Christmas has a wonderful knack of making a house welcoming and warm. The corner of the room, home to the coffee table that was never used, is now the home of a decorative tree that lights up the space. The stair banister that you’ve only ever seen as a practical element to your home now has a garland that gives the hallway a new lease of life. Then there’s the door that you’ve only ever taken notice of to make sure you get your key into the keyhole has a wreath that yells at your guests ‘come in and join the festive fun!’. There’s no denying that Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.
But, (unwillingly) we do have to pay some attention to the parts of Christmas that are never discussed and raise some decoration concerns. Some little annoyances that ever so slightly dampen our festive decor cheer. The pesky things that turn the decorations on. An array of twinkling lights are beautiful and effortlessly brightens a room, but follow the origin of the sparkle and you will be met by a much less festive battery box that offers absolutely no Christmas fun at all. It’s like a magician telling you the secret of performing a trick whilst the magic is happening. It makes it feel far less magical.
It’s something we have always considered, but never really paid much attention to. We always just thought ‘it is what it is, we want the lights and they need batteries to function’. But, this year was different. When our local coffee shop asked us to offer a helping hand with covering up the battery box on its beautiful, festive table decorations we immediately rose to the challenge that has been nagging us every December for as long as we can remember.
And, although we hate to admit it, we are kicking ourselves for not doing this years ago. It’s easy, takes no time at all, uses hardly any tools, but makes the world of difference to the decorations!
Here’s what you need!
Crochet Hook (we used a 5mm, but it’s hard going on the hands)
Wool Darning needle
Firstly, a quick note about jute
- st = stitch
- yo = yarn over
- ch = chain (yo, pull through)
- sl st = slip stitch (insert hook, yo, pull through both loops)
- dc = double crochet (insert hook, yo pull through, yo pull through both loops)
Here’s what you do!
For our pattern we worked a jacket for a 2 X AA battery box. You can make one for any size box, but you will need to adjust the number of your foundation chain.
Using a 5mm hook, make a slip knot, then crochet a further 11 chains.
The length of the chain is the hardest part of the jacket. Once you have got the right amount of chains for your particular box, you simply work in rounds until you get the length you require. Wrap your foundation chain around your box to check the size. The ends should just about touch, when you slightly stretch the chain. That way the jacket will fit nice and snug when finished. You will find that once completed there will be a bit of give in the jacket. If you want it to be loose, that is entirely up to you, and if that is the look you are after, work more chains if desired.
Miss the chain that is closest to the hook, and dc into the 2nd chain from the hook (1st stitch completed). Work a further 9 dc back along the foundation chain. You should end in the stitch before the slip knot worked at the beginning. (10sts)
The jacket is worked in continuous rounds. To create the rounds you need to join the two ends together. To do this, make sure the chain isn’t twisted and insert your hook into the 1st stitch of the last row. This will form a circle and you are now ready to start working in rounds.
Work a dc into this stitch and then place a stitch marker in it to keep track of the 1st stitch in the round.
Work a dc into each stitch until you get back to the stitch marker. This counts as a round.
It’s a good idea at this point to check that your jacket is the right size. Place it over the battery box to see if it fits. Now is the time to unpick it if you’re not happy. If it’s too loose, start again with fewer stitches in your foundation chain. If it’s too small, add some more to the chain. It’s worth getting it exactly right and once you are happy, a top tip is to keep a note book handy so that you can write down what size hook and length of chain you used. That way if you ever want to make some more, you can make it the correct size straight away.
If you are happy with the size, sew up the foundation chain end using a large eye darning needle. Start at the end with the tail and press the seam flat. Sew along the bottom. To get a neat finish, pick up the outer stitch on each side.
Sew in the loose end securely and cut of any excess tail.
Now it’s just a case of working in rounds until you get to the desired length. We worked a total of 10 rounds, but you may find yours differs due to tension or hook used. It’s a good idea to keep placing the marker in the 1st stitch of each round. It’s not essential but it means that you will finish in the right place once your jacket is completed.
Once you are happy with the length and have tried it one last time just to be sure of the fit, cut the twine and pull through. Sew in the loose end making sure it is secure and cut off any excess twine.
Although the box is needed for the lights to work, it now doesn’t look too obvious.
You can make them for any size box. We have two different sizes on our lights. For the 3 X AA box, we worked 15 stitches in each round for a total of 10 rounds.
A great way to disguise an essential but ugly box.
WARNING – NEVER LEAVE LIGHTS UNATTENDED & REMOVE BATTERIES WHEN NOT BEING USED
So next time you’re at your local DIY store or garden centre, grab yourself some twine and get crocheting and give your battery boxes a makeover.
We love seeing your creations and makes, so don’t forget to tag us #CraftyCoCreations
The Crafty Co