Bring out your children’s creativity and imagination with more than 60 kids’ art activities from the creator of The Artful Parent blog.
Art making is a wonderfully fun way for young children to tap into their imagination, deepen their creativity, and explore new materials, all while strengthening their fine motor skills and developing self-confidence. The Artful Parent has all the tools and information you need to encourage your children’s creativity through art. You’ll learn how to set up an art space, how to talk to children about their artwork, how to choose the best art supplies (without breaking the bank), how to re-purpose and organize the piles of art created, and even how to use kids’ art activities to soften everyday transitions. The more than sixty engaging kids’ arts and crafts projects included here are accessible and developmentally appropriate for one- to eight-year-olds, and they’re a far cry from the cookie-cutter crafts many of us did in school as kids.
From bubble prints to musical chairs art, these kids art activities allow children to explore art materials, techniques, and ideas as they grow more creative every day. With activities for down times, action art for releasing energy, and recipes for making your own art materials, this book is your guide for raising an artful family. (description from publisher)
Make a garden of paper flowers bloom with more than 25 sophisticated patterns designed by Jeffery Rudell, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. and The New York Botanical Garden to Good Housekeeping magazine. The unique projects in Paper Flowers will inspire and delight.
Just follow the full-size patterns and hundreds of step-by-step photos and simply cut, fold, and crumple to create these extraordinary blossoms, which feature a variety of papers such as tissue, origami, rice, vellum, and glassine. Pretty and modern, these easy-to-do projects are perfect for weddings, holidays, and other celebrations and make great centerpieces, garlands, bouquets, card decorations, and more. (description from publisher)
If you’re anything like me, you spend an exorbitant amount of time on Pinterest pinning projects that you’ll never finish (who am I kidding, never even start). Of course you have all the best intentions to create that mason jar vase or handmade soaps, but last time you created something it should have ended up on Pinterest Fail. And while many of my own Pinterest mishaps are purely the result of my impatience or inability to follow directions correctly, some are simply because I’m following the directions of another novice that lacks an editor.
Austin-based fabric designer, Laurie Wisbrun‘s book Embellish Me removes that amateur obstacle. A professional fabric designer, Wisbrun brings expertise to the world of DIY. As a visual person, I found Wisbrun’s step-by-step photography easy to follow and the directions complete. The instructions make clear the tools and materials that will be needed for each project, and the interviews with other professional fabric artists were interesting and it was a treat to see their lovely works.
With a mix of instruction, ideas, and artist introductions — this is a book for crafting rookies and experts alike.
Metalworking is generally regarded as a skill that takes years of dedication, requires a large studio space, and costs a lot of money. Fortunately, Simple Soldering proves that does not need to be the case.
This handy how-to guide is complete in its exploration of the craft of creating soldered metal jewelry, including tools, techniques, and 20 beautiful projects that beginners and enthusiasts can make at home. Author and teacher Kate Richbourg demystifies basic soldering for any home crafter, showing how to create sophisticated, polished, and professional-looking jewelry pieces through simple soldering techniques. She instructs how to set up a jewelry workspace that fits the confines of your budget and living space and provides detailed step-by-step instructions to walk you through the basic tools and materials you need, plus how to use them. A host of introductory exercises teach solid skills, allowing you to test techniques on a small scale. And you’ll discover 20 finished projects that include earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets, and clasps that may also include bead or wire embellishment.
With Simple Soldering, the art of metal working one-of-a-kind jewelry is now at your fingertips. (description from publisher)
Why not celebrate winter and bring a touch of nature indoors by creating a charming bark wreath bursting with red roses or a twig globe entwined with delicate amaryllis?
In Beautiful Winter, author and florist Edle Catharina Norman shows how to use seasonal materials and flowers to put together 53 entrancing — and easy to assemble — home projects. From festive garlands to fun table decorations (including candlesticks made of apples), you’ll find an array of unique ideas to inspire you. Illustrated with more than 55 full-color photographs, this book presents glorious decorations that will warm your heart on even the coldest winter day. (description from publisher)
This month is all about pumpkin lattes, Halloween costumes, and vibrant fall leaves, but it’s also when crafty people start looking ahead to the winter holidays. If you’re planning to create or make gifts by hand this year, now is the time to get cracking! Additionally, the Christmas and winter themed books that will be in short supply after Thanksgiving are abundant in October, so you are much more likely to find something inspiring when you stop by DPL.
The Art of Gift Wrapping: No matter what’s inside the package, thoughtful gift wrapping always makes it much more special. Instead of last-resort gift bags and tissue paper, check out this book for ideas and detailed instructions on innovative and lovely gift wrapping techniques.
Classic Crafts and Recipes for the Holidays: For timeless and sophisticated (and decidedly not “beginner”) DIY decorating, Martha Stewart’s books are the way to go. This particular one includes directions for some stunning outdoor-only ice decorations as well as decadent holiday recipes and some very creative uses for velvet.
Knitted Gifts and Holiday Knits each include the instructions for quite a few lovely knitting projects that are sure to please anyone on your gift list, from Christmas stockings to baby booties, cable-knit hats and mittens and decorative ornaments. All projects include photos and patterns. Easy for experienced knitters, but not out of reach for beginners either.
Did you know about air plants?! Sounds kinda sci-fi, doesn’t it! Also known as an epiphyte, air plants get their nutrients from the surrounding air and thus do not need roots. Cool! They kind of remind me of a miniature, land-dwelling octopus or Thing from the Addams Family. Now here did I learn about these awesome plants? From Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant, & Kate Baldwin!
I always thought that Terrariums were very difficult to upkeep and required intense calculations to maintain their delicate ecosystems, but Terrarium Craft has since convinced me that Terrariums are my new super laid-back, always stylish best friends. In fact, according to Amy, Kate & Kate, I don’t even have to put living plants in my terrariums if I don’t want to–I could use pretty sands, rocks, crystals, and dried flowers to make super lovely displays. However, they make even the plant terrariums seem easy by using moss balls, air plants, succulents and other easy care plants and arranging them with sweet figurines, geodes, books and costume jewelry to create little whimsical, fairytale-like scenes. I want to live in their terrariums, but, until I find a shrinking raygun, I will just check out Terrarium Craft from the library and make one of my own. It will totally have a geode and an air plant and will be based on that classic Ringo Starr hit, Octopus’s Garden.
It may be 100 billion degrees outside at the moment, but Chrismas is just six months away! If you’re a crafter and plan to make gifts for friends and family this year (and those are the best gifts by far), then you know you need to get started now – if you haven’t already. Here are some new craft books to inspire you.
Fa La La La Felt: 45 Handmade Holiday Decorations by Amanda Carestio
The Feisty Stitcher: Sewing Projects with Attitude by Susan Wasinger
Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts by Martha Stewart
30-Minute Necklaces: 60 Quick and Creative Projects for Jewelers by Marthe LeVan
Making Handmade Books: 100 Plus Bindings, Structures and Forms by Alisa Golden
The World of Geekcraft: Step-by-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects by Susan Beal and Jay B. Sauceda is one of my favorite new craftbooks. What really sets this book apart from the other zillion hip craft books on the shelf is the wide variety of crafts (it’s about time a craft book included fuse beads!) and the cool extras such as the craft designer’s own websites and inserted text explaining the stories behind the geekiness.
Have I made anything from this craftbook? Nope.
Have I still checked it out from the library multiple times? Yes.
And do I really really hope that someday I will make something from it? YES!
Here are a few of the things I wish to make:
•Coraline Mystery Sewing Box by Susan Beal
•Oregon Trail Cross-stitch by John Lohman
•Buffy Fuse Bead Portrait by Shayne Rioux
Some of my other favorite geeky craft books are the The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton and The Muppets Big Book of Crafts by the Muppet Workshop
Filled with beautiful photos, The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket is not just for quilters – anyone will be able to find ample inspiration in the designs, colors and presentation of these glorious quilts.
Ideal for beginners as well as more experience quilters, instructions are given for 15 quilts and emphasize simplicity. Descriptions are clear and written in a chatty and encouraging tone. These quilts are more European in style; many take full advantage of the lovely large floral fabrics that are becoming more popular, and have a softer, less defined overall look and feel than many traditional American patchwork quilts. They are undeniably lovely.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this book though, is the design and inspiration process that Brocket takes us through for each quilt. The author shows us what has inspired a particular quilt – a favorite summer dress, flowers from the garden, a backyard hammock, tiles from Lisbon or a shawl from Russia – and then demonstrates how she translates this starting point into a quilt. Besides the usual section on how to make a quilt, Brocket lists favorite inspirations – books, shops, blogs, museums – and gives valuable insight on how to translate your vision into a finished object to be loved and cherished.