Clear Crafting

plastic crafts

Plastic Crafts

I really wasn’t sure what to expect with these plastic crafts. In this book, plastic crafts are clear acrylic items that end up being sign holders, shelves, and other basic containers. I thought these things were churned out by Big Plastic Factory and not something one would craft. The clear plastic theme was indeed a thing back in the day for the really modern look. If you are a librarian, you probably have a hundred of these things to hold the latest signs, flyers, etc for your library.

Looking at the detail involved, it does require some skill. Nowadays, someone would probably use a 3-D printer and call it a day.


needle applicator

book holder


calculator stand



  1. When I was in the 8th grade (1978-79), girls got to take shop class for a couple of days while the boys took home economics. We made molded clear acrylic bowls. Thankfully there were no attaching of parts like in these samples, we just heated up one sheet of plastic/acrylic and molded it.

    1. That must have been a nice change! Throughout my school career, mine seemed to be the class where they discontinued good things — like girls having manual training (woodworking, etc.). My class was the first one not to — instead the girls had to knit, little squares to make afghans for some charitable purpose. I was so outraged! I came home and expressed this at dinner: “the boys get to make things, but the girls have to KNIT!” Instead of taking up my cause, my parents sent me from the table, for raising my voice. I felt this injustice keenly.

      I think I was in the third grade. Adding insult to injury was the fact that my afghan square was rejected LOL.

  2. Disagree with this selection. Acrylic-clear 3D printing is not widely available (yet), and the specific skills (welding, bending, etc.) that I imagined demonstrated in this book are probably not well known and likely useful to several types of crafts (architecture models, memorabilia display cases, etc). Yes, you might be able to find them on YouTube, but then you could say the same thing for every craft-related book out there.

  3. We had a Plastics class at my Junior High where we could make things like this, along with various types of castings. Not exceptionally difficult, but some of the chemicals involved were NAS-TY.

  4. Good grief. Why on earth would you need a calculator stand unless you were an electronics shop displaying them? The rest of us just put the thing down on the desk!

    1. If the calculator is a flat one & you have to use it frequently, I can see a stand being useful in tilting the display to the user so they don’t have to peer over the surface – and I currently use a phone charm to tilt my smartphone now, haha.

      1. The calculators of this time had screens with an extremely narrow viewing angle, and that cord coming out of the back you wouldn’t want it to get stressed if there was a book or thick thing on the desk.

  5. I worked in an art museum for many years and saw the sort of things that conservators and art handlers did to make inconspicuous mounts for objects on exhibition. You can still see things like ones shown in this book in good museums today.

    Okay, some of this is dated but, like a book on needlework from the 1970s, the projects may look lame but the stitch dictionary. In the needlepoint book or the procedures for creating these plastic projects are still valid.

  6. This may be the first craft book where the crafts don’t look the slightest bit dated! The calculator sure dates the book though.

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