I’d like to think of myself as creative. Like most people, I’ve had that moment where I’ve been at the art gallery or the handmade markets and thought – I could totally have done that / why would I buy that when I could make it?
But then I realised that while my mother may have appreciated my early contemporary art creations, including some cracker clay vases made in year 7 art classes, most people don’t feel the same way about my art and perhaps I’m not as creative as I thought I was.
Bringing this and my continued love for colouring-in together, I’ve pulled together a list of the Top 10 books for non-so-creative-people to enjoy an afternoon of craft – aka crafternoon for the creatively challenged.
Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith
I have OCD and find this book both exciting and challenging. I’m not all the way though, but it’s a work in progress that continues providing entertainment for the moments you need a break from things or routine.
The 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte
Who doesn’t love a dot-to-dot? While traditionally for kids to help with numbers and penmanship this big format book could be given to kids, but it’s adults that will get the biggest kick as portraits of 20 pop-culture icons are brought to life. As a bonus the pages are perforated which means you can pull them out, pop them in a frame and have some handmade art on the wall (that people will only notice is done as a dot-to-dot if they get up close).
Tattoo Colour-In Postcards from MEGAMUNDEN
Combining my love of colouring in, tattoos and mail, this 20 postcard set is a winner! Once you’ve coloured in the sailor style tattoo you don’t have to worry about what to do with it – forget the texting and go old-skool and write a note, put a stamp on it and you’ll have brought a little joy to your afternoon as well as the person you’ve sent the card to (assuming you’ve coloured within the lines and don’t write something nasty on the back…)
Yves Saint Laurent Colouring Book
This little (smaller than A5) colouring book takes you through the history of fashion guru Yves Saint Laurent’s key designs – where you get to add your own twist with colour to the original design sketches.
Human Anatomy Colouring Book
While every first year medicine and health science student won’t see this as a crafternoon option, for the nerds out their with an interest in anatomy then this colouring-in book is the way to go. If you’re like me you’ll enjoy learning the muscle layers, or how the bones, muscles and ligaments all join to make you move. While I’m recommending this basic version there are number of anatomy colouring books out there, including ones with more detailed diagrams, or even quizzes to help you self-test…
Origami Architecture Kit
Origami is having a bit of a come back, or it could just be that Trent who sits at the desk next to mine finds his work creative zen moment folding paper cranes (he’s working up to the 1,000) but this book is so much more than origami. It’s paper construction at its finest. With the pre-cut pieces of card you’ll be able to understand the structural greatness that is the Eiffel Tower or the White House and even our own Sydney Opera House.
Baking Bad by Walter Wheat
Okay, so this is a cook book, but there’s paper involved in some ways, and you need scissors to open packets of things, and egg is essentially the glue of baking isn’t it? Inspired by the TV triumph that is Breaking Bad this isn’t a cupcake book for the faint hearted – with blue sugar crystal topped ‘Meth Muffins’ and ‘Chocolate Gustavo Fingers’ this book will have you Baking Bad and is sure to set you up as a dealer of afternoon delights.
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt & Colouring Book by Johanna Basford
This little colouring book is a bit of a treasure hunt as you work your way through the intricate designs you’ll spot little critters hiding out. Inspired by nature, this is not a colouring book for kids – no child could colour between such fine lines.
1980s Bumper Activity Book: 52 Grown Up Projects That Look Back to the Future
While the ’80s weren’t my hey-day, I was born in them and remember a lot of these things from wishing I was older to be able to take part. Others I’ve come to know thanks to re-runs on TV. As the book name suggests, it’s bumper full of things to make and do – from t-shirt transfers, colour-in pages, and things like match the ’80s hair-do. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I’m leaning towards the paper dolls (make them all and put on a paper doll play…)
Pirate Adventure Dice
While not a craft book, I’m using some creative licence (see what I did there) with this list including the Pirate Adventure Dice. This is set of dice is designed to bring out the storyteller in you – with a roll of the dice you’ve got your plot and characters before you – how you bring them together is entirely up to you, but I do recommend you naming the ‘cabin boy’ character ‘Pip’ – it just seems to fit…