If the summer months feel as though they are dragging, maybe taking up a new hobby will help pass the time. Recently, a variety of craft books, ranging from beading to stuffed animals, has arrived in bookstores. So clear off the kitchen table, fire up your iPod, choose a book and get busy.
• Sparkletastic: Dazzling Jewelry and Fashion Projects for the Discriminating Diva, by Margot Potter (North Light Books, 128 pages, $19.99, paperback): The Impatient Beader is at it again, with projects that include jewelry, clothing, purses and more. And to live up to the title, every project features an element of glitz – such as Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, and/or glittering gemstones.
• Creative Juice: 45 Re-crafting Projects to Make With Recycled Stuff, by Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza (Lark Books, 128 pages, $14.95, paperback): Have a bunch of found objects that you’re itching to make art out of? Consider this your manual. Authored by the hosts of the popular DIY Network show Creative Juice, this page-turner offers crafty recipes that are easy, clever and fun.
Just for the Frill of It: 25 Flirty, Fabulous Styles to Make From Clothes You Already Own, by Sonya Nimri (Watson-Guptill, 112 pages, $12.95, paperback): Craft goddess Nimri serves up do-it-yourself ideas for revamping your ho-hum wardrobe into a collection of sexy and stylish wearables. Each project comes with a sidebar of things to do while wearing the outfit, such as a blouse called “Laced with Charm,” for which Nimri suggests: “Ride a carousel, buy a charm bracelet, wear bright pink lip gloss.”
• Get Real Greetings: Creating Cards for Your Sassiest Sentiments, edited by Jessica Strawser (North Light Books, 112 pages, $17.95, paperback): Forget birthdays and babies – there are other events that deserve a heartfelt handmade card – such as dealing with a speeding ticket, PMS, divorce and milestones often overlooked. They aren’t all downer subjects; there are also happy themes, such as weight loss, promotions and weddings.
• Ribbon and Trims: 100 Ideas for Personalizing Your Home, by Annabel Lewis (Potter Craft, 160 pages, $25.95, paperback): If you are addicted to embellishments, chances are, you have a treasure box of trims. This book shows you what to do with them. Step-by-step instructions are matched with gorgeous, color photos of pillows, dressers, lampshades and more.
• Fleecie Pets: Easy-to-Make Cuddly Animal Friends, by Fiona Goble (Watson-Guptill, 95 pages, $12.95, paperback): Even beginner sewers will appreciate this guide to creating adorable stuffed animals, complete with clothing and accessories. Includes patterns.
Other titles to check out:
– Knit Kimono: 18 Designs with Simple Shapes by Vicki Square
– Pretty in Punk: 25 Punk, Rock, and Goth Knitting Projects by Alyce Benevides, Jaqueline Milles
– Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco
– The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith
Author of Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life ($19.95, Collins Design, an imprint of Harper Collins).
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