craft book round-up: alternacrafts and rubbish

I have been bitten by the DIY bug and am coming down with a terrible fever for crafting that I don't want to cure! There are thousands of amazing resources for DIY tutorials on the internet (and I'll share a few of my favorite links if there's interest!), but while I was home with pretty much unlimited free time and easy access to a great system of libraries, I figured I should take advantage of the craft books.

One of my favorite things about the indie/DIY scene is that crafting isn't just for ladies doing needlepoint or knitting Kleenex box cover anymore. Not that it ever really was, but these days I find it much easier to find books about making things that are aimed towards people of my style and aesthetics. So I placed a ton of holds, got my sister to pick up some from her school library for me, and set to readin'.

The first book I got was Alternacrafts: 20+ Hi-Style Lo-Budget Projects to Make.

It had excellent reviews on Amazon and I'd seen it recommended on other blogs, so it seemed like a good place to start. And it...probably would be a good start. I'm not that much of a crafter, but this book felt very done to me. There were a couple projects that I liked (the chopstick place mat is coming to mind), but most of them were too obvious for my taste. It's probably due to being spoiled by DIY websites, but if you're also an online project hunter, this book is probably going to be a bit too repetitive to be useful. The bulk of the projects (bottle cap jewelry, make a collage, glue buttons to things) can be found in more exciting forms online. However, if you're a true beginner to anything indie-crafty, there are some good directions and some interesting projects. (Available here)

The next book was Rubbish! Reuse your refuse.

There were some nifty ideas in here that I hadn't seen before, as well as a few recycled (har har) ones. I wanted to try them out, but I was pretty surprised by the amount of specialty supplies a lot of the crafts called for. I don't have a lot of crafty things, so I do expect to buy special products to assemble them, but for a book that purports to be about reusing/recycling things you already have, a lot of the crafts required another purchase. I'd never heard of this book--my sister picked it up for me from the school library--so it's possible my lack expectations played a role. A lot of the crafts are fairly elementary (put magnets on bottlecaps) and simple, but I was definitely intrigued by a few (the one coming to mind is a cuff made of spam credit cards). (Available here)

Overall, I wouldn't 100% recommend either book for purchase. If you can get them from a library, I definitely think they're both worth checking out, but there's so many awesome projects available for free, I'm not willing to pay for a few good crafts buried in with so-so ones.

I have more craft books incoming and a few decor/DIY books already waiting for me, so I'll make sure to share once I've explored! I'm also always looking for more, so if you have a craft or decor book that you love, please let me know! And, my twitter feed is so sad and empty lately--I'd love to meet some new tweeps, so please follow me for updates and chitchat. I'd love to follow you back!

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