Started using a planner and decorating it (planners/ organisers aren't just about writing things down anymore, it's an art nowadays!) has brought the crafty side out of me this year. I have been making my own stickers, planner dividers and polymer clay charms, but when we were offered the opportunity to review Thames & Hudson's new range - the Craft Studio Books (RRP £9.95 each; links to Amazon UK), I've found the craft that I absolutely love.
The Craft Studio Book series launched yesterday with 4 topics in the collection - Stamping & Printing, Tote Bags, Brooches and Decorating with Pompoms & Tassels. Each of the book features 20 creative projects that comes with beautifully photographed pictures, a list of items you need for each project and detailed instructions on how to make them. At the end of each book there are stencils as well you can use for the projects.
One particular Craft Studio Book has gotten my full attention - the Decorating with Pompoms & Tassels book. It was so inspiring that I've discovered my favourite craft - Felting. So lets start with this book first.
|Each book comes with lots of beautiful and inspiring images|
I didn't have enough yarn to make a rug, so I ended up making a yellow and cream pompom ball for my yellow recipe organiser! It feels as soft and fluffy as it looks! I'd still love to make that rug one day, it's such a fun and easy way to make your own customised rug, and you can get the kids involved too!
As I flip through the book further, I was completely caught up in another type of pompom used in the book - felted pompoms.
Felted pompoms are often seen being used for planner decorations (pompom planner charms or pompom paperclips). The Seat Cover project in the book that used these pompoms looked really stunning as well, and it wasn't that hard to make, so I picked up the wool needed and tried making them using the wet felting technique in the book.
It was very easy to make them (the instructions were easy to understand), but I couldn't make them as round as I wanted them to be, and my palms started to hurt from compressing the wool and rolling it at the same time. The fact that children makes them, and adults make a lot of them using this same technique, means that I must be doing something wrong. But I managed to make these:
|Pompom charm and paperclip using Wet Felting technique|
I still love the contemporary look of the seat cover, so even though the technique featured in the book didn't suit me, it has certainly inspired me and I'd love to make the cover, or something similar.
The book also featured paper pompoms, which are perfect for party decorations, and pompoms made out of Tulle fabric, which adds a delicate look to the Crib Canopy featured in the book.
And that's the beauty of craft books. They feature a good amount of projects for you to go through, which are really inspiring that once you've learned the techniques, you can make anything you want with them!
I haven't tried making things using the rest of the books yet, but I've already noted down projects I'd love to make:
If you know how to make your own stamps, you can make so many things at home! From wrapping paper to fabrics and on ceramics that you designed. I have been wanting to print my own mug, but never got round to do further research on it. The Stamping & Printing book has not only showed me how to do that, but also featured other really interesting projects that I never thought of. Alphabet spaghetti to make your own stamp!
We are all about making your own things to cut cost nowadays, and it's not too hard to pick up the odd crafty skill to help with that, to upcycle things that make them suit your taste instead of paying a lot of money for it. If I haven't tried making felted pompoms, I wouldn't have discovered needle felting, and realise that I love it so much! I have even been making a lot of other beautiful things with the skill.
I really like the Craft Studio Book series. The books are beautifully made, with hard covers and quality paper made to a perfect size (big books can be so clumpsy to keep open), illustrated with beautiful pictures for all the inspiring projects. There are plenty of techniques you can pick up to make something that says you, and you don't even have to break the bank for it!
I look forward to seeing more books adding to the series and discover more crafting techniques.