Vintage Craft Book Love!


After visiting Cathy of California’s blog today, I was inspired to learn more about vintage 60’s and 70’s crafts. Most people think of bad pasta crafts and macrame when they think about these crafty eras. The one thing that I take away is the amazing amount of innovation and reuse that took place during this time! That and the fact that the projects in these books are the same projects we see ten times over on craft blogs today! This era truly sparked creativity, whimsy, and playfulness that is still being echoed today (whether people know it or not).

What I think I admire about this time is that this was a time before the big box craft stores like Michaels or Joann and that people were using household objects and things on hand to create with. There weren’t aisles of stickers, papers, and embellishments to buy, so crafters had to think outside of the box and be resourceful! The projects are much more original, unique, and handmade than those we see today and that is part of their charm. Everyone was using a little this and that from their cupboards (along with basic products like Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue) and making their crafts all their own!

Here’s a few of the fun craft books and projects that I stumbled upon. Seeing these seriously makes me want to collect vintage craft books…just what I need…more craft books!

I love the styling of this cover! Such a nice way to make the bland macramé pop! My friend Carey’s day used to work for a craft company in the 70’s and 80’s that sold jute used for macramé. He said they couldn’t keep it in stock! He also said that he used to see out of work coal miners selling their creations on the side of the road and making much-needed income doing so! (Photo via AntiquesGaloreGal Shop on Etsy)

This one makes me laugh! I love that people found a way to make something out of anything! Now, I’ve never made a corn cob craft, but I have owned a handmade cornhusk figurine and have made a cornhusk wreath. (Photo via Allsfairy’s shop on Etsy)

This is another book that’s cover caught my eye in all its mid-century glory. This book (as well as the corncob book above) is by Hazel Pearson, a craft icon that produced hundreds of craft books on a wide spectrum of topics. She also made ready-made “Kaboodle” Craft kits in which you got everything you needed for a day of crafting fun! (Photo via SioCraft shop on Etsy)

These vintage Aleene books also took repurposing to a whole new level! Aleene Jackson is another craft industry pioneer that paved the way for what the craft industry is today. You can read all about her history at the Aleene Jackson Craft Museum. I personally think it’s really fascinating how she pretty much started the industry from the ground up! Here’s a great list of more vintage Aleene’s books on Etsy! (Photo via YesterdaysCrafts shop on Etsy).

Are you as enamoured with these crafts as much as I am?

Until next time Swellions!