Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Christmas Crafting In No Time - A book review for Popular Crafts Magazine

This week I was delighted to receive a book to review for the Popular Crafts Magazine. 

With the lovely weather we've been having, it seemed totally surreal to be sunbathing whilst reading a book on Christmas crafts from cover to cover.  Whilst the review will be in the December issue of the magazine, I'm told I can share it with you in advance.  This way, I get to show you some lovely photo's of the makes too!

After reading this post, why not pop over to the Popular Crafts website.  It's a great site, with lots of features, a crafting forum and a book club.  It's free to join, plus, if you join the book club where this and many other books are reviewed each month - you get the opportunity to purchase at a specially discounted rate.  Got to be worth a couple of minutes tapping away!

Christmas Crafting In No Time
by Clare Youngs
(Cico Books) 

50 step-by-step projects and inspirational ideas.

If you would like to enjoy a home-made Christmas this year, then this could be a handy book to add to your collection.

Christmas Crafting In No Time is a delightful and eclectic mix of paper-craft, cookery, sewing, and other crafts based on designs from around the world.  In amidst the old-fashioned charm, there is a heavy hint of Scandinavian style evident, as well as Russian dolls and Mexican horses!  Though a Christmas book, many of the makes are suitable for throughout the year, as they are not things we would normally associate with the festive season.
Folksy heart - made from air-dry clay
A charming advent calendar to sew
The book is a pleasure to read.  Well laid out, with lots of glorious photography and well-written instructions for each of the 50 projects.  All the projects are fairly simple, (a few almost astonishingly so) and require a minimum of materials to complete.  The paper-crafts include an angel for the tree, Scandinavian horses, a curled heart for the window, and garlands.  Many of these only need plain white paper and though very simple, look very elegant.  There are tree decorations to make; these include papier-mâché baubles,  with hanging fish and owls to sew.  You may like to bake the snowflake cookies to hang on the branches.
A selection of little owls to hang
Not sure what these mice have to do with Christmas - but aren't they lovely?
For sewing fans, there are several ideas to choose from.  Amongst others; a folksy advent calendar, girl and boy mice dolls, and possibly my favourite make - a pretty naive snowflake design to embroider onto a throw.  I also find myself utterly charmed by the embossed clay hearts made from air-dry clay, and the Jin Candle Holders.  These are primitive style horses made from embossed tin, and they look delightful.  One recipe that transported me straight back to childhood, and probably the reason for my fillings - Sugar Mice!  I have to make some of those - made me smile as soon as I saw the photo.
I really love these tin horses - can be made using thick foil roasting tins
Extremely simple - but nonetheless adorable wrapping suggestions
To sum up, I would say that this book will appeal to those who want a quick, easy crafting fix, and enjoy the naive, folksy, Scandinavian style.  There are makes for the tree, for the home, and for gifts - and not just for Christmas!  Whilst seasoned crafters will probably find the projects too basic on the whole, the book does follow through with it's title - In No Time, and they may possibly discover a new idea or two.  Personally, I think Christmas Crafting In No Time is a great purchase for a family with craft loving children of any age, as I would estimate about half the projects would be perfectly at home in a children's book.   As a mum of 3, I know that my children could have handled most things with the minimum of help - and (always very handy) if it went wrong, I would have been able to salvage it!

I can so remember the excitement of buying a sugar mouse as a child!

One of the simple festive recipes

My favourite - I'm loving this snowflake throw

I do hope you find this review useful.  Don't you think these projects are simply charming?  As I mentioned before, why not pop over to the Popular Crafts website and become a member.  It's quick and free to join, and if you sign up to the book club, you can benefit from the following offer:-

Christmas Crafting in No Time by Clare Youngs is published by CICO Books at £14.99, pb, and available from all good bookshops or call 01256-302699 quoting GLR6DJ to purchase a copy at the special price of £12.99 including free p&p*.  Visit

*This offer is for members of the Popular Crafts magazine Book Club only.


  1. What an Aladin's cave of inspiration. I'll certainly pay that site a visit. I'm keen to have a very handmade Christmas this year.

  2. Some very lovely projects there. My favourites are the heart and the mice (both soft and sugared).


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