It’s Time to (Fake it Till You) Make it!

I love crafting. I mean, I can’t actually knit or sew, and my competence level with most wood-working tools is spotty at best, but give me some glitter and glue and I can spend hours in a daze, making a mess and sticking things to cardboard. Most level surfaces in my house are filled with random half used but never put away craft supplies from me; I promise my husband just loves it. On a positive note it has encouraged my daughter’s creativity. She loves to ‘do crafts with you mummy'; typically that means she wants to use all the glue and all the glitter on one piece of foam, but who am I to stifle her creative process? Although it kills me to see literal mounds of the good stuff, Martha Stewart  glitter, under the table or in a house plant but…creative process, right?

This time of year is especially great for us economically stunted, wanna-be crafters, a special sub-category of crafters who love to look at websites and magazines and think “I could totally do that on my budget” before accidentally burning our house down with a forgotten, rogue glue gun. This is when I get to pull out all the stops… no holding back… use all the glitter… making gifts for my family and friends. With the last decade’s resurgence in crafting there are lots of great books coming out at all levels for the crafter in you! This is a chance to wow your friends and family this season with special items made from the heart, and on a budget!

bookcover1I always look at the beautiful jewelry at craft shows and bazaars and think “I could make that”, quickly followed by the realization that it wouldn’t actually look like something someone would want to wear if I made it. With Junk-Box Jewelry you see step-by-step EASY TO FOLLOW instructions on how to make awesome pieces with vintage flair. This is a great book for someone who always wanted to make cool jewelry but could never quite figure it out.

There are lots of great felt projects out there nowadays, from flower pins to fuzzy friends for your kids; just check it out on bookcover2Pinterest if you don’t believe me. Two great books, Felties  (which comes in Zombie form too) bookcover3and Happy Stitch, gave me a ton of ideas that I turned into little friends for my daughter, magnets for friends, and tree ornaments for family members. If you have a basic knowledge of sewing, just the mechanics but not even practical experience, then these books can help you create cool little friends that you your kids will love to play with.

Adventures in Pompom Land seemed like one of those craft books that was just. asking. too. much. of me at first. But then the West End bookcover4teen librarian, Miss Annica,  had a pompom making program and I was hooked. Suddenly the adorable little animals in the book were totally within my reach. So don’t be discouraged by the intense instructions in the front of the book; just wrap some yarn around your hand and start without all of the special tools the author talks about, because even she points out that those tools are great for the more advanced pompom fluff maker, but that you can accomplish a lot just with your hands, scissors and yarn.

Last, but certainly not least, Mod Podge Rocks! A great book that shows off all the different kinds of mod podge that exists and some nifty little projects you can do with that wonderfully versatile glue. This book is fun to look at because it gives you starting points so that your imagination can run wild in all different sticky and glittery directions.

–Natalie

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