Tuesday 11 February 2014

Book Review: Craftydermy

Are you a fan of the recent trend for taxidermy-themed crafts? Well, I've found the perfect book for you: Craftydermy, edited by Tracey Benton. 

Craftydermy is a smallish book (about 8 inches high) containing 19 different projects, each one designed by a different maker/crafter.

It's got a fun keyhole cover, the inside pages are lovely matte paper and all the project titles and materials lists (and a few other bits of text here and there) look like they've been typed on a typewriter, which gives the book a great handmade / DIY feel.

The entertaining and informative introduction discusses the history of taxidermy, the recent"disconcerting" resurgence of taxidermy-as-decor in trendy boutiques and bars, and how crafty interpretations of the trend means you can get the look without having a dead animal in your living room.

Then the rest of the book contains the projects - each with step by step instructions, and some step by step illustrations for difficult projects and steps.

There are two kinds of project in the book...

... crafty recreations of taxidermy and other trophies, e.g. paper mache antlers, a knitted fox fur and a display case filled with paper butterflies...


... and more general animal-themed projects, e.g. an embroidered squirrel cushion and a cross stitched stag pendant.

If you expected the whole book to be full of faux taxidermy (a not unlikely assumption given its title) there's a chance you might be disappointed to find these projects in the mix, but I really liked these projects and I think it gives the book a broader appeal and usefulness (how many faux animal heads can you have on your wall, after all?).


The projects cover a wide range of different crafts, and while there are some quite ambitious and time-consuming projects in the book (including a hand stitched felt tiger rug which I imagine would take an age to stitch!) there are also simpler things you could make for yourself or as gifts like this faux fur hood:

As you'd expect with a small book with how-tos for making large projects, the templates do need enlarging. Having to enlarge templates from books only bothers me when with a little effort / creative thinking full size templates could easily have been included, which isn't the case here.

However is a bit annoying not to have clear instructions on what % to enlarge the templates by - some of the projects have that slightly frustrating instruction to "enlarge until X size" (just tell me what % to enlarge it by! don't make me measure the templates and do maths! I am not good at maths!) and others don't give a size guideline at all. 

Minor niggles about the templates aside, I think this is a great, quirky little book. If you fancy making some crafty taxidermy to decorate your home, or want to do some animal-themed crafting that's more cool than cute I think you'll enjoy making the projects in here!

Craftydermy is published by Cicada Books. RRP £12.95. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: Cicada Books sent me a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]


Claire said...

Thank you for including my project in your post! :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

No problem! :)