A festive roundup of new crafty reads

Holiday festivities are in full swing, and maybe you’d like to make a wreath to deck the halls! Or perhaps you have a passion for everything sustainable and would like to make a calendula soap to gift to a friend. This month’s offering of new hobbies and crafts books have plenty of nifty ideas for creatives of all levels. The below list includes charming book trees made from old, inexpensive book pages, turning leftover wine into a natural dye, and cute pompom card pegs you can make with your tamariki. Furthermore, for those keen to start a creative lifestyle as we welcome 2024, there’s some beginner-friendly skills and projects to help you get started. So, no matter your experience or attention span level, there is something in our collection that will spark that Christmas joy.

Quick and easy Christmas crafts : 100 gifts & decorations to make for the festive season / Haxell, Kate
“Christmas is a wonderful time of year for crafting! From imaginative handmade gifts to stunning, reusable decorations, this book contains 100 fabulous quick and easy makes for the festive season. All the projects have been carefully selected from Search Press’s best-selling 20 to Make series and are simple enough for beginners as well as seasoned crafters.There’s something for everyone in this book, including knitting, crochet, papercraft, sewing, sugarcraft, cross stitch, polymer clay and needlepoint. Each craft has a handy techniques section to get you started, followed by a range of quick projects that include embroidered snowflake bunting, papercut Christmas cards, knitted Santa and Rudolph finger puppets, crocheted stars and a sugar snowman. All the projects are made using tools and materials that are easy to source and provide all the inspiration you need to make Christmas extra special”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Stars & snowflakes : simple, sustainable papercrafts for the festive season / Lantz, Jennie
“When the nights draw in and you need to add a little magic and sparkle to the long evenings, what better way than to make your own decorations. All you need is paper, scissors and glue, and with the templates and step-by-step instructions in this book, you can create a winter wonderland in your own home. Start with snowflakes in different sizes and scatter them around the room, or hang them from your windows.  All sorts of paper can be used — from leftover wrapping paper, to baking paper and coffee filter paper. There are also wreaths, garlands, leaves, flowers and lots more to discover, and once you start creating these stunningly simple projects, you’ll want to make more and give them as gifts, too!” — Provided by publisher.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Soapmaking for beginners : 100% pure soaps to make at home / Umehara, Ayako
“The all-in-one guide to making 100% natural beauty and bath soaps at home! This book makes it easy to create your own soaps using ingredients that you know and trust. Author Ayako Umehara, a certified herbal therapist, aromatherapy and Ayurveda instructor, shows you how to make your own soaps using pure and simple natural ingredients like olive oil, shea butter, rose hips, as well as many novel aromatic ingredients like Yuzu Matcha Mint, Lemon, Eucalyptus and Salt, Seaweed and Clay. A special section introduces basic techniques for bar soaps and how to vary the type and quantity of plant oils used. An extensive reference section covers everything you need about natural and botanical additives, such as plant and essential oils, herbs, dried flowers, etc. For all your cleansing needs, Soapmaking for Beginners has got you covered–in suds!”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Knitted Christmas stockings : 25 festive designs to make for family and friends / Reynolds, Emilee
“There’s nothing more exciting than waking up on Christmas morning to find a stocking, with your name on it, stuffed with presents. This year, you can create that magical moment for friends and family with these truly special handmade stockings. With the choice of modern designs, jolly elves, classic nativity scenes and traditional festive themes, you can find a style to suit everyone. Why stop at one stocking, when you could make them for the whole family?” — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Botanical dyes : plant-to-print dyes, techniques and projects / Behan, Babs
“Babs Behan guides readers through everything you need to know to make your own natural dyes. She features recipes and top tips on everything you need to know to make your own natural dyes, focusing on how to turn plants into dyes. — adapted from back cover” (Catalogue)


Retro crochet style : 15 beginner-friendly patterns to create your vintage-inspired closet / Price, Savannah
“Learn to create your own fabulous and one-of-a-kind wardrobe with Savannah Price’s Retro Crochet Style. This book will show you, step by step, how to make the perfect sweater, skirt, pants or dress, all of which can be customized to fit every body shape and size. Be your gorgeous self in clothing that was designed specifically for you or put a smile on your best friend’s face by gifting them a stylish new sweater handmade with love.” (Catalogue)