finger weaving cover

Finger Craft

The Basic Book of Finger Weaving
Dendel
1974

Another craptastic craft book for your consideration. The copy I happened to see was pretty beat up. That said, all I had to do was note the quasi “harvest gold” palette of colors to determine that this book was straight out of the 1970s. Looking at the crafts, you can see this is related to the macrame books of the same era. Everyone knew about macrame, but I never heard the term finger weaving used.

Of course we have some perennial 1970s looks: ponchos, vests, and a decorative collar. I believe I have seen a similar example of an afghan on every couch when I was a kid.

This is a weeder. The dirt on the book and a somewhat broken binding qualifies it for the recycle pile. Retro crafts can be something fun, but how about a book from this century?

Easy to Make Puppets

DIY Puppets

Easy-to-Make Puppets
Stockwell
1973

Submitter: Easy To Make Puppets allows you to make…

  • Middle Finger Dumbo (Handy to keep at the circulation desk for those fun patrons)
  • High as a Kite Clown
  • Stop wasting food heads (A mom’s favorite)
  • And many more!

Holly: The disembodied head on the cover ought to give Mary sweet dreams. And if that doesn’t do it, the double-whammy clown puppet in the last image below will for sure. (You’re welcome!)

Mary: It’s part of my trifecta of evil: puppets, clowns, and mimes. Make it STOP!

Celebrity Sewing Bee cover

Celebrity Sewing Bee

Francine Coffey’s Celebrity Sewing Bee
Coffey
1974

Submitter: When the title says “celebrity sewing bee” they really meant a lot of Dinah Shore. The one area that was really popular during the pandemic was our crafting section. So much so, you could spot the books that needed weeding by glancing over to that section and seeing what did not go out the door. This was one of them – and with reason.

Holly: I can’t imagine why a sewing book with celebrities from 47 years ago isn’t popular anymore. <sarcasm> There are all kinds of great ideas here: put fabric on your ceiling, or Elmer’s glue some fabric to your floor! Make a diet-friendly birthday cake-shaped bag! Re-purpose bandanas into a dress (hey, if you can make a skirt out of curtains, you can make a dress out of masks! I’m sure that’s the next craft craze.)

T-shirting cover

T-Shirting

T-Shirting: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Getting it On Your Chest
Platt
1975

Submitter: I had high hopes from the cover this book might be a groovy book that, when put out on display might get someone to check it out. But alas, its one of those disappointing craft books with bad black and white images.

Holly: Fair warning before you scroll down: two of these images are potentially NSFW. One is a t-shirt model with “special skills” (image 6 below). This might have been a cool book in 1975, but I agree with Submitter: black and white images are just disappointing in a craft book. I want to see those chest handprints in living color (image 3 below…NSFW…).

Hippie Crafts cover

Hippie Crafts

Hippie Crafts: Creating a Hip New Look Using Groovy ’60s Crafts
O’Sullivan
2005

Submitter: This book has not circulated since being purchased back in 2005. From the looks of it, I can see why! Maybe Mary can delight us in some of her 60’s threads.

Holly: Mary is cool, but not this cool.

Mary: I am quite certain I sported a few similar items, but I am going to say no to the vests in the 5th picture. Some of these should have stayed put in the 1960s.

Apple Dumplings Soft Sculpture cover

Apple Dumplins’

Apple Dumplings Presents Soft Sculpture
Graham
1981

Submitter: This ye olde craft book comes from a local branch of the public library. Since automation in 1999 it has not circulated. Sad because that might mean it hasn’t circulated in over 20+ years. It certainly is a time capsule of crafting in the late 70’s and early 80s. My personal yikes – Aunt Bessie.

Holly: At first glance of the submission, I thought, “Oh good, more apple head dolls. Mary will love this.” These are cute, in an old-white-granny kind of way!

But oh my word, Aunt Bessie (last image, below).

Macrame Hangers cover

Macrame Hangers for Small Spaces

Macramé Hangers for Small Spaces
Craft Course Publishers, Inc.
1975

Submission: I found this crafty little book hiding in our stacks recently. My family’s first apartment in the 80’s had the same wallpaper as page 13.

Holly: You know, the house I grew up in had similar wallpaper in our kitchen! We also had the macrame hanger.

Mary: I got a similar wall hanging (pg. 7) for a wedding present. I re-gifted it to a friend, and she did similar. I am sure it is in a landfill, where it belongs.

Creative Arts with Older Adults cover

Elder Artwork

Creative Arts with Older Adults: A Sourcebook
Weisberg and Wilder, Eds.
1985

Submitter: Found in the stack of this public library – It’s not truly awful, but it is old and uninspiring. The photos are poor and the image/printing quality is terrible if you’re BIPOC. I also think we have moved away from the term Geriatric.

Holly: Sometimes books like these can be downright condescending, when older adults may well be master artists. I do understand that physical conditions related to aging can affect one’s ability to make creative arts, even if they had high-level skills at any point in their lives. However, the first page below suggests making everyone aware of everyone else’s disabilities so that they’re all sensitive to each others’ needs – which is something I would NEVER do.