In the run up to Christmas I was sent a selection of craft books to review, and was just too busy to share any of them with you! Tsk tsk, what a bad blogger I am, etc etc. There may be a few book reviews popping up on the blog over the next few weeks while I catch up :)
First up: Papercrafting in no time by Clare Youngs (published by Cico Books). Clare wrote Scandinavian Needlecraft, which I fell head over heels in love with last year so I was quite excited to see the projects in this book...
.... they didn't disappoint: this book is lovely!
It's a pretty large book, with over 170 pages and a massive 50 paper projects. Lots of them are decorative (mobiles, pictures, garlands, and lots of quirky ornamental bits and bobs to add charm to your decor) but there are also some "functional" projects (for example, gift boxes, a cake stand, paper bowls, and a gorgeous photo album) and a whole section full of cards.
All the projects feel fresh and modern, with lots of popular motifs sprinkled through the book (owls, russian dolls, birds, union jacks).
There's only a small guide to materials and tips on various paper cutting techniques at the back of the book, but each project contains detailed step-by-step instructions, with a photo illustrating each step.
You may need to buy a few bits of equipment before tackling most of the projects (like a craft knife and a cutting mat) but the shopping list isn't too long - and I'd want to buy those supplies just to be able to make the gorgeous woodland papercut. Almost all the templates need enlarging, even the smaller ones, but there's so much crammed into this book it's only to be expected, really.
I have to admit that I've seen similar projects to some of the simpler ideas in this book available elsewhere for free on various blogs (e.g. this leaf wreath is similar to one included in the book, ditto this bunting card, and the book also includes a snowflake curtain). Mentioning those links I in no way mean to imply there's been any copying going on anywhere, it's just interesting seeing the overlap between the worlds of craft publishing and blogging when dealing with similar themes and materials... and I think that stylistic overlap is actually a sign of how up to date this book is.
Often I see craft books that feel a bit old fashioned or a bit unsatisfying compared with the always fresh and exciting world of the online craft world, but I got really excited about this book and found myself ooohing over most of the projects. All the ladies at my knitting club did the same (and most of them have never read a craft blog in their lives!)
Papercrafting in no time is available from Cico Books, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.
[Disclaimer: Cico Books sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]