Crafting Ebooks for Quarantine

The demand for boredom-busting indoor activities is at an all-time high. With many libraries closing their doors to protect their constituents from COVID-19, the need for titles that can be downloaded is equally robust. Thankfully, a number of publishers are offering crafting ebooks, from beginner’s guides to project ideas for seasoned crafters, to help readers keep busy during social distancing. Here are a selection of the most accessible and entertaining crafting titles available digitally to recommend to patrons looking for productive at-home hobbies.

The demand for boredom-busting indoor activities is at an all-time high. With many libraries closing their doors to protect their constituents from COVID-19, the need for titles that can be downloaded is equally robust. Thankfully, a number of publishers are offering crafting ebooks, from beginner’s guides to project ideas for seasoned crafters, to help readers keep busy during social distancing. Here are a selection of the most accessible and entertaining crafting titles available digitally to recommend to patrons looking for productive at-home hobbies.

 

Sew My Goodness!

Lyne, Sonia. Mini Hoop Embroideries: Over 60 Little Masterpieces to Stitch and Wear. Search Pr. 2018. ISBN 9781782216650. $15.95 

These tiny projects are fast and easy, whether it be traditional embroidery styles like sewing flowers or mixed medium paint-and-sew projects. Bonus, these crafts can easily be turned into jewelrylike necklaces and brooches as well for more practical use.
 

Sew Step By Step. DK. Feb 2020. ISBN 9781465491084. $24.99

This all-in-one guide describes and illustrates tools, from the sewing machine to straight pins, as well as techniques for hand and machine stitches, collars, sleeves, gathers, patterns, fastenings, and other facets of stitching. There is an excellent section on fabrics, both natural and artificial fibers, that focuses on projects they're suited for and the needles, threads, and layouts they work well with. [Susan B. Hagloch, May issue]
 

Thompson, Meghan. Whimsical Felt Embroidery: 30 Easy Projects for Creating Exquisite Wall Art. Page Street. 2019. ISBN 978162414833. $21.99

If you’re looking for a trendy update to your sewing routine, look no further. Hoop crafting with felt adds an extra dimension, and the wealth of step-by-step instructions and ideas make this guide useful for all skill levels. With phrases like “Love You a Latte” this guide is a much-needed, quirky update to the traditional craft of embroidery.
 

What’s Knot to Love?

Graciano, Alyssarhaye. Chunky Knits: Cozy Hats, Scarves and More Made Simple with Extra-Large Yarn. Page Street. Jan 2020. ISBN 9781624149566. $19.99.

With arm-knitting and oversized scarves taking social media by storm, what could be cozier than snuggling up with extra-large yarn and learning a trendy new craft? This fresh collection of knitting crafts includes instructions for all skill levels on projects from clothing to home essentials like blankets. Crafts included vary on supplies as some require larger needles and others call for no needles at all.
 

Jarchow, Deborah and Gwen W. Steege. The Weaving Explorer. Storey. 2019. ISBN 978635860283. $29.95.

This beautifully photographed collection of crafts features projects that can be created with homemade looms or even without a loom—perfect for those new to the art of weaving. Projects listed include a wide variety of useful and decorative items, be it clothing, baskets, washcloths, jewelry, or home décor. Supplies vary, but expect to make use of non-traditional weaving supplies such as fabric scraps, wire, and paper.
 

Morita, Melanie. Hooked on Amigurumi: 40 Fun Patterns for Playful Crochet Plushes. Page Street. 2019. ISBN 9781624147661. $21.99.

With tons of different patterns, readers can create the most kawaii stuffed toys, from animals to treats to favorite fairytale characters. With minimal sewing required, crochet fanatics can rejoice in the simplicity of each project.
 

Folding Down the Fort

Hogg, Corrie Beth. Handmade Houseplants: Remarkably Realistic Plants You Can Make with Paper. Timber. 2018. ISBN 9781604698190. $19.95.

If you don’t have a lot of materials at home for crafting, then a book like this—where all the materials can either be printed or found lying around the house—is a good choice when the local Michael’s is closed. This charming introduction to origami and folding paper into foliage will be enriched by a live demo on Instagram on March 28, at @corriebethmakes.
 

Brushing off Boredom

Griffiths, Carne. The Organic Painter. Quarry Press: Quarto. 2019. ISBN 9781631596087. $24.99.

For crafty patrons running low on supplies while quarantined, this book focuses on how to paint with nontraditional materials like coffee, tea, alcohol, and even fire. From teaching how to make the “paint” to useful advice on mastering each medium, this richly photographed work is perfect for folks who don’t have the luxury of running to the local craft store for art supplies.

Haines, Jean. Paint Yourself Calm: Colourful, Creative Mindfulness Through Watercolour. Search Pr. 2016. ISBN 9781782212829. $29.95.

These days we could all use a little more mindfulness. Combining meditative techniques and outlook-expanding text, this work teaches readers to watercolor in an empowering and positive way—perfect for combatting the stress and blues of quarantine.


Koliadych, Anna. 15-Minute Watercolor Masterpieces: Create Frame-Worthy Art in Just a Few Simple Steps. Page Street. 2019. ISBN 9781624148804. $21.99.

Whether patrons are looking to learn watercolor alone or with little ones, this guide is accessible for all ages. Tutorials include galaxies, underwater scenery, animals, foods, fashion, flowers and foliage, and basic technique pointers.
 

VanEver, Amanda. The Art of Paint Pouring. Walter Foster: Quarto. 2019. ISBN 9781633227378. $19.99.

This book includes chapters on everything readers need to know to get started with paint pouring, a craft that’s recently become trendy, including how to get the correct paint consistency, which colors pair nicely, and how to keep their workspace clean. With an emphasis on affordability, this work is perfect for craft dabblers who may not want to invest a lot financially in a new craft.
 

Wells, Megan. Colorways: Acrylic Animals. Walter Foster: Quarto. 2019. ISBN 9781633226142. $19.99.

This whimsical book focuses on painting familiar subjects with creative color palettes, like bright pinks and purples for farm animals. By using an easy-to-blend medium like acrylic this work helps readers capture the likeness of different animals while inspiring creative coloring and artistic freedom.
 

The Write Thing to Do

Kim, Shelly. Digital Hand Lettering and Modern Calligraphy. Quarry Books: Quarto. 2019. ISBN 9781631597206. $24.99.

With super satisfying videos of calligraphy flooding Instagram and TikTok, this book offers useful tutorials on creating  content in the digital age. From tips on using and making the most of software like Procreate and Adobe Sketch to basics of hand lettering, this is a modern guide to a classic art.
 

Lavender, Laura. Creative Lettering and Beyond: Timeless Calligraphy. Walter Foster: Quarto. 2019. ISBN 9781633227293. $19.99.

For those more interested in traditional calligraphy, this introductory guide to classic techniques is a one-stop-shop. Featuring styles like Copperplate, Spencerian, Italian hand, Bickham script, Victorian embellished capitals, Art Nouveau Capitals, and Gothic Capitals this beautifully illustrated work has everything needed to get started on a timeless craft.

Bennett, Kiley. Super Simple Hand-Lettering Projects: Techniques and Craft Projects Using Hand Lettering. Fox Chapel: Design Originals. May 2020. ISBN 9781497204515. $16.99.

This book is unique in that it teaches readers to hand letter on a variety of surfaces including glass, fabric, wood, and chalkboards. Unique project ideas include Christmas ornaments, caketoppers, and many of Bennett's signature inspirational materials.

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