Vintage Crazy and Not-So-Crazy Craft Patterns Part 2

Wow, way back in May 2010 we wrote a couple of posts about our interest in vintage craft books; even had a whole series planned.  Well, eleven months later here is the next installment.

I have this book that is really a collection of craft pamphlets:

Making things from Discards features some of the funniest craft projects I have ever seen, such as:

Who would ever figure that egg cartons, the plastic, melty kind, could be a source of flowers or magic.  I’ll have you know that the directions for the peacock take up six whole pages!  I would be so happy to send them to you: just ask! (Kathy:  I have a confession to make here, I had that Egg Carton Magic book as a kid.  I thought it was sooo cool.  At least I had the excuse of being 7. )

This book was published in 1974 and the introduction starts out:

Housewives of every social stratum and every age group have already discovered the cleanest, most productive remedy for chasing blues and boredom out the door when leisure time hangs heavy–the remedy is handicrafts, and the results are invariably rewarding.

Besides being an awesome run-on sentence, it makes me wonder about the other, less clean and productive ways to chase blues and boredom out the door, hmmm.

Just in case egg carton magic isn’t your thing, what about this next idea?

I believe our “Ugliest Thing Ever” and its first runner-up were made from a similar pamphlet.  I’m sorry to say that I’ve seen the Curler Bag (lower right corner) somewhere before, hopefully at a garage sale.  I had a couple of favorite projects from this, click on them to get all the gory details:

I can just imagine the hours it took to recreate Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the picture to the left.  It would take at least as many hours to try and figure out how this craft item could be categorized as “rewarding” or even “productive”.  At least Chlorox the Dinosaur could be played with by your soon-to-be-injured child.  Those sharp, pointy spikes look like they mean business!

In a related pamphlet:

We find even more ways to use those pesky bottles.  I’m so grateful that we can just recycle them now-a-days, and not have to find another use for them after they are empty.  Besides the dolls in the second picture, don’t miss the patio lights “They promise to add a gay, festive touch to your garden night-life.”  Sometimes the descriptions of the crafts are as funny as the pictures!

Who could resist the next craft pamphlet?

That old craft standby, The Three Wise Men, are made from glass decanters, dressed with velour and felt.  The hanging craft item features jello molds filled with dolls and flowers, ack!  But my favorite thing from this pamphlet is the “Milk Carton Decorative Centerpiece”  featuring seven quart milk cartons, gold and moss-green spray paint, three yards of gold braid, one string of Christmas beads (12 mm), 18 assorted Christmas ornaments, and 1 package red sequins.  Lovely as it may be, that centerpiece would leave very little room at my table for food or guests.

There are two more pamphlets in this book–Bread Dough Artistry, and Bottle Cutting and Decoratingthat I will just leave to your imagination.  I wanted to end with Folded Magazine Novelties:

I would love to make the black cat for Kathy, but knowing her, she has already made this craft project in her industrious youth.  I kind of like the fish in the picture on the right, but that clown on the left makes my blood run cold!  Stephen King was right on the money in his book It; clowns can be terrifying.  My main question about these things is:  how do you dust them?  I have enough problems with pleated lampshades without adding folded magazines into the mix.

We’ve only described the tip of the vintage craft pamphlet iceberg.  The following titles were advertised on the backs of my pamphlets:  Tissue Paper Terrifique; Dream Puff Designs; A Flair with Felt; Decorating with Macaroni; Bits of Paper; Feather Fantasies; Burlap Boutique; Indian Crafts for Youth; and Holiday Fantasies of Foil.  If you come upon one of these craft pamphlets, take a look inside.  It’s surprising how much better you feel after a good laugh!

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

  1. Judy Rae Jackson- says:

    We had the folded magazine book, the egg carton book & tons of others when I was a kid in the 1960’s & early 1970’s. I grew up in the Midwest & parents needed a LOT of things to entertain the kids when stuck inside during a South Dakota blizzard for days on end. My mom used to be super crafty & some of the stuff from these books was actually kind of cute, in a tacky 1960’s sort of way. My mom grew up dirt poor & everything was used & re-used. She was into reduce/re-use/recycle decades before it was the trendy thing to do.

    • Second Hand Roses says:

      As a kid, we did tons of these crafts too–macaroni painted gold, beans glued in patterns, Christmas cards crocheted into baskets, fun with pine cones, etc… It was a cheap and fun way for parents to occupy their kids, and these crafts are appropriate for kids. I kind of worry about bored housewives turning to a craft book so their time can be spent productively.

  2. Terri Gold says:

    I have a rather large collection of craft pamphlets, too! As an art teacher I used to buy all sorts of art and crafts books.
    I’m still trying to get out of the habit of saving bits and pieces of things most people discard. It’s a very hard habit to break. I’m dangerous in the paint chip aisle of Home Depot.

    • Second Hand Roses says:

      We love to see what kids can do with craft projects, scraps, and their imaginations! It’s probably a million times better than some of these designs. Even adults, with their creaky imaginations, can repurpose scraps into more useful things than chlorox bottles filled with miniatures.

  3. Connie says:

    “Besides being an awesome run-on sentence, it makes me wonder about the other, less clean and productive ways to chase blues and boredom out the door, hmmm.”

    I thought that housewives of the 60s chased away boredom with alcohol or pills? 🙂

    Though I do have to confess to making magazine paper craft in my younger days (and by that, I mean bible school… hhhmmm…. maybe my teacher had this book?). Anyway, my craft project was a birdhouse made from a Reader’s Digest that my mom kept for far too long.

    • Second Hand Roses says:

      My mom still has a pin cushion I made out of a tuna can and cardboard, covered with linen fabric and ribbon! And yes, if you read The Valley of the Dolls it seems like many women in the 1960’s and 70’s were hooked on pills and booze! I’m not sure why none of my friend’s mothers were ;- )

  4. Zoë Gaudet élève says:

    cool i love the idea’s

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