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The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas

The Crafter's Book of Clever IdeasThe Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas: Awesome Craft Techniques for Handmade Craft Projects
By Andrea Currie & Cliff Currie
Gifted By: F+W Media
www.fwmedia.com
Reviewed by Molly Fletcher, AllFreeChristmasCrafts Editor

Chock full of family-friendly projects, The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas: Awesome Craft Techniques for Handmade Craft Projects gives the reader 50 reasons to spend time with her loved ones. Though the main goal of this book is to have fun, as crafters work through it, they will pick up techniques that they can use in future projects. Best of all, this book comes to us straight from the pros.

Co-authors Andrea and Cliff Currie share their expertise and personal style, trading off projects in a his/her format. Even if they are unfamiliar with America's Handmade Sweethearts, readers will soon become acquainted with these designers. As they flip through The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas, readers will see that Andrea represents a cute and feminine sensibility, while Cliff focuses on the edgy and offbeat. For instance, Andrea designed a faux button spill that functions as a paperweight, while Cliff created a pseudo toxic waste spill that serves the same purpose.

In addition to their conceptual creativity, the Curries aren't afraid to step outside the box when it comes to materials. Sure, there are the usual suspects; felt, clay, buttons, glitter, and paper show up in materials lists. Still, the Curries integrate other materials like Lego pieces and animal figurine into their projects to give them extra excitement. Each project in The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas comes with detailed instructions, step-by-step photos, and designer tips. No matter what the reader's skill level, she can put together these quirky crafts.

The projects in The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas make great handmade gifts, and while some of the projects are just plain fun, others are also functional. There are tutorials for bookends, coasters, candle holders, and more. Plus, to go along with their collection of handmade gifts, the Curries included several gift wrap tutorials in the book. The Booby Trap gift boxes will make even the most boring birthday party lively. My favorite is the Glitter Explosion box, which releases a shower of glitter on the person who opens the package.

Whether one wants to host a crafting party or is simply looking for a way to spend a rainy afternoon, The Crafter's Book of Clever Ideas delivers on everything its title promises. These projects range from adorable to weird to laugh-out-loud funny, but they're all completely original. The Curries are able to blend the entertaining and the useful in these innovative tutorials, thereby pulling together the elements of a day of fun with family and friends.

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