Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Paper Goods Projects, by Jodi Levine. Review.

Coffee filter flowers, doily butterflies, cupcake paper cards, and 57 more

crafts made with supermarket finds

By Jodi Levine

Pottercraft 2015

Paperback, £12.99 UK, $16.99 US, $19.99 UK

ISBN 978 0 8041 8695 7

Star rating: ****

This book of crafts-to-do-with-your-kids has a very strong  and timely concept:  re-purposing (and recycling) supermarket paper products to make craft creations. The author, Jodi Levine, has very strong craft credentials – she was on staff at Martha Stewart in various craft-y editorial posts for 19 years. 

All the projects in this book are easy and many are genius in their simplicity. So very simple that you may marvel –“why didn’t I think of that?”! The book is divided into the following chapters: Coffee Filters and Cupcake Papers; Paper Plates; Bags and Doilies; Balloons (yes, a cheat – but are you complaining?); and Recycling Bin.

The fluted appearance of cupcake liners and coffee filters, of course lends itself to paper flower-making – and that’s what you get here.  The author also takes advantage of the fact that coffee filters wick up liquid and are therefore very dyeable – cue dip-dye effects with food colouring. The ribbed edging of paper plates is engineered to make a variety of masks – love the peekaboo lion’s mane mask and the bunny.

Other cute projects include the Paper Bag Animal Favor Bags – playful woodland creatures created with paint and a few deft folds. The author is particularly good at re-purposing cardboard tubes. The Sea Creatures Mobile is very clever – sharks with serrated teeth and an octopus with curly tentacles. Big fun. Also here: a brilliant take on the super-graphic typographic letters trend. Usually this entails curvy-cutting and much tab-gluing, but by cutting letters out of carboard tubes the process is streamlined and only cutting is required. Nice work!

The step-by-steps are text-only – but the projects are simplicity itself, so this suffices. There’s a template section back-of-book, some same-size, some reduced, others enlarged. There’s also an index, which seems a bit overkill in a book of this nature – but I think that has to do with the publisher’s style. 

This title would make a nice gift for someone you know in nursery or childhood education, or for any Mum with kids to entertain and occupy. Many of the projects could be made as kids' party activities.

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