Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book

Editors: Ziggy Hanaor and Victoria Woodcock
Pub: Black Dog Publishing
Price: £16.95

When I was a child, I spent many a rainy day digging into my ‘craft box’, making paper wall hangings, plasticine figurines, beaded jewellery and other treasures. In recent years, most of my possessions have been purchased rather than lovingly made by my own hands, so I jumped at the opportunity to get back into the old habit with Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book. The title offers up 100-odd pages of craft recipes and I was sure to get some fun and inspiration from it.

My first foray back into the world of crafting was not as joyous as I had remembered, though. I was very taken with the origami fairy light shades and wanted to surprise my husband with a perfect string of them. So, I spent an entire evening attempting to make just one and failed miserably, repeatedly. It wasn’t that I couldn’t fold the paper right, I just couldn’t understand the directions – textual or pictorial – and only ever made it to step six of 12. To prove to myself that I wasn’t somehow deficient, I subjected several friends to the frustration as well, and we wound up with piles and piles of folded paper and not a single lantern.

Other subsequent efforts have been much more successful, though. I can now proudly sport a fantastic ‘ballsy necklace’ made from fabric scraps and wooden beads, and have been inspired with several other ideas. I have no interest whatsoever in knitting or crocheting, the tasks most frequently associated with the modern, punk-rock craft movement, but I’m happy to report that there’s much more to crafting than yarn and needles. Inevitably, not all of the ideas will be to your liking (or ability level!), but this is a fantastic book for anyone who wants to let a bit of creativity back into their lives while at the same time pushing a bit of mass-manufactured clutter out.