DIY by the book

As it’s spring and time for spring cleaning (der, otherwise it would be called winter/summer/autumn cleaning!) I’ve been tidying up a bit and unearthing much loved items that are kind of in storage. These books, which usually are forced to live in the upper levels of my wardrobe due to um, space issues, are just part of my collection of publications about handicrafts and DIY.    

They are all from either op shops or library sales – both are excellent sources for handicraft books from the ’70s which I personally think are the best kind due to the massive interest in folksy craft and DIY at that time. A lot of the stuff in the books might look kind of daggy, but once you’ve learnt the techniques, you can tweak the designs or ideas to make them more modern. Any of these types of books are fine, but if you see any red folders with this somewhat mysterious looking symbol on the front, GRAB THEM NOW.
This is the symbol for the Golden Hands publications – monthly magazines which originated in Britain but found their way all around the English speaking world, spreading handmade goodness wherever they went. Apart from being issued as single editions, they seem also to have been available in collectors’ folders with 15 issues per folder. You can imagine I was very, very happy when my mum presented me with these (I think she found them at an op shop but am not sure). They contain DIY gems such as these:

A daisy wheel quilt…very cool – and easy to re-imagine as a little jacket or mini dress.

The “Collector’s Piece” section is always inspiring as it shows priceless antique textiles and crafts such as these tapestries – and then presents a pattern for a modern item that employs a similar technique, such as wallets or cushions. 
There are lots of kids’ things too. I love these furry teddy-bear coats (surely the pattern could be enlarged to make grown-up versions, maybe in red?)

There’s something for just about every level of craftsperson, even beginners…

And even if you don’t make anything, the magazines are worth it for the fabulous fashion…

… and for the style tips.

Of course some ideas are best left in the ’70s…

Woman’s Day doesn’t always get it right either. Although wouldn’t it be fun to make this apron for the man in your life and then act all upset when he doesn’t wear it? “I spent so much time making this apron with appliqued shears and a wheelbarrow and now you tell me you don’t want it??!”

Perhaps these cushions would be more palatable… on a blouse or skirt, at least. It might still be pushing it to get your man to wear anything embroidered.

Most of my friends are already married, but in a different colour these crochet trims could perhaps work on spring racing headdresses or to decorate a skirt hem… or you could even use them to scatter on a table (if you start making them now you could use them to pretty up your Christmas lunch)?  

Most of the time when I see anything made of felt, my first instinct is to run as fast as possible. But these flowers have something kitsch about them that I kind of like. Maybe they’d be cute as fridge magnets? Or, sprayed gold, they’d be gorgeous on a headband.

Speaking of gold, although origami is far from my forte, this cardboard vase collar-stand thing looks too pretty not to try.

It would be an effective way to disguise a not-so-pretty container for jewellery, lollies or stationery, if you don’t have any flowers to display.

Do you have a stash of old handicraft books too? Where do you get your best DIY ideas?

自分時間は最近あまりないけど、ある時にはチャリティショップや図書館のブックセールで見つけたクラフトや手作りの本を見るのが大好きです。70年代の物が多いけど、その中にあるものをそのままで作るよりはゆっくり見て、アイデアを得るのが私流。一番好きなのはGolden Handsという英国の月刊誌ですが、他の女性誌が出版した本なども面白いです。鍵網と裁縫はある程度できるけど、時間がいっぱいあればマクラメ、いろんな刺繍、タッティングなど、いろんなクラフトをマスターしたいな〜。でも、時間がなくても、こういう本に出ているファッションを楽しむことはできますよね。