Crafty readers

Last year a big name arts and crafts retailer opened its doors here in Montreal. I was super excited to check it out until I realized I had no idea what to do with most of the thing they sell.  I have yet to finish knitting a scarf I started in early 2011, and a set of scrapbooking stickers I bough eight years ago is still in its packaging.


Fortunately for retailers, I’m not the norm and the number of crafters keeps growing every year. The publishing industry has been keeping up with this trend and thousands of books with ideas for knitting, scrapbooking, kids craft, etc. can be found; online retailer Amazon has almost one hundred thousand books on the subject.


Many of these books come from the queen of arts and crafts: Ms. Martha Stewart. Her books cover most types of arts and crafts. Paper flowers? Got it. Embroidery? You betcha. Home décor? Pluh-ease. Making wreaths? Oh yeah.  If it can be made at home, Martha will know how to do it. If she doesn’t (which seems preposterous), there is a good chance her publisher, Potter Crafts, has a book on that. They specialize in crafts and DIY books on papercrafts, sewing, jewelry making, knitting and much more.


Another prominent author is Mark Montano with his Big-Ass Books series and a personal favorite Dollar Store Decor: 100 Projects for Lush Living That Won’t Break the Bank (in collaboration with Jeremy Nelson).


Because the offer is so great, it is difficult to choose which books are the best. Therefore I’ve chosen to select a few of the most interesting ones like:

–  The Star Trek Craft Book: Make It So! (Angie Pedersen)

– Tape It & Make It: 101 Duct Tape Activities (Richela Fabian Morgan)

– Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away…. (Chris Alexander)

– The Complete Book of Retro Crafts: Collecting, Displaying & Making Crafts of the Past (Suzie Millions).


For the environmentally conscious there are also many books on eco-friendly crafts such as:

– Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle (Susan Wasinger)

– Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have (Danny Seo)

– Craftcycle: 100+ Earth-Friendly Projects and Ideas for Everyday Living (Heidi Boyd)

– Rubbish!: Reuse Your Refuse (Kate Shoup)


For those trying to make a living out of their crafts there are now plenty of books offering advice on the subject.  Many of them focus on online seller Etsy like Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business ( Jason Malinak), while others like The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line (Kari Chapin) offer a broader approach.


Whether you do it for profit or for pleasure, I hope this guide helps you find new and interesting ideas for your projects. As for me, I’m going to try to finish that scarf…hopefully it will be ready for winter.


Photo: Weinstock

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