Vintage Crazy and Not-So-Crazy Craft Patterns

A couple of weeks ago, Kathy let you all in on a little secret about our fascination with vintage craft patterns (May 20, 2010).   We like mainstream crafts just fine:  stamping, paper crafts, sewing, jewelry making, clay modeling, hand stitching, crochet, knitting, and probably many more that I can’t think of right now.  But for every “sane” craft, there is a crazy one such as Magic with Tin Cans, A Craft-Case Book.  Yes this is a real craft book, take a look!

I thought it would be fun if we wrote posts about our craft books, both kinds.  This will be spread out over a number of posts because we are pretty dedicated collectors.  I myself have at least 23 books, and God alone knows how many Kathy has.  ;- )

So, I’m planning to group my pamphlets and books according to categories.  An example of  a category could be Metal Crafts which would include the following books:  Alcoa’s Book of Decorations; Magic with Tin Cans; Fantasies of Foil and Metal.  Another post category, Recycling Crafts, includes the following titles:  Don’t Throw it Away; Making Things from Discards; Decorate your Discards.  These posts would be examples of the crazy vintage crafts.  I also have a sweet collection of eleven Leisure Craft and Leisure Craft clone books, which include subjects such as:  String & Raffia Figures; Soft Toys; Pipe-Cleaner Figures; Rag Dolls; Wooly Toys, plus many more.

Today’s post is Metal Crafts.  When I Googled “Tin Can Crafts” I got the following–586,000 results!  Why tin cans?  Well, they are amazingly common and have been for a long time; this year marks the 200th birthday of the tin can.  People have always used common household items to express their creativity.  For goodness-sakes, there are crafts made from dried beans and macaroni, people carve soap, the Victorians made incredible art from hair!  Tin cans seem pretty mundane after all that.

I have three metal craft books, and here are their covers, which are half of the fun in my opinion!

Fantasies of Foil and Metal--Metal Foil Paper Foil Tin Craft Magic with Tin Cans Alcoa's Book of Decorations

I have a confession to make and you all can keep a secret, can’t you?  I find the Christmas tree in the middle book kind of cool in a really warped way–please don’t think less of me!

These metal crafts are a mix of mainstream and odd.  Here are examples of each, I leave you to decide which is which.

Ice Cream Parlor Tin Can Craft Tin Can Wall Plaque

Now, I could see an argument that they are both odd, but I like the chair as a doll chair.  It would make a cool Gay 90’s ice cream parlor scene, if you could bear to make at least four chairs.  On the other hand, the wall plaque is kind of scary.  If you do make it, I would recommend hanging it near the ceiling so no one puts an eye out.

The Alcoa Book of Decoration is unremittingly funny.  There are only a few crafts in here that wouldn’t cause all conversation to cease and eyes to bug out, if used as suggested in the book.    I have three examples to use as evidence:

Aluminum Foil Hobby Horse

This hobby horse’s suggested use is as a “a decorative prize for party games”.  Oh boy, I sure wouldn’t have even tried to win this!

Example two is more evidence that some people should never have children.  To this day, Timmy never leaves the house without his tinfoil hat to block mind control or mind reading attempts:

Aluminum Foil Pigtail Wig

And last dear reader, is the “Soulful Mermaid” which is in the “Fun for a Large Party” section of the book–I’ll let you decide her mood and whether she is “Fun”.

Aluminum Foil Mermaid

Lest you think Alcoa’s Book of Decoration is totally without merit, the next picture is of the most normal craft in the whole book.  They are charming, when taken in context.  The really funny thing is, that we both have a copy of this book.  It not only got us, but it got to us twice!

Aluminum Animals

Well, thanks for reading this installment of Weird Collections that also veers off into a book review too.  Bet you can’t wait for more!?

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2 Responses to Vintage Crazy and Not-So-Crazy Craft Patterns

  1. OSS says:

    LOL I love the tree too, so you’re not alone. I was just telling my kids the other day about a craft we did in the 70’s. We cut out square panels from beer cans and pop cans, punched holes around the edges, crocheted around the edges, and then hooked them together like granny squares to make hats and totebags etc. You should have seen their faces!! My kids were mortified. It was hilarious!

    Dawn – OSS

  2. Matt says:

    OMG. I’ve been LOLing since I started reading your blog. I just had to comment on the Mermaid..she looks about as fun as you can get if you’re done with your baked potato at a restaurant and you suddenly feel the urge to become crafty, after you’ve also had a drink…0r two. So, yes, I’ll say, she was ‘fun’ because the author was probably tipsy when they created it. I do hope they didn’t go to the pond while they were still a bit buzzed, as that could have resulted in…well a photo other than the mermaid… – Matty

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