Small Pleasures: A Book Review of Microcrafts

I like tiny things. When I was small myself, I had a dollhouse (inhabited by bears and bunnies) and also a few shelves and a type case filled with little items like a glass hedgehog, tiny teapots, little shells, and other miniature treasures. And while I've since tried to reduce the amount of clutter and knick knacks in my life, I am still partial to a few cute, tiny touches here and there, like the penny-sized plastic antelope that grazes atop a picture frame in my kitchen and the micro hippo that lurks on my desk. (But seriously, who doesn't want a house hippo?! Seriously.)

So I think I was already pre-conditioned to enjoy Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share, a new book by  published by Quirk Books. Compiled by Quirk editior Margaret McGuire and crafters Alicia Kachmar and Katie Hatz, the book presents 25 projects for crafts dreamed up by a dozen or so crafters. Like the book title implies, the projects are not only smaller than bread box, they're smaller than a slice of bread. Usually much smaller.

Projects include bottle-cap frames (or necklaces), paper bunting to decorate a cake, "microtaxidermy" (not to worry, the animals are made out of polymer clay), tiny stuffies and more.

Most of the projects are quick and easy to make -- like peanut-shell boats and paper-and-toothpick speech bubbles -- but some are more involved, like the polymer clay candy charms and miniature macrame hangers for plants. One great things about making microcrafts is for most you can use up little scraps of materials left over from regular-sized projects.

I tried out the pattern to make mini book. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, though I must say trying to hold those tiny pages while sewing them together was a little challenging! Which, of course, is half the fun... I definitely fluctuated between thinking "This is crazy, why am I making something so small?" and "This is awesome, I'm making something so small!" In the end, the latter won out: the cuteness is worth it.

I'm looking forward to making some cute lil' owls to decorate my miniature xmas tree for the holidays, and the felt flower pockets are really lovely, too.

Microcrafts is proof that good things come in small packages. Especially if you stitched up that small package yourself.

Microcrafts is available at your local bookstore and online.

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