Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts

This is an A to W book of enticing crafts requiring relatively little skill to make with mostly easily available supplies, of the kind that could be finished in an evening or weekend.

Much to the dismay of my mother and husband, there are no years-to-become-intermediate crafts like knitting, bobbin lace or miniature painting. However, what is there is very good. Each type of craft includes the basics of the technique including materials and projects, including templates where appropriate. The glossary includes illustrated supplies by type – never have glues looked so attractive. Make flowers out of beads, clay, crepe paper, stamps, cut paper. There are lots of seasonal decorations, home décor, small gift and adornment items. And the book has that special Martha magic, where everything looks both possible and beyond perfect.

It is so attractive, even the normally craft-averse LB wanted to look through the whole book and try some (napkin rings decorated with flowers made of pine cones.) Set-up costs seem prohibitive for most people to try more than a few of the many crafts, but the ideas are great and the crafts would mostly work well in small groups of friends or older kids, to split the cost and multiply the fun.

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