Please Throw it Away!

Don't Throw it Away coverDon’t Throw It Away!

Another gorgeous craft book from an unnamed public library’s craft section. (No, as of this writing it was NOT weeded.)

I had no trouble guessing that this was direct from the 1970s.  The harvest colors are a dead giveaway. Everything was harvest gold, avocado green, and some kind of disgusting yellow. (The super groovy font on the cover is also telling.)

I love the idea of recycling every day stuff. However, I don’t like recycling stuff  just so you can make something decorative that will require active dusting on my part.


Don't Throw it Away back cover

flower lamp, vace, wall hanging

Christmas decorations

winter decorations


  1. I’m pretty sure my parents still have one of those coffee can Santa Boot things. It’s got to be more than 40 years old at this point.

    1. That Santa Boot to this day come out at my parents’ house every year at Christmas, filled with peanut brittle.

  2. Even if one likes making knickknacks from everyday detritus, a book that uses more current junk would be a better choice for a library.

  3. I think that the average person would have to go out and buy these items, so that kind of defeats the original purpose of the book.

  4. I always wanted a meat grinder lamp/bird’s nest!

    I kind of wish coffee cans were still a thing, because they were useful and sturdy. Of course, the coffee in them was horrible.

  5. Why is it in these books (and in those Crafts and Things magazines that my library subscribes to in the Children’s Room) that the crafts look as though they were assembled by an eight year old with lots of time on his hands?

  6. Some of this – that lamp trimmed in searing yellow especially – is Doctor,-my-eyes! quality eye bleach.

  7. What is the broomstick-impaled-pipe-smoking snowman looking at? A turtle, a frog, a lump of guacamole covered with flower petals?
    I can’t help but fear that the meat grinder is going to attack the poor little birdie.
    Mary Ann is right – most people don’t have these items in their hose, which defeats the purpose of the book.

  8. I can’t decide which item is the worst. The ghastly screeching bright yellow MEAT GRINDER (!) lamp gives the boot thing a run for its money. Who has an extra washboard laying around? Man, there’s a lot of awful junk in this world.

  9. What is that thing behind the Santa boot? It looks out of place. But, it also looks like the urn my dog’s ashes came in. Interesting recycling idea…

  10. At first I was going to say I like some of the crafts in this book, but I was basing that on the chair and the lamp with the metal lampshade. Now that I’ve seen the inside – this is a side of the 1970s that needs to be buried deep in the center of the earth.

  11. Are those razor blades floating in that candle (?) in the last photo? I do think the potato chip mobile is a good idea though.

  12. Gee, I was guessing ©1976 because of the patriotic trash can/fire bucket on the cover. I have a permanent aversion to Spirit of ’76 decorum due to the Bicentennial.

  13. Sorry, decor, not decorum.
    And if you want to see these crafts in their native habitat, visit a Yellow Deli restaurant (CA and TN).

  14. I was going to say that I used to like finding books such as these. I homeschooled my kids and found lots of old craft books had fun ideas. But, I can’t say that now. There is nothing shown that I would have wanted to make! What horrible “crafts.” I have never seen such ugly stuff together in one place before! The candles made in milk cartons isn’t a bad way to do it, but even those aren’t very attractive here. And a potato chip mobile? Are those really potato chips? No, they must be some kind of shells collected on a vacation. Then that isn’t too bad.

  15. I’ve seen this book being made fun of on another website! I recognize the meatgrinder thingie!

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