A Crafty Christmas

 
With Christmas just around the corner, you may be looking for some last minute ideas for crafty gifts – these books, published this year, offer quick ideas to make something yourself to give away.

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Get the kids involved with Side By Side: 20 Collaborative Projects for Craftingwith Your Kids by Tsia Carson, creator of SuperNaturale.com.  In three sections, Carson offers projects to create together, related projects to work on at the same time, and ideas for looking at the world in a creative way.

Mary Jane Baxter offers vintage inspired ways to dress up plain sweaters, shoes, and hats and lots of cute headbands, necklaces, and other fun things to wear in Chic on a Shoestring: Simple to Sew Vintage-Style Accessories. Many of the projects use scrap fabric or ribbon, spare beads, and old scarves for quick projects. I love the fringe to dress up an old pair of lace-up shoes, and there are at least two projects for old ties!


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With a little bit of sewing experience, you can whip up appliqued and embellished tote bags, pillows, and home décor from All Sewn Up: 35 ExquisiteProjects Using Appliqué, Embroidery, and More by Chloë Owens. Colorful, girly, and retro, these projects would make great gifts for teens and twenties.
 
If sewing isn’t your bag, and you think beautiful paper isn’t in the budget, Paper Made! 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper by Kayte Terry offers a ton if ideas for reusing magazines, candy wrappers, shopping bags to make items to gift… or to keep! Terry works for Anthropologie, so if you’ve ever stood in front of one of their windows loving the fanciful paper decorations, this is a must-see.
 
And if it’s getting too close to even make it to the craft store for supplies, Danny Seo’s Upcycling Celebrations : A Use-What-You-HaveGuide to Decorating, Gift-Giving & Entertaining has dozens of easy projects for entertaining or gifting throughout the year, all using recycled or easy to find objects. Raid that stash of scrapbooking paper to decorate Altoids tins, then fill them up will travel packs of aspirin, vitamins, and a little extra cash to give to winter travelers or New Years’ Eve revelers, construct a chess set with stray Lego pieces, wind plastic shopping bags into rustic ornaments, or put those ugly or damaged sweaters to use as a festive wreath.

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Of course, if it’s really getting down to the wire, a craft book makes a great gift, and maybe you’ll be the one getting a handmade gift next year!
 

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