WIN IT! Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris

I am pretty sure that Amy Sedaris and I have interchangeable craft book libraries and might have been separated at birth.  Flipping through the pages of her new book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People is like giving any number of my vintage craft books better pictures and a sense of humor.  All that said, I love this book and it fits right in on my book shelf.  If I didn’t already have a copy in my hot little hands it would be on the tippy top of my Christmas List!  Sound like something you too might enjoy?  Well read on because we are giving away 3 copies of Simple Times!

Let me count more ways that Amy and I are probably sisters, in craft at least.  There is the James Brown portrait done with items like flax, rice and beans reminiscent of my Black Eyed Pea Owl.  There are pine cone and shell crafts like my Parisian Pine Cone People and Mosaic Shell Mirror.  Amy makes a milk carton skid row that my milk carton haunted house would fit right in to.  Next time I come across some tin cans I am making Amy’s Tin Can Characters and leaving the wallpaper at home.  Nuts make more than one appearance in Simple Times, Amy’s are multi colored and have googly eyes while mine set atop yarn wrapped headbands.  Do you really need more proof than this?

If you have any vintage craft books in your library you will know what I mean when you read Simple Times.  Many of the crafts have a retro recycled feel, but have been updated.  However, not updated too much their nostalgia is what makes them so amusing.  Not only do I love the silly crafts, I love their silly pictures.  I also love the always amusing pictures of Amy as her many cast of characters.

Simple Times is more than just crafts, I’m not sure where the section called Making Love fits into the book, but I have a 70’s copy of the Joy of Sex and the hilarious accompanying photo shoot in Simple Times is pretty spot on.  Right down to Amy’s bushy hair and wood paneled walls.  Besides crafts and sex, cooking is also covered.  Really after those 3 things, what else do you need in life?  Coconut Head Cake, tomahawk and saw shaped cookies and Plumber’s Cheesecake are just a few.  Yummy!


Over 300 pages of rib tickling crafty goodness could be yours!  Are you excited?  You should be, Simple Times is good.  Damn good.  You have one week to leave me a comment related to vintage crafts.  Do you have a vintage craft book that you love?  Do you remember a fave craft from child hood?  Did your grandmother have a kitschy yarn covered poodle shaped Kleenex box holder in her bathroom?  I wanna hear all about it! (Skip to the bottom to read the contest fine print)


-Only residents of the U.S. or Canada are eligible to win


-No P.O. Boxes, please. 


-Please let your readers know: Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail.


P.S. Wanna know a secret?  Of course there will be another contest next Wednesday (don’t forget we are having a contest every Wednesday until Christmas), but there will be another contest right here tomorrow on the blog.  Two contests in one week, that’s crazy talk! (above pic via Amy Sedaris Rocks)

46 Responses to “WIN IT! Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris”

  1. Tanya

    Not only did I have a poodle toilet paper cover, we also had a crocheted top hat one that my niece used to wear around the house. She is a musian in Berlin now and I am going to have to pick on her about that at Christmas when she comes home. Thanks for reminding me that little tidbit!

    My mom and I made tons of crafts when i was a kid. I say to her all the time, just think what we

  2. Sweet Pepita

    Do popcicle stick crafts count as vintage crafts? I remember making something with popcicle sticks… don't remember *what* exactly, but I'm sure it was breathtaking. My dad sat on it and crushed it before I ever got to take it home.

  3. Melisa Taylor

    Oh Man, my maternal grandmother was the QUEEN of the crocheted toilet paper cover doll thingies. There were at least 3 in the bathroom. She had a thing for the doll in the knit or crocheted dress. and we were NOT allowed to touch them. It's like they were her prized possessions!

    now, I have always been a fan of the macaroni art. 🙂 I still have the urge to do something like

  4. Gaela

    Shell Lamps! I love the old night light bulb lamps made from conch shells! I have a couple in my bathroom to complement my chalkware fish and flamingo knick knacks! They are fairly easy to make you just drill a hole into a shell and add a night light! Instant bathroom kitsch!

  5. Danna

    I can't wait to see this book! I love Amy Sedaris.

    I can remember my best friend teaching me how to make Macrame plant holders. I thought that was cool than cool beans. 🙂

    Thanks, Danna

  6. Cassie Mary

    My great aunt crocheted EVERYTHING. I distinctly remember going to her house once and everything was covered in crocheted projects. Every year, she gave us girls what I can only describe as crocheted long johns for our Barbies. She had mad crocheting skills.

  7. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    Mug Rugs – I need to Google this.

    Tanya – my mom and I could have done some serious damage with a Hobby Lobby in my youth. We did have a Ben Franklin in my town.

    Danilee – I like the sounds of this shirt. You might see an updated how-to on the blog soon.

    Of course Popsicle Sticks count.

    Melissa that is so funny you were not allowed to touch the dolls.

  8. amyhanshew

    What a fun book!!! My favorite vintage crafting book is an on embroidery/latchhook/macrame book. Its pretty much the size of a dictionary. I'm so thankful to my aunt who found this treasure at a garage sale and then gifted it to me.

  9. missy ballance

    I Loved making people out of spools, still do! Painting rocks, and playing fabric store with my gramma. (which doesn't really count as a craft but if you would have seen our "bolts" that we made for the fabric, and our whole set up. It kind of counts. LOL!)

  10. Joy

    Crocheted beer koozies are my childhood favorite. I got them from an aunt. I had empty coors cans lined on my doll shelf next to all my stuffed animals. I can't believe my mom let me do that!

  11. Sarah O.

    My boyfriend's mother is constantly picking up vintage knitting and crochet books at antique stores, garage sales and library give-aways and giving them to me because she can't read the patterns herself. Some of them have some neat patterns; if only I had the time to try them out

  12. Lolamouse

    OMG, I remember a blue crocheted poodle toilet paper cover at my grandmother's house!We also made homemade clothes for my Barbies (very badly I might add!) I LOVE Amy Sedaris (and her brother too!) Her entertaining book is a funny read as well.

  13. KB VanHorn

    This book is on my Christmas wish list! Those yarn pom poms take me back. We called them "Warm Fuzzies" and made and gave them out at my church camp. There's a story that goes with them involving "cold pricklies" and Jesus. I also remember high school girls wearing them on their boots in the Christmas parade. I thought they were the coolest.

  14. Summer C.

    I was just talking to my boyfriend about this book and my love for Amy Sedaris!

    My mom used to make those tin can characters for different holidays when she was room mom for my brothers & my home room classes.

  15. Gretchen

    I bought a rad vintage craft book at a garage salable too long ago, not only because I love vintage craft books, but the name made the 12-year old inside me snicker. "The Do-It Book"

    Yeah, I'm real mature.

  16. Jo Anne

    I recall making Shrinky Dink ornaments in the oven. I've recently discovered that #6 recycled plastic is a free way to make 'Dinks again (crafting for poor people!).

  17. trh

    Didn't have a poodle toilet paper cover but remember those yarn poodles with yarn covering a bend coat hanger frame? I made a bunch of those! Remember those braided yarn dolls? I taught my daughter to make those.

  18. Mary Harley

    Did anyone ever get McCall's magazine? I cut out the Betsy McCall paperdoll & clothes every month. So that she would stand tall, we glued her to cardboard. We even started making our own paper clothes for her. I had to fight my sisters to get her every month.

  19. Grig

    Does knitting count as a vintage craft? After all, hardly anybody knits anymore… My mom still does, though. She's *obsessed* with knitting – I think one of these days she will start knitting stuff for her cats. O_o I tried it once when I was little, but never quite got the hang of it. Who knows, maybe winning this book will turn me into a master craftsman! :))

    Thanks for doing

  20. Christina

    My step grandmother used to save the plastic rim that sealed milk jogs and crochet Christmas wreaths on them. She taught me how to do it too but then I hit my teen years and was too busy to do it and milk carton lids changed! I still have a bunch and last year I added some glitter and sequence to spruce them up.

  21. Rachael

    I have talked about this book so much that my friends don't want to use the words "crafts" or "crochet" whenever they are around me! "Crafting for Jesus" and "Sausages" are the two chapters that I cannot wait to experiment when I receive Mrs. Amy Sedaris's crafting masterpiece.

  22. LesleyD

    Absolutely would love this book!!! I'm intrigued especially bythe Teenagers have a lot of Pain chapter!! LOL I've got a tween of 11.

  23. Sandy

    Oh – I so love this book – and I haven't even seen in live yet. My mom has a bed doll. You know, the doll with the HUGE skirt? The crocheted skirt? That's big enough to cover a chair? That one!

  24. Kelly Lynn

    Amy's book looks like so much fun! I just made a bowl from a big vinyl record. My teenage boys let me know that was the first time they ever saw a record in person!! Lol!! So cool!

  25. Mortira

    I spent many hours at my old bookstore job reading Amy's book "I Like You". She is totally hilarious, and I bet this book tops all others – at least to a crafter!

    Simple times really describes the crafts we did growing up. In fact, the only instruction books we could afford were the vintage kind, beat up and neglected at the used book store.

    Those old books

  26. Jennifer ~ Mi Vida Loca

    Oh, Kitchy Crafts…Can never get enough of those! My Great Grandma had all kinds of cool crafts around her house when I was little. Lots of felted elves and sock monkeys and stuffed animal dogs made of patched together fabric scraps…Aahhhh I miss her!

    Anyways, I keep hearing fabulous things aout this book and I really would love to win a copy! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  27. He Is Crafty

    I remember doing crafts with my grandmother. She seemed to love covering empty bottles with squares of masking tape and then covering the masking tape covered bottle with brown shoe polish. I recall her saying "It looks just like leather!!" didn't. It looked like brown shoe polish covered masking tape. But I loved doing it and had so much fun!!

  28. miss starlene

    my nana would help me make an ornament each christmas. my favorite by far were the construction paper angels (you know, rolled in a funnel shape)with a wooden bead head and gold ric rac hair. I'm 47 now and I still have some falling apart in a box somewhere. i just can't get rid of them!

  29. Jen H.

    I love Amy!

    As a kid I remember seeing owl figures made out of shells at my grandma's house. Also, not too vintage but it seems like we were constantly making mobiles out of clothes hangers and yarn when I was little.

  30. JaymiPop

    Oh my gosh! Amy is my favorite!

    I recently thrifted 2 Christmas crafty book from the late 80s. Talk about bringing me back to my childhood! Right now they are being used at coffee table books in my living room but I can't wait to pop em open and bring some 80s craftiness into my home!

  31. An Zebley

    Since I was a baby I have had a sock monkey that someone bought for me at a garage sale that was clearly homemade (beside the fact that those were the only kind back then) because it was missing an arm. It wasn't that the arm had been ripped off or anything, he never had one. I don't know if his creator ran out of socks or simply forgot. I'm 35 now and he sits on my bookshelf in my

  32. AnnasBananas918

    My aunt has some butterflies in her bathroom. But of course these are not normal butterflies, because my aunt's mind resides in the simpler times of 1976.

    These beauties are crafted from a pair of pantyhose stretched over a framework made from a wire hanger. They have then been airbrushed to pretti-fy them. And they have pipecleaner antennae. And googly eyes.

    I study

  33. Keely

    I tried them all – at least all the inexpensive ones. But my favorite was tracing the coloring book pages on shirts & sweats and drawing with puffy paint.n

  34. Gina-Bean

    A couple of my favorite crafts from when I was a kid in the 80's was making gimp bracelets and perler bead projects. I've actually picked that one back up and decorated my fridge with a slew of perler bead creations!

    I would love, love, LOVE this bood! 😀

  35. The Dreaming Bear

    Oh my gosh…my heart just skipped a beat when I learned that Amy has another book out. She is a friggin' hoot! I am most intrigued by the "crafting for Jesus" section. That's gotta be good! Thanks for this generous giveaway!!!

  36. hizKNITS

    In a word, gimp.

    I spent hours making bracelets, lanyards and crosses at summer camp (it was religious camp).

    Maybe it explains my adult knitting obsession?

  37. Kaylala

    +Turning old fashioned clothes pins into little pioneer people.

    +"Custom" Barbie furniture made out of dryer lint, cereal boxes, and fabric scrabs.

    +Making ridiculous bows in the early 90's, for my early 90's look.

    +Helping my Nana make "jackets" out of old sweatshirts with puff paint, gems, and decoupage!

    Ahhh…Good times.

  38. pomly

    I seem to remember making anything and everything out of milk cartons. Also, Barbie furniture made out of yarn crocheted around tuna fish cans. Yeah anything involving food packaging!

  39. TheMagicBartender

    Oh my…Vintage Crafting is my heart! Leather Carving being one of my FAVS.
    This book sounds so great!
    Every year for Christmas, my kids & I learned a new "Dying Craft", when they were little it was simple like covered cans, & painted coffee cups,. and moved into Rag weaving, clay, glass etching, embroidery, etc. My oldest is 31 now, & the tradition continues w/


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