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It’s that time of year again! And chances are, you have quite a few people that you’re looking to give gifts to.  While spending money on friends and family is a lovely way to express your love, your friends and family would agree: the best gifts come straight from the heart. Nothing tops receiving a gift that someone made with their own two hands!

Don’t let your crafting skills (or lack thereof) stop you from making that perfect gift! Below you will find a curated list of DIY projects that have been featured on the CCPL blog, along with eBooks that you can check out from the library and information about a digital resource the library offers… CreativeBug!

CreativeBug

What is CreativeBug? It is a digital resource that allows you to have unlimited access to thousands of online art and craft classes.  You can watch their classes anytime, anywhere. Since their classes never expire, you can start and stop projects at your own pace. CreativeBug’s instructors bring the latest in art and craft education with renowned artists, so you know that they are providing the best advice and guidance in DIY.

Need more inspiration? Here are 11 Ebooks from our collection that feature easy to create gifts!

(All summaries are from the publishers. Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!)

Need a library card? Please visit Get a Library Card to sign up for one today!

The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity by F. Sehnaz Bac

Transform ordinary stones into colorful works of art with this easy-to-follow guide. Popular stone artist F. Sehnaz Bac, a seasoned archaeologist who markets her painted Sassi dell’Adriatico (Stones of the Adriatic) on Etsy, presents step-by-step instructions for creating 30 fantastic designs. Full-color photographs accompany directions for painting themes that range from trees, flowers, and animals to mandalas, geometric patterns, holiday motifs, and more.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun by Carla Sonheim

Carla Sonheim is an artist and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students recover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating. Her innovative ideas are now collected and elaborated on in this unique volume. Carla offers a year’s worth of assignments, projects, ideas, and techniques that will introduce more creativity and nonsense into your art and life. Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists offers readers a fun way to learn and gain expertise in drawing through experimentation and play. There is no right or wrong result, yet, the readers gain new skills and confidence, allowing them to take their work to a new level.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Little Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, and Give by Anna Hrachovec

TINY IS THE NEW HUGE!

It’s an indisputable fact: Everything is cuter in miniature. And while it’s true that knitted toys are cute to begin with, they’re even more adorable when they’re tiny.

In Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi, designer Anna Hrachovec presents more than 40 patterns for her funniest and most delightful knitted Tinys—three-dimensional animals, objects, and people, all with Anna’s quirky, Mochimochi Land anthropomorphism that knitters love. Tinys make cool gifts for any occasion, are some of the fastest, easiest projects you’ll ever knit, and can be turned into pins, magnets, Christmas ornaments—anything that could use some scale-model silliness. So pick up your sock yarn and size 1 needles and get started—you’re certain to make even a grouch giggle like a schoolgirl!

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Beginner’s Watercolour: Simple Projects for Artists by Pavilion

Over 20 simple watercolour projects for beginners, packed with techniques and tips. Paint beautiful watercolours with ease, even if you’ve never picked up a brush! With a fully illustrated step-by-step introduction and a range of beautiful projects to paint, you’ll quickly go from painting novice to art aficionado. The Getting Started section shows you everything you need to dive into the beautiful world of watercolour. Learn to work with washes, colour and tone and texture and effects as you move from still lifes to landscapes and finally to figures. You’ll be creating amazing art in no time!

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Let’s Sew Together: Simple Projects the Whole Family Can Make by Rubyellen Bratcher

Don’t just sew for your kids. Sew with them! Rubyellen Bratcher has invented 30 simple projects that encourage families to spend more time together through DIY activities. This mom of four learned how to sew at her local fabric shop, but soon found that her daughters were her greatest source of inspiration. Documenting her family’s daily life and DIY adventures online, Rubyellen’s blog, Cakies, has steadily grown into a destination for parents and crafters of all ages. In her first book, she offers 30 projects for kids and grown-ups to make together, including a handpainted skirt, scribbled placemats, a robot friend, easy felt party garlands, overstuffed dollhouse pillows, a gorgeous world-map quilt, and much more. Each chapter also includes no-sew projects, educational activities, play ideas, and reading suggestions to encourage imagination and learning.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs: 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes that You’ll Love to Bake, Share and Eat! by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

BAKING ISN’T JUST FOR CUPCAKES

Want to make your own soft pretzels? Or wow your friends with homemade empanadas? What about creating a showstopping pie? Maybe some chewy brownies after school? From breakfast to breads, from cookies to cakes (yes, even cupcakes!), learn to bake it all here. You can do this, and it’s fun!

Recipes were thoroughly tested by more than 5,000 kids to get them just right for cooks of all skill levels—including recipes for breakfast, breads, pizzas, cookies, cupcakes, and more!

Testimonials (and even some product reviews!) from kid test cooks who worked alongside America’s Test Kitchen test cooks will encourage young chefs that they truly are learning the best recipes from the best cooks.

By empowering young chefs to make their own choices in the kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen is building a new generation of confident cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Gourmet Gifts: 100 Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion to Make Yourself and Wrap with Style by Dinah Corley

Gifts of food can be very special indeed – homemade, beautifully packaged, and delicious. Gourmet Gifts, by cooking school teacher and food editor Dinah Corley, brings together the culinary and the creative with 100 recipes for homemade gift packs and baskets filled with gourmet foodstuffs – jams, nuts, patés, and other items covering a wide range of flavors – which cater to a rising trend in homemade gifting. The recipes range from simple to sophisticated and include information on key topics such as presentation, level of difficulty, prep time, and suitability for storing and/or shipping. Chapters include Small Tokens, Big Batches, Penny Wise (for budget gifts), Pound Foolish (when money is no object), Feel Better, and Going the Distance. Over 40 beautiful color photos help readers envision the final gift. Perfect for holidays, birthdays, or anytime, the book includes a broad mix of gifting items for all budgets.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Upcycling Celebrations: A Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving & Entertaining by Danny Seo

Danny Seo is America’s leading lifestyle authority on modern, eco-friendly living. In his last book, Upcycling, Danny demonstrated how to create beautiful things with the stuff you already have. Now he returns with 100 more projects—this time focused specifically on parties and holidays. Whether you’re making dramatic party favors for New Year’s Eve, giving a unique birthday gift, creating paper lanterns for a summer BBQ, or planning the Thanksgiving table, Danny shows how you can transform the ordinary into striking one-of-a-kind objects that will make every occasion a little more festive.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe

The Art of Whimsical Lettering is an artful instruction book on creating stylized fonts and expressive artwork with personal handwriting skills. Author Joanne Sharpe shows you how to create exuberant and personalized writing styles for your artwork, whether it be a journal, canvas art, or other projects that use text.

After an overview of Joanne’s favorite tools and surfaces, take a peek into Joanne’s personal lettering journal to discover how you too can collect inspiration, hone your lettering skills, and tap into your natural creativity. Joanne then demonstrates twenty art techniques for creating a variety of lettering styles using many different tools. She provides you with fifteen basic alphabets, ranging from simple pen-and-ink renditions to increasingly elaborated texts that reference calligraphy, vintage fonts, and doodle art, among other styles. Joanne also teaches you how to turn prosaic lettering into page art itself, merging text into illustration, or ornamenting words with decorative drawings.

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Loom Magic!: 25 Awesome, Never-Before-Seen Designs for an Amazing Rainbow of Projects by John McCann and Becky Thomas

This book includes twenty-five new rubber band loom projects, including bracelets, sports-themed charms, key rings, pendants, and even a working slingshot. New crafters and dedicated fans will enjoy creating the wide variety of projects in this collection, including:

  • Cell phone case
  • Daisy chain bracelet
  • Watch band
  • Octo bracelet
  • Blooming beaded bracelet
  • Sports fan keychain
  • Matching barrettes
  • Pencil topper
  • Rainbow ring
  • Nunchuks
  • Rocker cuff bracelet
  • Snowman ornament
  • And many more!

Ebook Available on Overdrive

Disney Ideas Book: More than 100 Disney Crafts, Activities, and Games by DK

Bring your love of Disney to life with more than 100 amazing and creative projects and activities.

Let your imagination run wild with Disney inspired arts and crafts, party games, puzzles, papercraft, and many more fun and practical activities. With clear, step-by-step instructions, The Disney Ideas Book guides you through each exciting activity from creating glowing BFG Dream Jars and performing a puppet show in a Jungle Book shoebox theater, to playing skittles with the Seven Dwarfs and growing grass hair on Frozen Trolls.

Featuring family favorite characters from animation and live-action movies and TV, including Frozen, Toy Story, Moana, Inside Out, and Cinderella.

The activities are suitable for kids and adults alike, whatever their level of ability. There are top tips on every page from expert crafters to help make your creations a success, as well as fun Disney facts to pore over. With the Disney Ideas Book, your family will never be bored again.

Ebook Available on Overdrive