New Summer Goal: Tackling Handmade Crafts

Pursuing an interest with handmade projects requires excitement, creativity, and patience. While there are numerous books, videos, and community groups that one can check out, what about starting with the basics? What about getting to the core concepts of the activity? If you are at a loss on what type of craft or handmade activity to give a shot and don’t want to spend the money on materials you don’t know how to use, the book The Handmade Life: A Companion to Modern Crafting may be a good first step.

While this book almost presents itself as a work of art on its own, it really is an incredible breakdown of popular handmade activities that you can try out without troubling yourself with expensive tools, confusing instructions, and projects far too large. The book is divided into four main categories – fiber, stitch, surface, and form – then further divided into topics within those categories. For each topic, you are provided an introduction, examples of use, design notes, tools commonly used, techniques, ideas to keep in mind, and a project to try on your own. Reading this book will be an enjoyable experience – despite its hefty appearance – as you explore each type in a fulfilling way.

Personally, I am fond of form types of handmade projects. For example, clay is a fascinating material to work with – there are so many types of clay, techniques to try, and useful objects one can create very easily. Another fun and surprisingly simple handmade craft highlighted in this book is making use of dye for cloth, a beautiful and colorful activity great for all ages. You are bound to find something that strikes your fancy here if you have a budding interest in the handmade, whether it is knitting, needlepoint, origami, beads, or zakka.

The Handmade Life: A Companion to Modern Crafting

No longer confined to the domain of the domestic, today craft is prized in almost every sphere of creative endeavor, whether architecture, food, fine art, or fashion. This book serves as both inspiration and instruction manual for Etsy entrepreneurs, artists, and hobbyists alike–modern creatives seeking new ideas and techniques, and to sharpen their skills. With over 150 artists featured and hundreds of project how-tos, The Handmade Life brings together information on a wide range of media and techniques into one essential manual.