Review: Happy Handmade Home

happyhandmadehomeHappy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman
Catalog record  |  Goodreads reviews

Step inside the world of Elsie and Emma, the sisters behind the décor blog A Beautiful Mess.  With tiny budgets and a crafty, can-do attitude, they overhauled each room in their first homes with DIY projects using family photos, vibrant fabrics, flea-market finds, and affordable furniture. Now, you can learn how to paint, craft, and decorate your way to a happy, bright space with distinct personality.

First of all, the photography in this book is great. For the most part, the layout is good as well (although the “9 ways…” pages have photos right in the gutter so you can’t see them — major points lost there).

The DIY projects are disappointing. There are a few gems (I like the woven pillow cover and scrap wood letters), but many are repetitive (add glitter! draw with sharpies!). There isn’t much fresh here, either; some of these projects are the same ones I first discovered on Pinterest years ago. I found much more inspiration just in admiring the photos of the authors’ homes, where they mix and match furniture in various colors against white walls.

If you haven’t created a Pinterest account yet, and you aren’t afraid of color, you may find some good ideas here. Many of the projects will appeal to the teen set, so there may be some fun mother-daughter DIY afternoons to be had using the ideas in this book. But if you already count yourself a crafter, you may be better off just reading the authors’ blog online.

And if you want to get your craft on, join us for Crafternoon! Our next project is stamped tile coasters; join us at 2:00pm on Saturday, October 25 at the library. For more information, call the library at 785-625-9014.

– Review by Marleah


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