At our last local Crafty Creatures get together some good reasons not to feel guilty about the craft book stash came to me. One of our members was casting around for crafty ideas to update the home, so I offered to bring along some books…as I have no shortage of them – brand new, my own old books and second-hand bookshop finds.

How many times have you thought that there are so many good ideas in the book you want to buy (or have just bought) but you’ll probably only make two or three of them at the most? Or, you have several books of the same type as the one glinting on the shop shelves? Does it deserve a place on your bookshelves and random piles of books around the place?  Here are five reasons to banish the guilt:

  • Someone you know might make good use of something in the book – loan it out and start a friend on a new crafting project
  • You may not make a specific project in a book, but the general idea winds it’s way into becoming one of the nuts and bolts of another project
  • There are always different perspectives to be found on books on any one theme
  • Think of the value you get from the book: money saved from making your own, or new skills learnt
  • Anthony Powell said ‘Books do furnish a room’, so they do double duty and…. browsing your books is always a fun way to pass the time!

I happened upon ANOTHER vintage home book recently, and thought to myself  ‘do I really need this – have I not been doing the shabby chic, upcycling thing for years out of necessity?’. Somehow even flicking through the book re-activated the grey cells (think comic strip and light bulbs flashing above the head).

It brings to mind the Buy Nothing New campaign I mentioned in 2013 unravelled, 2014 cast on. I said I didn’t think I could quite manage to buy nothing new, and that’s true, but second-hand, vintage, surplus to requirements and re-purposed have become a way of life. This year crafting skills in this household (if I include Mr L too) have been put to good use, with items re-painted, cut or sawn up and re-used, patched up, re-mounted, relaid, and it all depends on a few grey cells in more or less working order, books, articles torn out of magazines, ideas photographed when out and about, and the internet, of course: a diverse reference library.

So now, what can I do with the considerable quantity of wallpaper off-cuts, fabric remnants from old sewing projects, tester pots of paint part-used, unravelled wool…….