Crafty Person’s Gift Guide | My Favourite Craft Books

Hey friends! I’m teaming up with Vernell today to share gift guides of our favourite craft books that are perfect for gifting to all the multi-passionate crafters in your life (or you know, for yourself). This will be a pretty varied gift guide since I dabble in various creative pursuits, and I know that you do too. Each title is a clickable link to the book at Amazon.

Gift Guide: best Craft Books to give as gifts.

Scrapbooking books gift guide

I haven’t bought any scrapbooking books in yeas, because my tried and true books written ages ago are all I need. With these in your arsenal you’ll have a great foundation for memory keeping information and inspiration.

The Big Picture by Stacy Julian

This book by Stacy Julian changed how I felt about scrapbooking, and helped me to let go of many of the perceived “rules” of this great hobby. At the end of it I felt more inspired and creative than ever. Stacy drew examples and inspiration from outside the traditional scrapbooking world, helping me to  really see the big picture.

Life Artist by Ali Edwards

When it comes to simple scrapbook design coupled with superb story telling, no one does it better than Ali Edwards. She breaks it down to the basics of photos and stories like no one else. Also check out her other books: A Designer’s Eye for Scrapbooking and its sequel focused on patterned paper.

The Inspired and Organized Scrapbooker by Aby Garvey and Wendy Smedley

As you know I’m a big believer in purging and organizing, and this book is one of my weapons! Aby Garvey is a professional organizer, and Wendy Smedley is one of the original editors from Simple Scrapbooks (sob). Together they will help you get your creative space in shape, and inspire you to get making!

Clean & Simple 2 by Cathy Zielske

I don’t own the original Clean & Simple, but I can highly recommend the sequel for scrapbookers looking for pure simplicity in their pages. Cathy knows what she’s talking about, and her scrapbook pages designs are timeless.

Design Secrets from BHG

This is another oldie but goodie. A special edition from the now defunct Scrapbooks etc. Magazine, this book breaks down design into various categories including composition, typography, and accents. It truly will help you build your design skills.

Yarn Crafts gift guide

This is a small section, since I mostly use patterns and tutorials I find online. But here are my top three.

Knitting in Plain English

This book will teach you how to pick a pattern that’s right for you, determining gauge, how to knit and purl plus instructions for fifteen additional pattern stitches,  working with more than one color of yarn, how to weave invisible seams, picking up dropped stitches (very important!), how to hand-wash and block your finished garment, plus much, much more.

Terrific Toe-Up Socks

A couple years ago my sister taught me how to knit toe-up socks. Spoiler alert: I have yet to make my entire family socks as I vowed at the time,, but at least now I have the skill! if you don;t have someone to teach you in person, this book is the next best thing.

Crochet Inspiration

This one breaks crochet down into important basics to know like granny squares, and flowers, as well as stitches like lace, shell and cluster. It also includes garments made from these basics.

Sewing gift guide

Sew La Tea Do

The perfect book for beginner sewers (which is what I am). You’ll find easy to follow patterns, as well as tutorials and techniques. Pattern variations for more advanced sewers are included too!

Seams to Me

I was gifted this book a few Christmases back, and I absolutely adore it. I literally drool over the pages while stroking them! You’ll get advice for choosing fabrics, and many other tricks of the trade.

Art & Drawing gift guide

This is my new love this year, and these are the books helping me to dig deeper into art and drawing.

How to Draw a Radish

This fun little book was written to help you while away the boring hours at work, but it’s a handy tool for working on your doodling. My son and I love using it together as drawing prompts. if nothing else the tongue-in-cheek humour  will crack you up!

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

A way more serious book, and one that uses a specific method to get you from scribbler to actual person who draws. I’ve been working my way through this one this year, and I can see definite improvement! I’ve certainly moved on from stick men only.

20 Ways to Draw a Tulip

After taking Lisa Congdon’s class at Creativebug in January, I had to get myself this books! it’s more than about drawing tulips, you’ll learn various ways to draw a variety of flowers. I love using this one when I’m in the mood to doodle all over my sketch book.

365 Things to Draw and Paint

This is a fantastic book to use along with your kids, or just by yourself if you’re looking for ideas for some art and making. My son likes to leaf through it, and pick a project for us to together. Sometimes he will choose a project to work on by himself as well.

Miscellaneous Crafts gift guide

The Creative Family

If you’ve heard of  Soule Mama, you’ll recognise this one. It’s full of simple and mindful ideas for being creative as a family, including ideas for celebrations, making simple toys, and lots of creative play for kids. It’s one I dip into over and over again.

52 Projects

This book is subtitled “Random Acts of Everyday Creativity”, and presents 52 projects that you can do over the course of a year. The projects are offbeat and artistic, and include baking, memory keeping, mail art, and tons of idea ideas that make great gifts from the heart.

The Guerilla Art Kit

I’m guessing the name Keri Smith is is known to you. if not I recommend you first get her bestselling Wreck This Journal, before the Guerilla one. The art kit is a collection of ideas for helping you get your art out into the wider world in the form of  posters, seed bombs, stickers, installations and so much more!

So that’s it! For now. I think I will update this gift guide every quarter, as there are definitely more great craft books I’d love to share with you.

Let’s go see which craft books Vernell has in her gift guide!


Crafty person's gift guide : favoruite craft books to give

Sisters Take on Pinterest | Crochet Wrap Bracelets

Sisters Take on Pinterest - Crochet Wrap Bracelet-6

With the busy season upon us we wanted to do a quick and easy project this month. Bonus: these crochet wrap bracelets make perfect stocking stuffers!

I followed the instructions over at 1DogWoof  pretty much exactly.

I made a chain that was long enough to wrap around my wrist four times, then worked backwards doing slip stitches.

Sisters Take on Pinterest- Crochet Wrap Bracelet in progress

Once I got to the end, I made a loop

Sisters Take on Pinterest - Crochet Wrap Bracelet-2

Then stitched the button on the other end.

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Now, wrap and wear.

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These take all of 10 minutes to make, so go whip up a bunch for gifts!

Let’s go check out Vernell’s version.




Sisters Take on Pinterest - Crochet Wrap Bracelet -Whip some of these easy wrap bracelets up for stocking stuffers.

Cute Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

Is it just me, or are kids inundated with candy just about everywhere? People will randomly offer my son candy wherever we are, be it the flea market, a restaurant or the supermarket. And don’t get me started on school events! Every holiday he comes home with a little goody bag of candy that was offered by the Town Hall! Now I love candy (ahem) and so does he, and we aren’t a candy free family, but in an effort to counteract all the external candy, I try to do non-candy treats for celebrating holidays at home (except his birthday, all bets are off then!)

For the last two years I’ve made sure his Easter baskets are completely candy free – he does get chocolate eggs from his grandmother, so don’t worry, I am not depriving him! Here’s a look at what I prepared on 2013 and 2014.



Easter morning 2013 (1 of 10) Easter morning 2013 (2 of 10)Notice the chocolate hen?


Garden tools, which he still uses two years later, erasable markers, and la piéce de résistance, his coussin-poussin made by me.

Easter morning 2013 (3 of 10)

I used a pattern that I found on Ravelry. He loved it!

Easter morning 2013 (10 of 10)

It’s still one of his favourite dou dous, and the one he takes with him most often when we’re going away.


 2014 Easter basket with chicks and eggsI went all handmade last year, and made him some crochet hens and eggs.

2014 Easter hen

Easter is only one week before his birthday this year, so I think I’ll opt for small handmade gifts again. Like maybe this turtle, and this mouse?

Do you give your children Easter baskets? What kinds of things do you include?





Looking Back at 2013 | Handmade Christmas Gifts

I posted a teaser before Christmas of some of the handmade gifts I made, and now that the dust has settled, and they are happily with the recipients, I can share more details! The majority of my handmade Christmas gifts were crochet hats and scarves.

This Fibonacci scarf, was made using a pattern that is actually a knit pattern! I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it in knit, so I used the linen stitch in crochet instead.

Handmade Gifts - Fibonacci Crochet Scarf - Callaloo Soup


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This colourful cowl, made using the shell cowl pattern over at All About Ami.

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2013 Handmade Christmas Gifts at Callaloo Soup-2

I made a red version of the orange calm cowl that I made myself back in September

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Next up this brain waves beanie

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I want to make some more of these for all of us this winter!

Brooklyn wrist warmers and boot cuffs:

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Finally in crochet, a Curious George monkey hat

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With each gift I included a label with the yarn content and washing instructions.

Oh, Kieran also got a new winter hat, as well as a sewn fleece scarf with pockets.


(He’s admiring the Max crochet figure that Auntie Vernie sent.)

In non yarn projects, I made Lucas a set of shaving soaps, and I also made place card holders from plastic animals for my mother-in-law. Kind of an inside joke.

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I packaged them up in a wooden crate, nestled in “straw”.

2013 Handmade Christmas Gifts at Callaloo Soup-9

If you’re curious how I made them, I’ll be posting the tutorial on Friday!

I must say that my gift planning lists really helped me pull all these off. It was a bit frantic there towards the end though, so I might have to start even earlier this year!

Did you give handmade gifts this Christmas? If you downloaded my gift planning lists, did they help in any way? Inquiring minds want to know!