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One and Only World Famous Crochet Museum

Psst. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.

Shari Elf, owner of the World Famous Crochet Museum, doesn’t know how to crochet. The contents of the World Famous Crochet Museum (World Famous Crochet Museum is its full name) certainly do belong to her, but she stitched not a one.

Photo of Crochet Museum in old Fotomat building. Small building is bright green with a large window.
The one-and-only world Famous Crochet Museum. **

They do say “stitch” in crocheting, don’t they? Maybe I should simply say she didn’t crochet any of the countless number of creations contained within the museum.

The World Famous Crochet Museum is located in Joshua Tree, California. It’s just off the main drag through town, beside the Art Queen gallery and behind the Beauty Bubble beauty shop.

Elf is an artist and singer who says she is “time affluent.” I like that term. It makes the statement that people can be affluent in ways other than those determined in dollars and cents.

As Elf says, it means she has the time to do what she wants to do.

Photo of author standing inside the crochet museum.
Ya' can't help but smile inside the World Famous Crochet Museum. **

The museum is inside what used to be a Fotomat photo building. The kind that, way back in the old days before this new-fangled digital photography stuff, people would drive up to, drop off the film from their cameras and come back a day or two later to pick up their printed photographs.

Elf fell in love with the building, didn’t know what she was going to do with it, and bought it anyway.

Meanwhile, she also has a long-standing love of kitschy, hand-made crocheted items. She’d started a small collection of the kind that cover toilet paper rolls, bottles and all sorts of miscellaneous animals.

Well, one thing led to another, the collection moved into the old Fotomat booth and, as they say, the rest is history. In addition to crocheted pieces Elf continues to pick up on her own, many other crochet enthusiasts have donated pieces for the collection.

Photo inside crochet museum of handwritten sign suggesting a 25 cent donation and purchase of a pin.
A quarter is the least you can do for all this wonderfulness. **

Now, instead of dropping photos off at the Fotomat, people stop in from far and wide to have their photos taken at the booth alongside the adorable creatures found inside.

By the way, technically Elf is not the curator of the World Famous Crochet Museum. That distinction falls to Bunny, a green crocheted alligator. Bunny and sidekick Buddy look over all the many details involved with opening the museum doors every day.

Bunny even had a talk show once upon a time, if you’d like to watch an early episode check out the video to the right:

There’s no fee to enter the museum but be a good person and buy one of the small button pins you’ll find on the shelf, the pleasure of seeing the museum should be worth at least a buck.

Just a few steps over from the World Famous Crochet Museum is the Art Queen where Elf sells her work along with those of other artists. There’s yet another building nearby for special artist showings and a stage for whatever the mood might strike.

If you’d like to learn more about Elf, a California PBS station created this video in 2012:


**I allow use of my photos through Creative Commons License. I'm not looking to make money off this thing. I only ask you provide me with credit for the photo by noting my blog address,, or a link back to this page.


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