This Is the $15 Craft Project You Need to Do Before Christmas

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We love a nostalgic recipe or two around the holidays—and same goes for crafts! Learn why bargello, the '70s craft we forgot about, is just right for picking up this season.

The holidays fill us with nostalgia. The second December hits, we’re listening to Christmas tunes from yesteryear, pulling recipes from Grandma’s cookbook and admiring our vintage ornaments. It’s also the perfect time to pick up a retro hobby—one that you can use to add a little flashback flair to your Christmas decor.

After all, holiday decor is all about those handcrafted, vintage touches. We’ve all got a lovingly latch-hooked stocking hanging from the mantle or a few handmade ornaments on the tree. For me the retro hobby I love to tackle during the holidays is bargello.

What Is Bargello?

Bargello is a type of needlework—one of my favorite hobbies. This type of needlecraft requires canvas (typically the plastic kind these days) and tapestry wool. From there, you use these materials to make straight stitches to create designs.

You might recognize the flame designs from the 1970s when this craft had its heyday, but today there are much more creative and modern designs out there.

Bargello Crafts for Christmas


For me, bargello is the perfect holiday craft. You can easily curl up on the sofa with your supplies while you watch a few Christmas movies.

And unlike other forms of needlepoint or embroidery, bargello goes quickly. The thick wool and large plastic canvas mean you make fewer stitches, so you can actually finish a few decorations before the holidays (I can’t say the same for all of my Christmas cross-stitch projects!).

How to Get Started

What I love about this craft is you don’t need a lot to get started and the supplies don’t take up a lot of space—ideal for someone with an overstuffed craft closet like myself. All the supplies you need can fit inside a shoebox.

The first step to starting with bargello is deciding what pattern you’d like to try. Hello Bargello, the cutest craft company specializing in this lost art, offers plenty of patterns for digital download. I went pattern crazy and opted for the Christmas tree tapestry and ornament set. These patterns cost $15 or less—so you don’t need a lot to get started.

A few other supplies you’ll need are:

If you’re really starting from scratch on your craft journey, you can take a shortcut: Hello Bargello offers kits with everything you need (perfect for folks without craft cupboards brimming with every kind of embroidery floss). Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to finish up my bargello ornaments and maybe start on some holiday crafts using last year’s Christmas cards.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.