I've gotten a bunch of new craft books for the library in recent weeks and have really been enjoying flipping through them. I swear, if I spent as much time crafting as I do reading about crafting, I would get SO MANY projects done!
Mod Podge Rocks!: Decoupage Your World by Amy Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading this book, I want to decoupage everything in sight (confession: I did indeed run out and buy several different kinds of Mod Podge and started working toward that goal!).
Where Mod Podge Rocks! really shines is in its description of basic decoupage techniques and, especially, the explanations of the different formulas of Mod Podge -- I'm sure I'm not the only person who didn't know there were so many kinds, or that you could decoupage on, and with, so many different types of materials.
There are more than forty projects in the book, divided into three categories: home decor, jewelry and other wearables, and holiday projects. The holiday section was what appealed to me the most: there's something about seasonal decor that just always makes me want to haul out the glue gun and other craft supplies. There is a Christmas-themed glass block project that I really want to make, and an adorable Halloween countdown calendar that would be easily adaptable for use as an Advent calendar. The biggest surprise? A decoupaged bike helmet. It would never have occurred to me, not in a million years, to do this, but I hate my boring black bike helmet (I have a mens'-sized head, though, so there aren't cute helmets that fit me!) and I am really going to have to try this.
Some of the projects themselves as presented in the book are not to my taste, but the ideas are solid and there is a lot of crafty inspiration to be found in these pages.
Will I decoupage my world after reading through this book? You bet. Watch out, animals and small children.
Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk!: Make Stylish Shrink Plastic Jewelry by Kathy Sheldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I was a child, I had two favorite crafts: those "stained glass" suncatchers that one makes by filling a frame with small plastic pieces and then baking, and Shrinky Dinks. With both, there was just something so cool about the transformation of plain old plastic into something shiny and pretty.
I'm an adult now, and I am STILL fascinated by Shrinky Dinks, so I was delighted when this book crossed my path. I honestly had no idea that one could buy shrink plastic outside of the little kits we had as kids (nor did it occur to me that one could use #6 plastics from the recycling bin!), and the very idea of inkjet-printable shrink plastic makes me positively giddy with excitement.
Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! (one of my favorite book titles in a long time, incidentally) contains more than thirty designs for shrink plastic jewelry projects, plus an extensive section detailing needed materials and instructions. The projects run the gamut from cute and whimsical to simply elegant (I am particularly fond of the circular pendant in the large picture on the front cover), so there's something for everyone. There are a number of templates in the back of the book that can be traced or scanned (for inkjet printing) but the designs and instructions are such that one could easily substitute their own patterns and inspirations. The patterns are all for jewelry, but with the upcoming holidays I have Christmas decor on my mind, and I am envisioning some festive ornaments for our tree...
To my mind, this book is the perfect marriage of childhood nostalgia and adult design taste (not that there aren't things in the book that would be very appealing to kids!), and I am really looking forward to shrinking some plastic in the very near future!
View all my reviews