Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation


Earth-Friendly Crafting, Then and Now.


Amusements - American Jubilee - Woman with globe, Digital ID 1652571, New York Public LibraryIf 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:

And if you're looking for more modern approaches to crafting with an eye to today's sensibilities, here are some suggestions:

What are your favorite earth-friendly crafts?


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Earth-friendly crafting

Although it is very interesting to review "nature" crafts of the past, such crafts are not necessarily "earth friendly". Much damage has been done by collectors of natural items such as sea shells, once so common and popular for crafting or use as is in homes. More useful are the works that point to fun ways to recycle modern "waste" or surplus materials into artistic and/or new usable objects. Also, it would be great to be pointed to works that review the history of collecting natural materials for crafting (for fun or profit) and the impact such practices have had and why (not to place blame, but to provide learning).

You're right--what we consider nature-friendly is different.

What were once considered nature-embracing crafts, simply because they used natural materials, have in fact had harmful results for plant and animal life in some circumstances. It's an awareness or sensitivity that does not have a place in these earlier craft books at all, and in some ways this isn't a surprise I suppose. Concerning histories of collecting nature, there are some interesting histories of natural history collections that I've seen, and I'll work on pulling together some ideas to post here soon. Thanks for your comment!

Post new comment