Thursday 5 September 2013

Book Review: Everything Oz

Time for another book review! Today I'm reviewing Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes by Christine Leech & Hannah Read-Baldrey.

Everything Oz contains 50 projects inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and is a follow-up to Christine & Hannah's earlier book Everything Alice which I reviewed last year

After a brief introduction, the book starts with a list of Craft Essentials & Cookery Essentials you'll need to make the projects (which are a mix of craft tutorials and recipes). The first projects are a Dorothy doll, some Kansa-inspired recipes and a Toto cushion ...

... then as you go through the book, you follow the plot of the book so you get yellow brick road coconut ice "bricks".... a cowardly lion hand puppet.... green lemonade and popcorn from Oz... winged monkey party invitations... etc etc.

The book is full of charmingly styled photos, and the pages are also decorated throughout with quotations and illustrations from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, plus vintage-style posters, newspaper clippings and adverts.

The projects vary quite widely in complexity / skill level required so there are projects here to challenge you and help you try out new skills as well as some quick and easy beginner-friendly designs. For example, the sewing projects range from little felt munchkin hat egg cosies to an embroidered poppy eyemask and rainbow patchwork apron.

There's also a mix of different crafts in the book, including paper crafting (large paper poppies and balloon mobiles), candle-making (spooky witch-shaped candles) and making homemade face masks and scrubs. Oh, and there are a few things included for you to colour copy from the book and then make, like a scarecrow puppet and Dorothy gift tags. The only slightly random project that made me think “gosh, who would make that?” is the tutorial for making an actual scarecrow (for your garden, I guess?)

The recipes range from things like cherry pie to a rainbow cake to green popcorn (complete with a photocopy-able popcorn box for you to make) and glow in the dark emerald city jelly.

All the projects and recipes have step by step instructions, and most of the craft projects also have step-by-step photos. In the Alice book the templates were drawn with very pale lines making them hard to trace or photocopy/enlarge but that's not a problem this time round.

As with Everything Alice, Everything Oz would be the perfect inspiration for a themed party! But how useful are the projects for other occasions or for giving as gifts?

Some of the designs have a strong Oz theme, so they'd be nice to make for any Wizard of Oz fans you know - like these squashed witch cupcakes (perfect for someone's birthday)...

... and this seriously adorable winged monkey baby bath towel.

Other designs in the book aren't obviously Oz-themed when taken out of context so they'd make great gifts or food/decor ideas for lots of different occasions. For example, you can make dog treats, a felt and yarn bluebird wreath, a patchwork picnic set, large decorative paper rosettes and these gorgeous emerald hairpieces:

You could also easily change the colours of some items to adapt them for other occasions - e.g. making the munchkin hats in Christmas colours to turn them into elf hats.

I have to admit that I'm not the world's biggest fan of the Wizard of Oz but there are lots of things in this book that I’d love to make and I had a hard time picking just a few projects to share with you guys!

Everything Oz is published by Quadrille. RRP £14.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: the nice folks at Quadrille sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]


Nat said...

Love the look of this! Hadn't seen it until now. Definitely on my shopping list. Thanks for sharing! xx

Bugs and Fishes said...

No problem! :)