift for teachers and school administrations who always need to have extra face masks on-hand.
Sew This Easy Scrub Cap Pattern
Scrub caps are another form of personal protective equipment for people who work in healthcare.
If you don’t already have a favorite pattern, Create To Donate’s free scrub cap pattern is easy to sew and is designed to accommodate people with long hair.
Here is the scrub cap pattern:
And here is the detailed tutorial on how to the make a scrub cap.
Who Needs Scrub Caps?
Many local ERs and urgent care clinics are still in need of scrub caps.
The need for scrub caps, however, goes beyond a hospital setting.
When looking for places that need scrub cap donations, please consider dental clinics like the The University of Washington Geriatric Dental Clinic.
Create Cozy Flannel Pillowcases
For years now, flannel pillowcases have been one of my favorite things to make and give as a gift.
People of all ages love them, but especially kids. I would regularly hear about how they didn’t want to take them off their pillows. Parents told me they were asked to wash the pillowcase immediately so it could be put right back on the pillow.
I wish all children could have that experience, don’t you?
Which Nonprofit Organizations Need Pillowcases?
There are many organizations that accept pillowcases for children in the hospital. I also know that many children and family shelters also have a need.
In researching current needs, I learned that many shelters already have their fill of pillowcases, but as of November 2020, Casa Youth Shelter would love to receive your pillowcase donations.
They will accept pillowcases made from 100% cotton or flannel. Since they serve kids who are 12 – 17, fun and popular character or sports team prints are very welcome.
Make A Simple Toiletry Bag
Hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap are another high-need for nonprofits of all kinds.
These are typically placed in a clear plastic bag because other options are too costly.
A plastic bag works well, for example, for nonprofits serving unhoused people who aren’t currently in a shelter or program.
The plastic bag doesn’t work as well, for nonprofits supporting foster children, though.
In these cases, it is much more valuable and meaningful if the toiletry bag is something long-lasting. Something for foster children to keep and enjoy as their own.
Hope In A Suitcase provides support and essentials to foster children and they are always in need of handmade toiletry bags.
Here is a tutorial on how to make a simple toiletry bag so you can get started.
There Are Countless Ways To Craft For A Cause
There are countless ways to make creative crafts for a cause. The above ideas are just to get you started!
The most important thing to remember is that every item you create will make a difference.
So, how will you make a difference today?