Crafty Reads: Six Books for Outside-the-Box Crafters

Last modified: 
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tired of the same old crafts? Feel ho-hum about textiles or beads? Well, how about giving duct tape a try?  In Ductigami: The Art of the Tape, author Joe Wilson shows how to cut, rip, and fold duct tape to make objects such as wallets, aprons, tool belts, lunchboxes, Halloween masks, and more.

And now that duct tape comes in designer colors, as well as a transparent version, you can let your imagination get as sticky as it wants! Not just for NASA missions anymore, duct tape aficionados have formed clubs and sponsored competitions. Red Green, of the PBS syndicated The Red Green Show understands: “Spare the duct tape, spoil the job.” Duct tape crafters might also want to take a look at Stick It!: 99 D.I.Y. Duct Tape Projects, by T.L. Bonaddio. 

Here are some other titles you might want to check out in pursuit of the different:

Funky Junk: Cool Stuff to Make with Hardware, by Rene Schwarz outlines projects to make with nuts, bolts and other hardware, including jewelry, a chess set, and more. Note: Although this book is cataloged as a children’s book, keep in mind that children’s books are not always just for children! Especially when it comes to things like arts and crafts, children’s titles often have more easily to follow instructions with better pictures and illustrations. For basic techniques in many arts, children’s books may be just what you need.    

Bazaar Bizarre: Not Your Granny’s Crafts, by Greg Der Ananian: In this title, Der Ananian, founder of the bi-coastal craft fairs known as Bazaar Bizarre, combines a variety of how-to projects from radical and hipster crafters. This book will help you put an edge on traditional crafts.

ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything, edited by Shoshana Berger and Grace Hawthorne. I love the description of this book: “ReadyMade embodies a spirit of not just DIY, not just reuse/recycle, but a revolutionary sort of aesthetic ethos that allows us to make elegant objects from unelegant things.” While perusing this book, I noticed that along with projects to create wall art from old CD jewel cases, and a coat hanger wine rack, is a one page chapter on how to write a love note. Now this is a handy book!  

Combination Crafts by Vicki Blizzard, will inspire you to get out those unused craft supplies stuffed in the back of a closet and think of ways to conjure them all together in wonderful new creations. 

Crafting with 4 Supplies, from Better Homes and Gardens, will work out your creative muscle by challenging you to create crafts using only 4 supplies per project.  Heave that imagination!

Decorating Pots: 25 Creative Projects to Make, by Stephanie Donaldson, utilizes a variety of materials and techniques, including paints, metals, fibers, clay, and more, to beautify pots of all shapes and sizes. Flipping through this book, I saw techniques such as etching that could easily extend to other types of media. 

Be sure to browse the 745.5 call number area for other fun and different crafting titles. And as always, ask a Librarian for assistance at any time!

Happy Duct Taping!  Er, I mean crafting… 


About the Author

When she’s not assisting customers in the Central Reference department, Jean Rivard DuFresne makes glass beads and designs jewelry, which she sells at She also writes and is a voiceover artist.

More crafty reading from Jean:
How to Use the Library to Get Started in Jewelry Making
How to Research Your Music-Playing Hobby
How to Start Stitching at the Library
How to Find Resources for the Writing Life
How to Make a Living Selling Your Crafts