Which pictures would you choose to become a stackable photo blocks display?
Book info: Paper Artist: Creations You Can Fold, Tear, Wear, or Share / Gail D. Green, Kara L. Laughlin, and Jennifer Phillips. Capstone Young Readers, 2013. [publisher site]
My Recommendation:It’s easy to make charming gifts, decorations, and keepsakes as you become a Paper Artist, using ordinary materials in unusual ways like turning paper into wearable shareables with new techniques.
Dangling earrings are lightweight and lovely when crafted from paper. A ‘quilling pen’ allows you to twirl paper strips into cleverly curled decorations used on the Heads Up headband and Quilled Nameplate.
Plan a perfect Purse with patterned cardstock or turn plain shoes into Fancy Footwear, perhaps with old book pages. The tissue paper Hat is surprisingly sophisticated, while the matching possibilities of the button-clasp Belt and Beaded Bracelet are endless.
Transform flower petals and paper into a Captivating Container to hold trinkets, repurpose a cereal box into the Fluttering Butterfly Gift Bag, and make your own Stationery Paper with the recycling instructions included.
Several variations on handmade boxes, artwork, frames, and flowers round out this selection of over 50 artistic paper crafts, providing lots of options for your own creativity to flourish. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
What to do with that earring who’s lost its mate?
Hmmm… you’ve saved all the beads from that broken necklace…
There’s got to be a way to showcase that stunning sea glass without drilling holes in it!
With some crafting tools, wire, and jewelry “findings” (clasps, jump rings, etc.), you can turn these assorted bits into great jewelry – elegant or funky, casual or ooh-la-la.
Sarah Drew shares techniques and ideas from her successful handmade jewelry business in England so that you can let your imagination transform parts, pieces, and pearls into wearable art.
With lots of color photos and instructions, this Zest Books paperback hits the shelves on June 26, 2012, so zip in to your favorite independent bookstore then, and ask your local library to order it, too.
When folks start asking to buy your one-of-a-kind jewelry, be sure to grab Kenrya Rankins’ Start It Up (recommendation) so you can build a great business plan for your new enterprise.
Book info: Junk-Box Jewelry: 25 DIY Low-Cost (or No-Cost) Jewelry Projects / Sarah Drew. Zest Books, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My Book Talk: If you want to create new jewelry from interesting bits and pieces, then this is the book for you! Sarah Drew provides clear instructions and diagrams for basic and intermediate wire-crafting techniques, plus twenty-five innovative jewelry concepts from funky to fancy.
Once you have a few very basic tools and the right kind of wire and jewelry fittings from the local craft department, then you’re ready to start looking around your house, rummage sales, and even the beach for the colored, sparkly, smooth or shiny items that will feature in your creations.
Perhaps you’ll start mastering your wire techniques by remaking old beads into a new Retro-Bauble Bracelet or a fanciful Bling Ring. A Vintage Lace Choker has white glue as its secret ingredient, ornamented by a few well-placed reclaimed beads or faux gems.
You’ll learn how to suspend a beautiful stone as a pendant without drilling a hole in it, go green by making your own colorful tube-beads with magazine photos for a Newsstand Necklace, and turn hardware store finds into “charms” that will make your Toolbox Bracelet unique.
With a little practice, you can crochet wire into fanciful Cuff Bracelets or twist and twirl it around pearl-beads to fashion an intricate Art Deco Bracelet. For the prom or that special night out, create Elegant Earrings and a Juliet Headband to match your favorite outfit.
Once you’ve learned these basic jewelry techniques, you’re only limited by your imagination and the intriguing pieces of old brooches, sea glass, silk flowers, and thrift-store treasures that you find! (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Craving a new journal in your favorite colors? Easy.
Need an itsy-bitsy notebook to slip a secret pocket? Simple.
Want to use that single unique sheet of patterned paper in a special way? Can do!
With this Fun Friday find, you can make your very own books from a wide range of materials.
Go green as you use old postcards as covers for a travel journal!
Be ready for a new school year with fabulous keepsake-gathering book featuring ziptop bags as pages.
Make all your holiday gifts with your own two hands, the paper and cover stock that you find, and some very simple tools.
Erin gives very understandable step-by-step instructions for each binding method, and you’re sure to go beyond her examples to create one-of-a-kind books that you’ll be proud to show off, share, or even sell. Of course, some will be so special that you’ll just hide them away so you can enjoy them all by yourself.
Book info: At Home With Handmade Books: 28 Extraordinary Bookbinding Projects Made from Ordinary and Repurposed Materials / Erin Zamrzla. Shambhala Publications, 2011. [author’s website] [publisher site] [Video one and two – make a tag notebook!] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My Book Talk: Recycle everyday materials into amazing personalized books as you create a Pillowcase Dream Journal or a Peek-a-Book with these clear instructions and step-by-step photos. Turn a favorite bookmark into an accordion book with space to write notes or make your travel pix into a fanfolded Travel Photo Album. Charming flutter books include a Sketch/Jot Journal, just right-sized for your jeans pocket.
Learn simple four-hole binding to make a Cut, Keep, Collage Storage Book with ziptop plastic bag pages for corralling photos and ticket stubs or use a sponge as the cover of your favorite Cleaning Hints Book. Take the outside cover of an old children’s book and rebind it with journal pages inside – ultimate recycling! The Yamato binding technique is preferred for the perfumed “Sweet Secrets Sachet Book,” while Ledger binding transforms leftover papers into a “Recycle Bin Memo Pad.”
Zamzrla explains tools, techniques, and papers as she guides you through each project and makes suggestions for variations and tweaks. Learn how to make these 28 handmade books, and you’ll always have great ideas for gifts and beautiful journals at your fingertips! (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
Transform a thrift store find into haute couture with this well-designed book of clothing transformation techniques and pattern-starters.
Austin sewing wiz Tina Sparkles has turned her popular Stitch Lab classes into a book filled with easy-to-follow lessons about selecting garments and fabrics for repurposing, how to measure and create patterns, basic sewing techniques, and clever finishing touches for your one-of-a-kind outfit. (Cashmere hoodie! Suit-jacket skirt!)
Little Green Dresses gives you 50 potential ways to reuse and recycle as you practice your sewing skills to “go green” with your own unique style.
Book info: Little Green Dresses / by Tina Sparkles. Taunton Press, 2010. [author’s website] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Recommendation: Create your own one-of-a-kind fashions from old garments and vintage fabrics using the techniques and patterns shared by Tina Sparkles and her fashion-designer friends. Tina notes that over 17 million pounds of clothing are thrown in the trash in the United States each year, so she challenges creative gals to rescue the fabric from discards to make new-again tops, skirts, dresses, shorts, rompers, and even coats.
Learn how to make patterns, using your own personal measurements, so that each design can be custom-fitted to you. All sewing techniques are clearly explained, from making a casing for elastic to clipping seam allowances to installing a zipper.
Each design includes what pattern-making experience you need (1= straight lines only, 4= major adjustments) and the sewing skills necessary (1= sew a straight seam, 2= facings and buttonholes, 3= zippers, invisible hems). The easiest designs are first in each chapter so you can gain more skills as you make cute clothes.
If you can sew a straight seam using a sewing machine, then you can turn a silky long robe into a slinky Rectangle Tie Shrug or an Ultra Mini-Skirt (easy designs). With more experience, two large men’s sweaters become a Cashmere Hoodie and a suit coat is transformed into a Suit Skirt (complete with the suit coat buttons on the front) in skill level 2 designs.
More advanced projects see sheer curtains made into a stunning tunic, t-shirt sheets fashioned into no-side-seam leggings, and an old corduroy blanket revived as a coat.
Use the ideas and techniques in this book to change up the look of clothes in your closet, the too-large items from the vintage store, or fabric finds from swap meets and garage sales as you go green and get creative. Fashionistas – start your sewing machines!! (one of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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