For me and many other creative people I know, crafting has always been a solitary and selfish endeavor. Between the month during 7th grade that I holed myself up in my room every evening to work on a latch-hooked Winnie the Pooh pillow and the hours I currently spend in quirky vintage boutiques looking for trinkets to deconstruct into novelty earrings, I’m embarrassed to admit that most of what I make falls into the ‘look, don’t touch’ (or take, or ask, or beg for) category. However, a post on the Etsy blog about DIY libraries inspired me to rethink my egocentric approach to craft-making. Here are a series of project ideas that are both fun to make and that offer the opportunity to benefit your community or strangers in need of a little handmade love.
Little Free Libraries
Who didn’t want to be a librarian as a kid? (Okay – maybe a rephrasing is in order – what nerdy, book-loving girl without cable TV didn’t want to be a librarian as a kid?) Here’s your chance to curate your own mini-collection of literature for passersby to borrow, fall in love with, and hopefully return or replace with something new – horn-rimmed glasses and library science degree completely optional.
The Little Free Library site is connected to a Google map that can tell you where the nearest LFL is or how to build your own if you’re looking for an awesome summer project. Once you’re done, you can fill your library with books you love (and back issues of BUST!), and have your library put up on the map for others to find. This definitely isn’t a one-day endeavor, but the chance to get down and dirty with some recycled plywood and bright paint, meet your neighbors, and promote literacy through sharing your favorite reads sounds worthwhile to me!
If you’re not down to spend hours constructing a Little Free Library, or if you’re simply not one to be trusted with power tools, these sweet little cards offer the same surprise factor in a small and splinter-free package. Artist Melanie M. Nuñez provides a cool process for making these gorgeous watercolor cards here, but adorning any sort of cardstock with your favorite hand-doodled Sharpie art or a magazine cut-out border will do just fine. Leave these sweet lil’ things between the pages of library books, in the tip jar at your favorite coffee shop, or in somebody’s grocery cart, and let the feel-good endorphins flow.
Technically not a craft in the traditional sense of the word, but these DIY seed bombs are easy and cheap to make, fun to deploy, and fabulous for beautifying your neighborhood. Check out the video below to see why flower bombing is awesome and to get started on your own!
Images Courtesy Little Free Library, Melanie M. Nuñez, and Metropulse.com