Monday, 4 November 2013

Book Review: 101 Things to do With an Envelope


101 Things to do With an Envelope:

Fun, frivolous and functional things to make out of envelopes

By Denise Brown

Cico Books, October 2013

£ 9.99 Paperback

ISBN 978-1-78249-070-8



I had a pleasant surprise recently when this fun (and eco-conscious) new  papercraft book popped through my letterbox. Clock the air mail envelope-inspired book cover with the Velcro-closure flap: full marks for presentation. How appropriate (a Papercraft Post, indeed)!


This is a delightful book which lives up to the promise of its title. The author, Denise Brown, has devised an inventive collection of craft projects, all of which can be made from just one recycled envelope. All the projects are low-fi: no expensive extras needed.


The simple – but oh so clever – projects involve quilling, origami-type paperfolding, and simple papercutting. There’s also some papier mâché (a recipe and how-tos are included for the envelope mash).


There’s lots here that you probably haven’t seen before (because the author has been thinking outside the envelope). And the stuff that you have seen before (rolled paper beads) looks fun, fresh, and new. Many projects are just for fun – but some are genuinely useful, like the seedling pots made from biodegradable envies, and the Fly Whisk (a kind of cat’o’nine tails shooing gadget).


The book is divided into project categories: Accessories, Stationery, Decor, Children, and Festive. There’s a template section at the back.


I  am a pushover for Oriental-style fans, and the fan with toothpick spokes is lovely. The cell phone holder (a stand made from a window envelope) is genius. The folded chopstick rest is beautiful in its simplicity, as is the chopstick holder, which makes use of double-sided paper (the printed blue-and-white interior of a security envelope). (I am not so sure that I personally would want to serve food using paper makes that had - in their former life - been through the post – but hey, these are great ideas.)


The Kids Craft section could come in very handy over the Christmas break (just missed half-term, oh well).  I liked the Consequences game (interactive, good). 


The author limited herself to projects made from just one envelope. Scope then for a multi-envie follow-up title.


This  book would make an excellent stocking filler, either for crafty adults or older children.


Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.

Stay tuned for more papercraft book reviews. Lots of lovely new titles this autumn! Gifting friends and family with books is my number one choice.