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Bored and stuck at home? Check out CCPL’s recommendations for some great reads doing D.I.Y. projects. These publications were chosen for their quality of content and accessibility in digital format – so you do not have to leave home to enjoy these great reads!

*CCPL 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!*

Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency DIY Projects to Get Your Self-Reliant Lifestyle Started : Eat, Grow, Preserve, Improve by Chris Peterson

Summary: Have you ever wanted to build your own chicken coop, cider press, or herb-drying rack? How about a clever two-bin composter, horse-blanket washing machine, or genuine Langstroth beehive? In Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency, you’ll find these projects and a couple of dozen more to help you develop and grow your self-reliant lifestyle. Where most books in the popular self-sufficiency category give you pages of words and a couple of small drawings by way of explanation, this book shows you exactly how to do things, employing beautiful photos and complete plans in the best Cool Springs Press tradition. The book’s projects are organized into four categories: Food Prep & Preservation, Homestead, Garden, and Animals. Within these categories we’ve carefully chosen a broad range of popular projects, often with a creative touch or two to make them easier to build or more efficient to use. A simple brooder box for chicks, a jumbo cold frame, a basic loom, a large-capacity soil sifter that won’t give you a backache, fencing, trellises, and even a solar oven are included in the list of dynamic project plans. So whether you’re a longtime do-it-yourselfer looking to complete your skill set or a newcomer taking your first step toward sustainability, Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency is the book to get you there.

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists by Dustyn Roberts

Summary: In Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists, you’ll learn how to successfully build moving mechanisms through non-technical explanations, examples, and do-it-yourself projects–from kinetic art installations to creative toys to energy-harvesting devices. Photographs, illustrations, screen shots, and images of 3D models are included for each project.

The Complete Guide to Tile : Ceramic, Stone, Porcelain, Terra Cotta, Glass, Mosaic, Resilient by Black & Decker

Summary: Installing tile is one of the most popular DIY projects out there. It is a fun skill to have, is relatively easy to learn, and can save you a bundle of cash if you do it on your own! You can work at just about any pace you find comfortable, and the results can utterly transform a room. Most commonly used on bathroom and entryway floors and walls, tile has many other useful applications, including kitchen countertops and backsplashes. Exterior tile for patios can be permanently bonded to a concrete base or loose-set over a stable subsurface. Ceramic tile is the most common choice, but porcelain, terra cotta, stone, glass, and even new products made from recycled materials are perfect for adding a new look to any space.

Homemakers A Domestic Handbook for the Digital Generation by Brit Morin

Summary: Brit Morin, founder of the wildly popular lifestyle brand, app, and website Brit + Co, reimagines homemaking for the twenty-first century, making it as simple as possible to go from amateur to pro with easy charts, tips, recipes, DIY projects, and tech shortcuts. Simple, beautiful, and stylish, it offers the digital generation a wealth of innovative ideas and how-tos for a more creative life.

Environmental Science Experiments by Pam Walker

Summary: Offers students and teachers the tools to explore various environmental issues; includes hands-on activities to learn more about environmental problems and what can be done to solve them.

Small Space Garden Ideas by Philippa Pearson

Summary: Aimed at readers who have little space to garden, this guide features ideas for making use of a range of small growing spaces, such as doorsteps, balconies, and walls.

Straw Bale Gardens Complete Breakthrough Vegetable Gardening Method by Joel Karsten

Summary: Just a couple of years ago almost no one in the gardening world had heard about Straw Bale Gardening. Today, it is the hottest new method for veggie growing, with tens of thousands of dedicated followers across the globe. … Straw Bale Gardens: Get high yields; Never need weeding; Do not require soil; Extend the growing season by weeks; Can be conventional or 100 percent organic: Your choice; Can go anywhere–even balconies and driveways

Small-Space Container Gardens Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio With Fruits, Flowers, Foliage & Herbs by Fern Richardson

Summary: This exciting guide layers practical gardening fundamentals with creative solutions that encourage thinking outside the pot. From design basics to essential plant picks, “Small-Space Container Gardens” proves one doesn’t need a yard to have a garden.

Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard By Pam Penick

Summary: Exploring the possibilities — Grasses you’ll never (or seldom) mow — Ground-covering plants — Small perennials & shrubs — Places to walk, places to sit — Ponds, pavilions, play spaces & other fun features — Downsizing the lawn — Out with the grass, in with a garden — Lawn, begone! pros, cons & the how-tos of grass removal — Designing & installing your hardscape — Bed preparation & planting — Keeping it alive: ongoing maintenance tips — The politics, health, and safety of going lawnless — Dealing with hoas & city codes — Working with skeptical neighbors — Unwelcome guests: ticks, deer, and rodents — Fire resistant landscaping.

Crafts to Make in the Spring by Kathy (Katharine Reynolds) Ross

Summary: Presents twenty-nine easy-to-make craft projects with springtime themes, including cotton swab pussy willows, a robin redbreast door hanging, and an Easter bunny egg holder.