What's new in my craft closet these days? A lot, that's for sure! From books packed with projects to tools to help making crafting safer for makers of all ages, I've got a few cool items to share with you in this week's Make It roundup. Any Halloween craft supplies? Not this time, but if you're looking for some must-check-out books, peek at Kathy Sheldon's Felt-o-Ween, Matthew Mead's Halloween Spooktacular and Marion Paull's Creating Your Vintage Hallowe'en for project inspiration.
First up in the roundup? Two books you'll want to add to your family's crafting library.
Loom Band It: 60 Rubber Band Projects for the Budding Loomineer
By Kat Roberts and Tessa Sillars-Powell
Published by Barron's
"The Budding Loomineer." Got a kid who digs making stacks of accessories from tiny rubber bands on Rainbow Looms? Then this book is a must. With a glossary of helpful tools and techniques to get the book started, the authors put together a visual index of every project. I love that you can see the projects, from sleeves for a pair of glasses to sleeves for a coffee cup, together and up front in the project selector. It covers the basics and then jumps right into the fray.
For a child who's looking for a new challenge, give this book a try.
Hello Kitty Crochet: Supercute Amigurumi Patterns for Sanrio Friends
By Mei Li Lee
Published by Quirk Books
Here's a scary thought: Hello Kitty is 40. Forty! She looks pretty good, doesn't she? Her popularity, along with that of her other Sanrio pals, has spanned generations, as evident in blogger Mei Li Lee's new book. Focusing on amigurumi – small knitted or crocheted stuffed dolls – the book packs in 25 projects. For children who enjoy crochet but are new to amigurumi, Mei Li shows the basics of the technique, from the first stitch to creating the lovable characters' shapes.
Of course, there are several Hello Kitty variations to try, from classic to ballerina or, even better, Hello Kitty dressed as Tuxedo Sam! You'll recognize several very familiar Sanrio faces, including the Little Twin Stars and Badtz-Maru. Check out Mei Li's blog for even more amigurumi fun and ideas.
Next in the roundup? Over to the crafting table …
Hobby Holster by Holster Brands
Find on HobbyHolster.com
Working with glue guns can be dangerous at times for crafters of any age – but especially risky for children who aren't familiar with handling the hot tool. That's where the Hobby Holster comes in. Made of heat-resistant silicone, the holster adheres to surfaces to give you a place to not only rest the warm glue gun, but also to store it, too – all while it's on.
The holster features two pockets: one for the gun and one for the glue sticks. Thanks to the silicone, glue beads and strings can be peeled off once cool. How does it work? Simply place the holster flap on your work surface and smooth into place.
|Any downsides? The surface definitely needs to be very smooth. I found that the holster didn't stay in place on one of my workstations with a wooden top. When it comes to holding your glue gun, I found that my large, heavier glue gun pulled the holster off the table.|
|When I tried my mini glue gun and a smooth work surface, though, the Hobby Holster worked like a charm.|
I'm definitely a fan of the Hobby Holster for smaller craft tools, especially when it comes to keeping little hands safe. Being able to store the gun in the protective holster will hopefully reduce the risk of any accidental burns. It's also great for storing other small tools, too, like scissors, rulers, pencils, etc.
You can pick one up in your choice of four colors. And the Hobby Holster goes beyond the craft room, too. The Hot Iron Holster keeps hair styling tools cool and the Lil' Holsters can help keep your bathroom supplies organized.