I absolutely love buying craft books at any given opportunity so, as my collection grows, I thought I would post a review of my thoughts on them and hopefully, this will be interesting and helpful to you!
There are a lot of craft books on the market which are all style no substance and, while it is obviously important the book has a lovely look to it, it is more important that it's contents are well written and the tutorials useful or, for things that you would a) want to make and b) be able to make without having to buy too many specialist items. (With the exception of books specifically for one particular craft!)
The first book I will be reviewing is Martha Stewart's Crafts for all Occasions. "255 craft projects for New Year's through Christmas, and every celebration in between". A 359 Paged hardback that retails for around £19.99 but is a lot cheaper on Amazon etc!
Firstly, I LOVE hardback books. I don't know why but there's something about them that just has that lovely 'book for life' feel.
I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart although, I confess, that this is the first book of hers that I own. I received this for Christmas from one of my bestie's Elizabeth, and I was so excited when I unwrapped it and spent all day flicking though its pages.
The book is categorized into 10 themes:
Fourth of July
Obviously here in the UK we don't celebrate Fourth of July or Thanks Giving but we are a county that is pretty rubbish with it's own national holidays! The main thing is, all the main festivities are covered and there's a good selection of tutorials for each.
The tutorials in this book all come with a text step-by-step and some beautifully shot photography. Personally I think the corresponding photo tutorials can sometimes be a little bit too small, but all in all, the tutorials are clear and easy to follow and suitable for both beginners to experienced crafters. In the back of the book there's a clipart & template index corresponding to certain tutorials . You can print these out by going to www.marthastewart.com/holiday-crafts-book-extras and I think this is a really nice touch and a fantastic idea to link into her main site, which I also love.
Out of all the tutorials, there isn't much that I wouldn't want to try making. Each theme has focused in on crafts that are contemporary, pretty and functional. This book isn't bulked out with a lot of useless fluff and that in itself is one of it's best selling points, even if you aren't a Martha Stewart fan. (And you should be! She is our crafting Messiah! haha!)
The materials needed to create the crafts in this book can be picked up in local crafts stores such as Hobbycraft (UK) or Hobby Lobby (US) and there is nothing obscure of particularly specialist in there. Big bonus! Again in the back of the book there is a 'Sources' index and this is another amazing selling point as all the retailers listed are UK based!
I have a few craft books that have obviously been published outside of the UK so the retailer lists are not UK based and I love that the works been taken out for me, I can search for things from a comprehensive list of stockiest in my own country! Top marks for that Martha!
Another section towards the back of the book is for 'Basic Techniques' and include things such as cutting with a craft knife, tying a classic bow and embroidery basics. Again, another lovely extra that shows how well constructed the book is. Everything really is covered for you, everything is done to make crafting exactly what it should be, minimum fuss and maximum fun!
To conclude, I am absolutely thrilled to own this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts is next on my wish list!
Design & photography ★★★★★
You can purchase this book HERE