Folksy Ltd

What's the best Craft Book you've read?

I’m compiling a reading list for designers and makers and would love to know:

What’s the best book you’ve ever read on craft or selling handmade and why?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll use your recommendations and comments (with a link to your Folksy shops) in a blog post about the Top 25 books every maker should have.

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For me, the most useful and helpful book has been ‘Soldering Made Simple’ by Joe Silvera. It is aimed at beginners to soldering in jewellery making and the information is really clear and explanatory. It has loads of useful tips and the projects are really nice too. I always refer to it if I get stuck and it has helped me learn this new technique easily. There’s also a follow on in the series called ‘Soldering Beyond the Basics’, which is also pretty good.


Perhaps not the most obvious of craft books but I think ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ by Roald Dahl is a must read as it is all about serendipitous discovery whilst making. It taught me that what you make might not turn out how you originally planned but that’s ok and you should keep on trying, something that I feel is applicable to all crafts persons (especially when you’re just starting out).


Mosaic Techniques and Tradition by Sonia KIng is probably the best book I have ever read and is considered “the Bible” of mosaic artists. Even the most accomplished artist still refers to this book.

I’m going to give you another one, too. It’s hard to choose which I prefer:

Complete Guide to Mosaic Techniques by Bonnie Fitzgerald, another goto book. Take your pick and you will definitely be a better artist.


The most amazing book in my field is Uniquely Felt by Christine White. I have quite a lot of books on the subject that I dip in and out of but this one I read cover to cover!


My mother had a book when I was growing up which was (apparently) named Arts and Crafts. It was a hefty tome written in the 1970’s but is the best craft book I have ever read. It covered everything from candle-making, corn dollies, crochet, knitting, screen printing, clear casting in plastic to painting in watercolours and acrylic. The photography was beautiful and the projects were all clearly set out and easy to follow. After much searching on Google etc, I still have not been able to locate this book. Neither of my parents have it (although they both remember it fondly) so it is entirely possible that it fell apart through being too well thumbed (I used to spend ages poring over it during the summer holidays as a child).
I wondered if anybody else has this book or has read it? For me it proves that, despite the sniffy tone that many journalists use when talking about craft in the 1970’s, many lovely and inspiring things were produced.

Love Sam :fish:


Thanks for your recommendations so far. Love the fact George’s Marvellous Medicine made the list @SashaGarrett! Keep them coming!

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I truly think for me Tim McCreight - The Complete Metalsmith is the most useful book - I have had it for years and still find it insightful and practical - oh and a joy to read .


Enchanted Adornments by Cynthia Thornton. First jewellery book I bought and still my favourite. Beautiful projects and really inspiring if you want to make art jewellery :heart_decoration:

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I have three for different crafts that I make:-

Rag Rug Inspirations by Juliet Bawden. It has a good run through of techniques and a lovely gallery section.

Anatomy of a Doll by Susanna Oroyan. All you ever wanted to know about making a cloth doll - filled with inspiring techniques and images.

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend by John Beardsley et al. Beautifully illustrated book about the lives and quilts of an isolated community of African-American women.

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Hi Camilla

In reply to your question ‘What’s the best Craft Book you’ve read’? the one that sticks out in my mind is a book that I picked up at my local library called ‘Make Money from Makes (Prima)’ a guide to turning your hobby into a business by Emma Jones (2012).

The book is easy to read with examples of people who have succeeded in turning a craft hobby into a full time business with tips offering advice and suggestions at the end of each example. There is general business advice included as well.


these are a couple of my faves …

-Everyday Matters by danny gregory - not really craft but all of his books are really inspiring
-Handmade Nation by faythe levine
-FLOW magazine - it’s a lovely magazine, beautifully produced - as lovely as a book - and v. inspiring

Im sat in the garden reading Economics of Fashion by Nystrom. Its an amazing read!It was written in 1928.
It has studies of fashion and analyzes (sorry, I cannot for the life of me spell that word)people and what they hunger for and why they buy certain things.

“Make and Sell Crafts” Aceville Craft Bookazine Published by Aceville Publications Ltd., Colchester, is very helpful and has copyright-free projects included. It’s a good starting point for someone who is going to sell their makes. I am always referring back to mine.

I’m finding ‘The complete guide to hand sewing & embellishing’ by Margaret Rowan to be the best book about hand sewing I’ve read so far. It’s clear, with lots of picture examples and is great to have at home for something to quickly refer to when sewing. It’s great for beginners and more experienced sewers alike. I was a bit fed up with sewing books mainly focusing on machine sewing as I hand sew all my clothing. I’d definitely recommend this book.

Another book I’ve recently read is ‘The crafters guide to taking great photos’ by Heidi Adnum. So full of useful tips! I wrote a full review on my blog here:

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