Saturday 26 April 2014

Book Review: Made by Yourself

The final book I'm reviewing for Book Week is... Made by Yourself: 100% Handmade Designer DIY Projects for the Home, from Furniture to Accessories by Peter Fehrentz.

This is a super-stylish hardback filled with 48 projects. The photos and styling are all great (& all done by Peter himself) and check out that yummy neon yellow spine!

Each project is rated by difficulty and cost, from 1 (easy / cheap) to 6 (difficult / expensive) and Peter has also provided an estimated time for each project.

As somone who is a bit of a novice when it comes to home DIY stuff I was pleased to see lots of projects rated 1 or 2 for difficulty. However, each project only includes quite short text instructions (with just a couple of diagrams in the book) so some knowledge of the materials you're using are required. I definitely wouldn't be able to tackle the level 1 woodworking projects with the same confidence as the projects involving card, fabric, paint, etc.

At the back of the book there's a "credits" section, noting where all the materials and photo-props can be found, and a general stockists list. It's great to know exactly which bits of IKEA furniture Peter has decorated or used as props, but the other stockists are a bit pointless as they're all based in Germany (where the book was originally published) and I'm not sure that many people buying the UK edition would go that far to shop for DIY supplies.

The projects are divided by material...

... and the projects include mirrors, decorative accessories, trays, lighting, tables, candle holders, chairs and more.

If I'm honest there are lots of things in here which look awesome but which I am never ever going to make in a million years, either because I know my making-skills aren't up to it or the materials/tools needed are quite specialist (cutting glass to make a chandelier and turning a quartzite slab into a tray = not the DIY projects for me)... or just because they're a bit too "I've got a minimalist loft sparsely decorated with chic statement pieces" for my taste in home-decor (minimal and chic are words no-one is ever going to use about anywhere I live).

But oh my goodness there so many things in here I really want in my house!

It was hard to just pick a few examples to share with you guys but I especially loved this malachite-effect table (swoon)...


... these faux-metal letters...


... these fun cardboard "vases"...

... and this cushion cover (which is decorated with leather pieces but which I am, of course, imagining made with pieces of wool felt).

If you ooh over chic design blogs and fancy trying your hand at some creative, inspirational projects you'll find lots to love in this book... and the more confident and ambitious you are when it comes to DIY the more you'll be able to make from it.

And - great news - I've got a copy to give away! Check back tomorrow for the giveaway :)

Made by Yourself is published by Jacqui Small. RRP £18.00. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

Please note: I was sent a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links.