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Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Join the Handmade Movement!

We make to give. We make to share. We make to connect with others. Crafters all over the world are using their hands and hearts to make a statement, change the world, and build community.

Craft Activism is an inspiring celebration of this growing movement. Inside, dozens of superstars of this grassroots phenomenon share their experiences, tips, a
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Potter Craft (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Arielle Walker
Mar 25, 2014 Arielle Walker rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, craft
As is the case with many craft books, the actual given patterns were almost universally ugly. However the crafters and ideas in the book are pretty cool, and there's a lot of inspiring works with no pattern given that beg to be recreated.
Oct 16, 2011 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft
I'm biased. I love Gale's photography. I mean, love. Can't get enough of her pictures.

I'll put that aside for a minute to evaluate this book as objectively as possible.

Joan's writing is vibrant; the projects are enticing; the pictures are stories unto themselves.

And Mr. Jefferies, the cutest dog in knitting blogosphere makes an appearance.

Crafters, get this book. Buy it, don't just borrow it. You're going to want to make these projects and enjoy the stories about our fantastic community.

Oct 19, 2011 WifeMomKnitter rated it really liked it
My picture appears in the book. Sweet!
Apr 20, 2017 Annie rated it really liked it
I liked this book for its general overview of ways to connect craft to "activism." (Activism is defined and illustrated in broad terms, and as a gentle way to make inclusive community). A very cool aspect of the book is the information about real people and groups who are taking specific actions of craftivism.
This book was an attempt to explore activism using crafting. Not sure how successful it was. First of all, is there a difference between "knitting for charity" and activism? I kinda think there is. Is there a difference between doing your part to keep products out of the waste stream and ecological activism? I kinda think there is. How "craft activist" is it to yarn bomb trees, park benches, etc., with yarn that I can only assume is acrylic (basically, oil-based plastic yarn)?I don't get the imp ...more
Dec 15, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
I loved Craft Activism. For starters, the focus of this book is not necessarily on the crafts themselves but truly about the Community of crafting. There are sections on crafting to send a message, honor the past, supporting causes, recycling/repurposing and build communities. In each section there are stories of artists on what they do, how they came to do it and why. Then there are projects that the reader can do. There is also a nice resource section.

I found the artists' stories to be very i
Feb 09, 2017 Tara rated it liked it
Interesting perspective on crafting. There are a couple of things I learned that I will research more, but the high point was the Ravelry article. Always a treat to be surprised.
Jan 27, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Crafters new to Craftivism
Craft Activism: Ideas and Projects Powered by the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Do It Yourself is a beautiful book full of really interesting people doing really great things. Part pattern book and part biographical sketches of activists, it helps to highlight some of the ways that crafters can use their skills to help contribute to causes about which they are passionate. The pictures are just lovely, and the patterns (and why they were created) provide inspiration for independent ar ...more
Oct 13, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgally
I love crafting. There aren't many things out there that I have not tried. So when I got the opportunity to review this book, I found myself seriously excited. While there are patterns in each section, the strength of this book is in the stories of those who have open doors for new crafters. Ravelry designers, Jenny Hart, and Vicki Howell are just a few of the crafters highlighted. Each section focuses on a different type of involvement and gives tips on how to get involved. I very much enjoyed ...more
Dec 24, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it
A wonderful book of portraits of various makers and crafters who work in knitting, quilting, multi-media collage, embroidery, sewing, crochet, and using recycled materials (plastic bags, tin cans, old clothing) to create new things that make a statement, revive something from the past or contribute to a cause. The book contains many pictures, suggestions, patterns, websites and resources for anyone looking to create.
Jan 25, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
This book didn't turn out to be what I thought it would, really, and it actually feels almost like it wasn't sure what it wanted to do. Profile crafters? Showcase the craft/DIY movement? Inspire charity-based crafting? Give patterns/instructions for projects? It does a little bit of all of that. Feels a bit random, but there are great pictures and neat projects here. The only one I was tempted to make was the Bella Brooklyn Housedress on page 68.
Oct 12, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok
I had heard a ton of praise for this innovative book, but it kind of fell short for me. I do think it's great that craft has gained stature in recent years. But I'm not sure it warrants a book. May be I'm not the target market. The knitting patterns did not inspire me, and most of what was written, I had read in blogs on-line. If you're not aware of yarn bombing or yarn storming, then read away!
Nov 27, 2011 Jordan marked it as to-read
Shelves: need-to-finish
this is my first review. so i really liked this book. it has a great message,and great's not really for beginners so i can't do some of them. but it's got lots of info and side bars about the crafters so it's still a good read.
Joanne Wiggins
Sep 22, 2012 Joanne Wiggins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crafting
Best book ever on different types of crafts and the groups supporting them. Very much a must read for those interested in crafting "outside the box".
Sep 12, 2011 Gale rated it it was amazing
Yes of course I am 100% biased. I am thrilled with how it came out. I hope you will be, too.
Nov 28, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Crafty types
Shelves: crafts
Oh so inspiring...the stories and projects are wonderful!
Jan 19, 2013 gail rated it liked it
I got this on a whim from amazon since I have a free month of Amazon Prime and the shipping cost me nada. I'd never seen or looked through this book before I ordered it, and for a craft/pattern book that's always a dicey proposition. What little I could see on the Amazon "look inside" preview looked promising, so I ordered.

This book has a lot of information about craft collectives and groups operating around the country (and overseas) and it's pretty inspiring to see what other people are doing
Jul 17, 2012 scc101 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sewing, reviewed, diy, 2013
This book introduced me to some interesting projects and sites:
-Red Scarf Project - Former foster kids who attend college get a care package with a hand-knit red scarf.
-Ravelry - site for knitters and crocheters

There's a profile of a person followed by a project. All the crafters/artists are women, and I haven't decided if that's good or bad yet. (See the next section)

I don't think I will ever make any of the projects in the book. First, I sew and quilt and there
Nov 22, 2013 Jess rated it liked it
Shelves: art, craft
not quite as good as some other craftivist books on the market. It seems torn - is it a how to DIY craft book, a Catalogue, an overview of people who work in areas that could loosely be deemed craftivist? If you want a seriously basic Intro to craftivism plus some patterns and how too's then this is the book for you. If you are already firmly embedded in the craftivist world, actively working for a specific cause in order to change the social/ political make-up with the world, then you could pro ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was ok
Like several other cause/hobby books I've read lately (namely American Grown by Mrs. Obama), I'm not sure who the audience for this book is. Clearly the people most likely to read this book are those already involved, and thus the fairly basic information presented doesn't offer much that you didn't already know. I guess if a non-crafter happened to read this book they might find themselves much more educated on the topic.

My favorite parts were the project ideas/patterns and the bios of various
Oct 25, 2014 Ellen rated it liked it
This provides an interesting overview of craft, some of it relating to activism, and some more about making things yourself. The author seems to view all of this as activism, but having grown up making a lot of things of necessity and to save waste, I do not see all of it in an activist light (and I may be missing some subtle elements here). There are many patterns included in this work. There are some very helpful hints at the end of each section to help with organising local and not so local c ...more
Dec 29, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring for those of us who see crafting as both a social and artistic activity - and for those of us who would like to apply our interest and skill to making a social or political statement. I went ahead and bought the book for future reference - not because I want to try the patterns included but because I like the idea of joining or creating a group of crafters who want to better the world through their work.
May 18, 2012 Marleah rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
While many of the crafts and movements listed in this book are not new (yarn bombing has become a fairly well-known phenomenon, for those online and interested in crafty pursuits), I enjoyed reading about some of the "first ladies" of craft. The projects included are fun and fresh reworkings of already familiar patterns or materials. This book is definitely good for the starting crafter, but even experienced crafters will find something to like.
Kirsty (alkalinekiwi)
Picked this up from the library last week on a whim. I'm not really a crafter though I have dabbled with some craft things and have more I'd like to learn about.

This book looks at a range of different craft things - making things for charities, reusing, re-purposing and recycling in craft, fostering community and friendship through craft and patterns/instructions for various projects.

Jul 03, 2013 Lora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diy
I adore what Ms. Tapper has done here. The format is generally activism story, then a specific craft (or two) to attempt on your own, with some takeaways and images, too. This is a fun read, useful, and inspiring. This was a library checkout for me, but now I'll buy a hard copy for the home library DIY shelves.
Nov 26, 2011 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: diy
The book straddles inspiration and how-to. The inspiration is geared towards making a community of crafters. Except the Bench Warmer and Knit Bomb projects, most were individual projects for individual use.

Projects are interesting with great pictures. Not something I need/want in my personal library.
Apr 26, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
I actually really enjoyed this book an found it very inspiring. I think I enjoyed it so much because I starting my own crafty business and enjoyed the profiles of artists and other crafty business people. I liked that each section ended with a related project. I don't think I would buy the book just for the projects though. The other parts are definitely the meat of the book!
Feb 24, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok
I was really excited about this book, and then I read it. :(

I already knew most of the info in the book. If you've never heard of people making things for other people, give this a read, otherwise don't bother.

I was really hoping for info on more organizations that were out there. I guess I will just continue my online research for non-religiously affiliated organizations.
Jun 14, 2012 Tammy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-to, library-books
Went back to the library. It is pretty cool, lots of great inspiring information, would like to participate in the charity that does a Scarf for College kids that have aged out of the foster care system, and I liked the vest toward the back of the book. This is on my list of books to purchase someday!
Sian Lile-Pastore
i liked this a lot - lots of inspiring stories and interviews with crafts people, and lots about the sense of community through craft. so that was all good - i could have done with a bit more on craftivism itself - maybe ideas of things you could make in this area.
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