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Earth-Friendly Crafting, Then and Now.
If you like to make stuff, chances are that when Earth Day arrives each year "green" handicrafts come to mind. Perhaps you make new items from materials that others would consider wornout or trash; or maybe you seek out all-natural materials for your crafts. If crafting of this kind interests you, you might want to look back in time at how crafters from decades past approached "green" crafting.
Here are some vintage books from the Library worth browsing both for entertainment and information:
- Low-cost crafts for everyone. by H. Atwood Reynolds.: This 1939 title is heavy on the use of nature materials; it has entire chapters devoted to nut craft, branch craft, and shell craft--and more--including how to make a vase out of a soup bone.
- Easy Crafts by Ellsworth Jaeger. Written by the Buffalo Science Museum's curator of education in 1947, this has classic naturecraft projects that you might have seen at summer camps of the forties and beyond.
- Decorating with seed mosaics, chipped glass, and plant materials by Eleanor Van Rensselaer. Just like the title of this 1960 book says, this provides ideas for using dried plants and seeds in home decor. Some of the ideas made me shudder.
- Fun with Next to Nothing: handicraft projects for boys and girls, written and illustrated by Wesley F. Arnold and Wayne C. Cardy. This children's book from 1962 shows you how to repurpose old cardboard boxes to make ships, trains, stages, and more.
- Adventures in scrap craft, written and illustrated by Michael Carlton Dank. This 1946 go-to source on trashcraft, written by a shop teacher from Brooklyn, offers a wealth of good and odd ideas for re-using tin, paper, leather, cloth, felt.
And if you're looking for more modern approaches to crafting with an eye to today's sensibilities, here are some suggestions:
- Earth Day crafts / Carol Gnojewski.
- Alchemy Arts : recycling is chic / Kate MacKay and Di Jennings.
- Sewing green : 25 projects made with repurposed & organic materials : plus tips and resources for earth-friendly stitching / Betz White; photographs by John Gruen.
- Eco-craft : recycle-recraft-restyle / Susan Wasinger.
- Knit green : 20 projects & ideas for sustainability / Joanne Seiff.
- The Salvage Sisters' guide to finding style in the street and inspiration in the attic / Kathleen Hackett & Mary Ann Young.
- Earth-friendly crafts : clever ways to reuse everyday items / by Kathy Ross ; illustrated by Céline Malépart.
What are your favorite earth-friendly crafts?