March is National Craft Month, so that means you and your family are encouraged to do something crafty! This weekend, why not start by checking out a new craft book together – whether from your local library, over at the bookstore or even on your tablet? I just finished spending time with Wise Craft, by blogger Blair Stocker, who's also a mom of two "older" kids – and it's definitely a DIY project book to put at the top of your reading list.
With her projects Blair encourages her readers to reuse supplies that might be headed for the trash. From scouring thrift stores for supplies to using up the last of your fabric scraps, her 60 projects are great for crafty tweens and teens or for families to work on together. The book is organized into seasonal chapters with just the right mix of holiday themes and projects that work for everyday inspiration.
I had a chance to ask Blair a few questions about Wise Craft earlier this month. Not only is she sharing her motivation for the book with Make It readers, she was also kind enough to share a favorite project of mine from the book, "Gathering Bunting." Take a look at this PDF to learn how to make a strand of this garland with your family.
What was your inspiration for the book?
What I love most about a home isn't the impeccable decor, the fancy finishes or budget-busting remodel. It's the little handmade touches that are sprinkled around. The displayed collections, handmade artwork and special pieces that have a story and are somehow connected to family are the best. I wanted the Wise Craft book, like my blog, to inspire the reader to get creative with their own decor, to jump in and try something new, to show them how easy it can be.
For families who like to craft together, is there a favorite project in the book that would be great for them to try?
Yes! The "Trinket Bowl" project allows little fingers to knead oven-bakeable clay and shape a bowl that can hold all kinds of things. The "Hand-Painted Journal" is a great way to showcase a child's artwork – just have them paint their image on the fabric, and then work with them to make it into a book.
The "Forest Walk Tabletop Garden" is one of those projects that's just better if everyone goes on a walk together, each gathering or foraging their own little collections to put in the planters.
There's tons more – 60 projects in all. Even with the quilt projects that repurpose men's dress shirts, like the "Summer Sherbet Picnic Blanket," a child can help with curating a special collection of shirts.
Why is it important to recycle craft supplies?
When we make things using repurposed materials in our own lives, I believe the end result has more meaning (like the quilt made from my children's old corduroy pants, for example). It gives me a huge amount of satisfaction to reuse something and breathe new life into it.
While I am not militantly thrifty, I do want to live my life, and handcraft our surroundings, in a thoughtful way. I also love that my children have learned to try and "make do" when they can, instead of buying new.
To see Blair in action and learn more about the book, check out this trailer: