Thinking of getting your creative juices flowing and want to support American-made products? Looking for creative gift ideas? You’re in luck. This list of projects will have you feeling inspired without jeopardizing your pursuit of all things ethically sourced.

Homemade Jewelry Made With Homeland Materials

Handcrafted jewelry is a great craft project idea for several reasons. The materials are relatively inexpensive, so even novice jewelry makers can easily teach themselves (the internet is full of introductory and advanced jewelry tutorials), and they make fantastic gifts for friends and family. Plus, they’re a craft you can WEAR! There’s something deeply satisfying about getting compliments on statement jewelry YOU created.

So where do you go for American-made jewelry materials? If you’re primarily interested in necklaces and bracelets constructed out of beads, several sites offer a diverse array of products.

If, instead, you are interested in jewelry that involves intricate braiding, this company offers locally-sourced yarn. And click here to find unique bugle beads from Crazy Crow Trading Post, with products manufactured in the USA.

Sweet and Simple DIY Love Notes

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get creative. What better way to honor your loved ones than with handcrafted, made-with-love messages and tokens of love? This Pinterest board has some great ideas, one of my favorites being this pattern for a DIY Fortune Teller! (You know… like the ones you used to make in school!)

This handy tutorial shows you how to make a paper fortune teller, whether with a print-out or a design of your own. You’ll need an 8 x 11 piece of paper and some markers.  American made Sharpies come in a huge range of colors, so you can come up with festive designs on your own.

Once you’ve constructed your fortune teller, scrawl the appropriate numbers on each panel and jot sweet wishes and promises into each section.

Make a PinCushion With These Easy Steps

This project is perfect for the sewing-addicts among you! First, cut out a piece of fabric. (For a list of U.S.A.-manufactured textiles click here.) For this project you’ll need: four pieces of fabric (3.5 x 3.5 each, with alternating fabric patterns), fabric marker, matching color thread, dressmaker’s pins, fiber to use as stuffing, a pretty button, and a ruler.

  1. Lay out your pieces of fabric so that two contrasting pieces are facing each other–vivid side touching.
  2. Pin them together and repeat the step with the two remaining pieces of fabric.
  3. Using your ruler, mark ¼” from the edge of the fabric and machine sew the pieces. Repeat with the remaining square.
  4. Match the two squares together so the fabric forms a large piece. You’re going to mark ¼” from the center, now, and once again, pin and machine sew.
  5. By now you should have a four-square with alternating patterns.
  6. Now you’re going to repeat the process again and machine sew. You should have a little pouch.
  7. Next, open it up, match the two centers together and pin.
  8. Machine sew again, leaving a ¼” “allowance.”
  9. Turn the fabric inside out by flipping fabric back through the opening.
  10. Stuff your cushion full of fiber!
  11. Seal the gap and sew through the center.
  12. Now add a pretty button!

This video really helped me out!  Feel free to consult for visual instructions.

There you have it… three great DIYs featuring U.S.A.-made materials. If you have any crafts or projects you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment below!

Amber Kingsley is a writer who lives in Southern California when she's not exploring the world. D.I.Y. crafts have been a hobby of hers for years, and she hopes to use her experience with diverse kinds of projects to help others with their own projects. You can connect with her on Google+