Three New Inspired Craft Books You Need On Your Shelf

I love craft books ya’ll.  About the only thing that makes me as happy as a stack of fresh craft supplies is a stack of new craft books.  When I got a fat package from my friends over at Quarto I may have squealed a little bit.  Block printing, papier mâché AND embroidery it was this ADD crafters dream come true!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Empowered Embroidery Book

Three New Inspired Craft Books You Need On Your Shelf

Sure, I love Pinterest and Instagram as much as the next guy for inspiration.  However, there is still something I love even more about having a physical book to flip through.  That is especially true with projects that are a little more involved than just glancing at a picture and getting the gist.  I need to know the techniques for block printing, the color maps for embroidered portraits and the recipe for the perfect papier mâché paste.  Luckily there’s a book for that!

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Block Printing for Beginners

Block Print for Beginners – Elise Young

This book could not have come at a better time for me!  I am halfway through the Sketchbook Revival series and a quick workshop with Sarah Matthews had me carving every pink eraser I could find to make stamps.  I wanted more and had just ordered a kit when Block Print for Beginners: Learn to Carve Lino Blocks and Create Unique Relief Prints arrived at my door. This gorgeous new book from Elise Young is part of the Walter Foster Inspired Artist series.  There are several books in the series with approachable step-by-step instructions and inspired imagery.  I know I couldn’t wait to bust out my new carving tools while flipping through the pages.

Block print flowers lino block from Elise Young

Get Cutting and Carving

Move over pink erasers and hello lino blocks!  I can’t wait to experiment more with print making in my art journals and maybe even on fabric! The book starts with an introduction to essential tools like printmaking inks, carving blocks, gouges, and papers.  Raise your hand if you are a sucker for new arts and crafts tools (hand raised here)! Block Print for Beginners shows the reader how to get from uncarved blocks to beautiful prints.  Elise covers everything in the book including designing the print, carving, working with various inks and how to achieve the best print results. I walked away from the book not only feeling inspired but also supported that I could actually whip up some unique stamps of my own that I could use again and again in my work.

Looking for more stamping and block print fun?

Art Makers Paper Mache from Sarah Hand

Art Makers Papier Mâché – Sarah Hand

I don’t usually pre-order books but when I do they definitely involve polka dots and quirky animals.  I could not wait for Art Makers Papier Mâché to come out as I love the idea of papier mâché, but my skills are seriously lacking.  Plus I’ve been a fan of Sarah Hand for awhile now! This accessible guide covers the tools, materials, and techniques for making all my papier mâché dreams come true.  Plus the book is full of inspiring projects with a whimsical folk art–inspired feel.

Your Biggest Fan by Sarah Hand

Environmentally Conscious Crafting

Papier mâché is one of my favorite types of crafts – ones that involve recycling!  Yup start wadding up all that packing paper that came with your last package, cut up the box from Amazon and rescue that plastic bottle to get turned into a planter!  Sarah walks readers through everything they need start to finish from the perfect cornstarch and flour recipe all the way to sanding and painting your finished project.  Not to mention all the great info in-between like how to get lump free paste, create armatures for figurines and confetti making for giant ice cream cones!

Let’s Keep Up With That Recycled Crafting!

Art Makers Empowered Embroidery from Amy L. Frazer

Art Makers Empowered Embroidery – Amy L. Frazer

There is embroidery and then there is what author Amy L. Frazer does on the pages of Empowered Embroidery.  The tag line is: Transform sketches into embroidery patterns and stitch strong, iconic women from the past and present but these portraits are full blown works of art. The book is a two for one special teaching sketching and illustration as well as basic stitches and embroidery techniques. There are 8 portraits to choose from including Michele Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Frida Kahlo and more!

Details of RBG embroidery

Embroidery That Paints With Stitches

Yes these portraits are intricate and seem a bit daunting but if you love to stitch and have dreamed of upping your embroidery game Amy has included tons of tips for creating hair and facial features with floss, warm-up exercises and there are gorgeous large photos of the projects that help you easily mimic the techniques.  Honestly, I kinda want to frame some of the pictures in this book!  Seems like a book the more advanced stitcher would enjoy or a novice could aspire towards.

Feeling Stitchy?  I’ve Got More Projects.

Block print cat

Can You Really Ever Have Too Many Craft Books?

Clearly the answer to that question is NO!  I go back to my library of craft books again and again and I am always adding to the collection.  These three gems are perfect additions to my shelves and yours.  Got a new favorite craft book?  Leave me a comment and let me know, because ya know you can never have too many.

What should I read next?  I’ve got more craft book suggestions!


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