Going Outside the Box for Christmas

Whether I'm making gifts or just passing the time, I enjoy making crafts. I've tried my hand at a couple, and most recently have ventured into the world of jewelry making, inspired by the steampunk necklace design of "World of Geekcraft," seen below. These books are some fun ones I like for making distinctive handmade gifts for this holiday season.
"World of geekcraft : step-by-step instructions for 25 super-cool craft projects," by Susan Beal ; photographs by Jay B Sauceda. "'Marvelous Machine' Steampunk Pendant" on page 66 is simple to make, and although the materials are a bit harder to find, it's certainly a necklace that will stand out and go with anything. The craft projects in the book are in sections according to their difficulty, and are sure to please the geek in your life--or your own fabulous geek self.
Skill level: All
"Puffy Pet Pillows," on page 34, has instructions for a fairly simple pillow with an applique, the template for which is provided. The three steps are clear and leave plenty of room for customization if you want to make this craft unique for a much-loved pet.
Skill level: All
The "Ninja" on page 77 is, as according to the description, "Tiny. Stealthy. Deadly. Cute." The illustrated material list and instructions are quite helpful, as well as the patterns earlier in the book for the basic head and body. If you have the skill needed, or you learn fairly easily from books, these crafts make adorable and hilarious little stocking stuffers.
Skill level: Medium - High
"Filigree flight" on page 64 is a visually entrancing example of the beautiful things you can make with chains and interesting beads. Even the simpler designs in this book are visually interesting and inspiring, so you can either to remain close to them as a newbie (myself included) or elaborate on them to create something very much your own.
Skill level: All
~Lindsay T., Jamestown Bluffs


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