Craft-A-Day Book Review {Creativity Boosts}

felt leaf hair pins

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I’m a big fan of making things and building creativity into your daily life, so I bought the book Craft-A-Day: 365 Simple Homemade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt when it popped up in a bundle with something else I was buying on Amazon without looking into it at all. (Speaking of, that’s an Amazon link but not an affiliate one.)craft a day

The book is divided into themes for each week — balloons, the alphabet, owls, bunnies and triangles, to take a random sample — and each includes seven ideas for using that motif in a craft.

Whale week, for another random example, offers a plush whale made out of felt, a whale card, whale wall hanging, paper whale mobile, whale onesie, a mini whale stick card and a whale gift tag.

Bear week offers bear ears, a bear head finger puppet, bear gift tag, bead card, bear cupcake topper, a plush bear and a gift tag.

Cake toppers, gift tags and cards are popular crafts in this book, as are plushies, finger puppets, garlands and mobiles. In fact, after a while looking through this book it feels incredibly repetitive and, frankly, not all that creative.

penguin garland
This penguin garland is pretty darn cute.

Each week includes the templates for the basic shapes that you can photocopy or trace and then cut out of paper or felt to make the crafts.  These are handy if you need a simple shape for a project — I looked in the book when I was doing my rainbow gift tags for the girl’s birthday, but her rainbow only has three colors! — but I wish more emphasis had been placed on having a variety of templates and then showing different ideas of what to do with them rather than having readers look at 87 different cards using the shapes (yes, I counted; square week alone has for different cards).creativity boosts

But that would have been a different book, and certainly it would be easy to create a craft a day in this fashion. This is probably a good book for someone new to crafting, a younger crafter or someone who doesn’t consider herself very creative and needs some ideas, or who loves little shapes and will use the templates for projects offered in this book and those of her own design.

racoon cupcake topper
Will the raccoon protect your cupcake or steal it?

These projects require a minimum of materials and skill, and there’s certainly a place for that, so I don’t want to discount this book entirely. There are projects in here there make you go, “oh, that’s cute,” like the gnome cupcake toppers or the speech bubble notebook (and there you’re not learning to make a notebook, just putting a speech bubble on a purchased notebook, so cute, but not very crafty). The strawberry garland would be cute on a present for a summer birthday, and the turtle pincushion may be a little too cute to stick pins in.

But there’s just so much repetition in the ideas presented with each shape that if you think you’re getting 365 different craft projects you’ll probably be disappointed.

Project Test Drive

I decided to make a couple of projects just for fun, and they were quick, easy and cute.

felt leaf hair pins
Cute and quick hair pins. But they could use some embellishment.

The leaf hair pins involve tracing the pattern, cutting out felt and hot gluing them to bobby pins. The hardest part of this project is not burning yourself on the glue gun.

I’d probably make more of these in different colors for the girl and myself, maybe with a little veiny embroidery to jazz them up a bit.

Because I’ve had a thing for groundhogs since high school (it’s a long story) I decided to pick a groundhog gift tag to make next. This one is just a top hat cut out of card stock and the top of the groundhog, which you cut out and draw the face on. These are then glued together to make the tag.

groundhog gift tag
Groundhog tag!

Wouldn’t this be so much cuter if the tag were the whole body and you could pull it out of the hat? The whole-hog template is too big for the hat, but I did cut out two pieces (out of construction paper because I have no black card stock) so my little half a hog can peep up and down. It’s a start. I may revisit that one.

I did have fun with these little projects, but with the two projects I picked somewhat randomly I easily came up with ways to spin them to make them more individual. Which I guess is good, but if you’re a new crafter you may want to do things by the book, and showing some options with a little more interest would have been, well, interesting.

What do you think? Have you looked at this book? Would you use the projects as they are or put your own spin on them?

This post is part of my month of creativity boosts. Check out the rest of the series.

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