Book review: The Crafter Culture Handbook


“The Crafter Culture Handbook”
By Amy Spencer
Marion Boyars Publishing
287 pages

I just got this book as a present for my birthday and I am in love, love. Basically, it’s the crafting book I’ve been waiting for.

The newly DIYed will dig the extensive resource section and plain English guides like “Stock Your Sewing Box.” Those who’ve been around the crafter block for quite some time will appreciate the inspiring projects, each of which include an interview with their maker. And if you’re somewhere in between, you’re sure to find out about a new group or crafting outlet through the mini-profiles like “Knitty” magazine.

Really there is something for all skill levels and all maker’s interests inside. The book is broken into sections by type of crafts, including sewing, electronic crafts, knitting, paper, bath and body and more. There are projects for learning basic techniques, like making a felted blanket, and ones that will spice up a maker’s daily project output, like quilted coasters. And by the way, there is a project about replacing your computer keyboard with a manual typewriter. Brilliant.

But my favorite part of this book is that the “Handbook” part is to be taken quite literally. I am flipping over the chapter intros, which discuss issues of domesticity (check out an except about that here), recycling and tradition. They illustrate the meaning behind why we all make the things we do, and those reasons and intentions are as varied as the things we make. Seriously, check this one out, it would be a great addition to any maker’s library.