Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Nook - Handmade Holiday Crafts

Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations:

Last week, a crafty book was featured here on my blog, so I thought I'd continue with that theme and share another holiday crafts book that I've been enjoying lately.  Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts is a huge book, filled with lots of great ideas.  There are crafts for holidays throughout the year, including New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah & Christmas.  Each chapter/holiday has a neat title page done in some sort of creative, crafty way (for example, Mother's Day is spelled out by writing the name of the holiday in a pile of buttons - then, there are a couple of projects that use buttons, so the title page sort of "matches").

I think my favorite chapter in the book is the Easter chapter.  There are so many inspired crafts!  Maybe it's because I haven't seen a lot of the Easter projects yet, or maybe because Easter decorating and activities are pretty bare-bones around here, or maybe because I'm already dreaming of Spring, I just saw so many projects to do!  I definitely want to try the all-natural egg dyes (using ingredients such as cranberries, coffee & tumeric); I love all the egg-decorating ideas, but especially loved the botanical decorated eggs.  Such a neat idea & looks pretty easy to execute!  The envelope bunny treat bags are adorable.  And the projects with fresh Spring flowers have me wanting to skip over Winter all together.

But the same accolades can be given to each and every chapter in this book.  This is why I love Martha Stewart's books and magazines so much: new, fresh ideas that are sure to inspire you, in addition to excellent photography and clear instructions.  (On a side note, add all of the recipes that Martha has given me over the years, and  well, I'm one of her biggest fans)!  I can't help but look at all these neat, crafty projects and want to get started on one of them, and eventually do them all!

On Thanksgiving, our 6-year-old was setting the table and she asked about the napkins.  I asked her to get this book so that we could see some different ways of folding napkins.  Then, we kept the book on the coffee table throughout the day, and lots of our guests were perusing through it.  Even if you're not a "crafty" person, I think anyone would appreciate the many great projects in this book.

All that being said, I will let you in on a little tip: you can find many of these projects on Martha's website - for free.  And many of them (if not all of them) have been featured in her magazine.  So, you can get the ideas without investing in the book.  But, it is very convenient to have many of these ideas right there, in a handy book form.  The website also has tons and tons of Martha's awesome recipes.  It's the first place I go if I need a recipe for a dish I'm making, or if I need a crafty idea for a holiday or a party.  And now that I have her book, Handmade Holiday Crafts, that will also be one of the first places I turn to for inspired holiday crafts ideas.

Thank you, Martha!


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