While Pinterest and other online resources can be a great source of inspiration when you feel a ‘crafternoon’ coming on, oftentimes nothing beats a good old fashioned craft book for getting those creative juices flowing. Click through to see my favourite reads.
1. A Little Bit Crafty by Frankie Press
I’m a long, LONG time fan of Frankie Mag. For those not familiar with the publication, it’s a monthly Australian magazine that’s filled to the brim with the latest quirky, crafty and cool finds, interviews with creatives from all genres and interesting reads that provoke thought and on more than one occasion have made me laugh out loud on the bus like a crazy person.
So when Frankie Press released their book A Little Bit Crafty, you can bet I nabbed one of those babies straight away. And it was everything I’d hoped it’d be! The book contains 39 sweet, unique and offbeat projects that I can honestly say I would never have thought up myself, but once I saw them in print, I couldn’t wait to try them out (my favourites so far are the spotty, stripy stacked planter and the eyeball tennis rackets). They focus largely on upcycling materials readily available around the home and are contributed by a number of different Australian and New Zealand creatives, which means there’s something for everyone! Grab your copy at the Frankie Press shop.
2. The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme
I was initially attracted to this book by its title (The Year of Cozy, you can’t get more scrumptious than that right?), and then was soon won over by its contents. I’ll admit it was an unusual buy for me, because in addition to crafts, it’s jam packed full of recipes and anyone who knows me will know I can’t cook to save my life! But I quickly got hooked on how every page in this beautiful read inspired me to inject a little more lovely into each day.
The Year of Cozy is broken up into three sections titled ‘Make’, ‘Live’, ‘Do’ and contains crafty DIYs, recipes and ideas to make the small moments in each day as enjoyable as the big ones. There’s pages for each season of the year, so regardless of what month it is you’ll never be without a project to get stuck into. And best of all, each tutorial contains simple and easy to follow instructions that even I, the kitchen disaster, can handle. I have to say, it has fast become my go-to ‘feel-good’ craft and recipe book… for more details, visit Adrianna’s blog or you can order on Amazon.
3. Make & Do by Beci Orpin
You might think I’m biased being a fellow Aussie, but Beci Orpin is truly a talent to be reckoned with and the pages of her book Make & Do are guaranteed to put a smile on your dial.
Containing easy to follow instructions and beautiful illustrations in Beci’s signature bright and colourful style, the 25 projects in her book were created to be a little whimsical and a whole lot of fun (think giant wall sprinkles, patterned leggings and latch-hook rugs). The projects are broken up into chapters that focus on wood, paper, textiles and repurposed items, and are perfect for injecting a healthy dose of creativity into your everyday. Want to see more? Visit Beci’s website for all the details (or you can also get the book over on Amazon).
4. Make By Hand by Lena Corwin
I adore craft books that introduce me to new skills while also sharing projects that are both beautiful and functional. Made By Hand is all of those things – it covers techniques that I’ve never tried before like hand embroidery and screen printing and has tutorials for items I just know will come in handy in my day-to-day living like coiled bowls, knitted socks, olive-oil soaps and a woven camera strap.
What I love about this book is that in making it, Lena brought together a group of talented artists who had taught workshops at her studio, compiling all of their best-of-the-best projects into one inspiring read. So reading it is the next best thing to taking one of those classes; the instructions for each project are set out in a clear and simple way and come complete with beautifully shot photographs of every step to ensure you’re never lost. To find out more, visit Lena’s website (or you can also order through Amazon).
5. The Craft Companion
From the moment I laid eyes on The Craft Companion, I knew it was love at first sight. Ramona Barry and Rebecca Jobson somehow read my mind and put together the book that I always wanted but never dreamed existed; an encyclopaedia of crafting techniques to allow makers to hone their knowledge and skills, complete with loads of inspiring projects and simply gorgeous photography.
Don’t let my use of the word ‘encyclopaedia’ fool you – this book is anything but dry or boring. Its 400 pages are filled to the brim with over 30 different crafts like clay, dye, applique and origami; each technique comes complete with a section about its origins and history, the tools you need to get started and a few inspiring artists who specialise in that area to really get you motivated. Oh, and then there are the projects, which are super lovely, fun AND functional. I really can’t rave enough about this book; it’s become my crafting bible. To order yourself a copy, visit Handmade Life.