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ReadyMade: How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer
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ReadyMade: How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  566 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews

A Do-It-Yourself Primer

You need this book. As the stuff of life piles up and things spin out of control, we could all use a little help. These never-before-seen designs and how-tos are full of surprise and wonder. Learn how to turn everyday objects into spellbinding inventions to give away to friends or keep for yourself. Our simple self-impr
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 6th 2005 by Potter Style
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,108)
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Feb 19, 2008 Hayden rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, diy
I want to like ReadyMade (the magazine and this book) a little bit more than I do. For one thing, I find them kind of smug.

More annoyingly, though, Readymade purports to be all about reducing waste by recycling garbage into awesomeness. Which is great! But several of the projects in the book have introdutions like, "Do you have a lamp that needs a makeover? Even last year's Ikea lampshades look SO dated to us now!" So you're supposed to throw away your year-old Ikea lamp, go buy a new Ikea lamp,
Janice (Janicu)
Aug 23, 2008 Janice (Janicu) rated it did not like it
Made by the same people who created ReadyMade magazine, this is a book with several projects divided into sections according to the main material used to make them (Metal, Fabric, Plastic, Wood, Paper). Each section has an introduction with some history of the material and its use to mankind followed by projects and some small articles sort of related to the material (The fabric section devotes some pages to "fabrication" - telling lies, storytelling. The metal section tells you about "mettle" a ...more
Sep 18, 2009 Laurel rated it really liked it
Offers instructions and flashy illustrations for a wide range of DIY projects, from the super random chandelier made out of takeout plastic ware to the shelf made out of old drawers. They vary from the doable and inspiring to the "where in the hell will I find 100 phone books" projects?" Some of the "re-use" factor becomes muted if you actually have to go BUY the products you're supposed to be able to find for free. Also, some of them require lots of place to store stuff while you're stocking up ...more
Darcie Kileen
Sep 18, 2007 Darcie Kileen rated it did not like it
Mostly flash, which is a weird thing to say about something from ReadyMade. I didn't find many of the projects to be compelling enough to try, and I didn't like all of the strange articles peppered throughout. There were whole sections devoted to things like "how to bluff your way through anything," and "the history of fabric." In a book called How to Make [Almost] Anything, I expect less filler and more projects. Wouldn't you? Subscribe to the magazine, but skip this book.
Kristyn Redahan
Feb 02, 2010 Kristyn Redahan rated it it was ok
A couple of good ideas. Mostly, if you make stuff in this book on a regular basis your house will look like its covered in garbage because well, it will be. If it doesn't look nice in book, its going to look worse in real life.
Jan 02, 2009 Possiblymaybe rated it it was ok
Well written, entertaining, and beautifully laid-out, but not, in fact, very useful, since the projects are very time-consuming and/or relatively ugly looking.
This book is a good example of the old saw about not judging a book by its cover. I first saw it a few years ago. We were on our way to Japan and got laid over in San Francisco. That automatically means a 24 hour delay and a stay at some cheesy hotel, so, to compensate, we got on the DART and rode downtown. We walked around for a while and found this interesting museum about the design in the 20th century. The museum was very good and they had this book in their gift shop. The look of it, cardbo ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Jien rated it did not like it
Some of the page layout demonstrated good design. Everything else...

Problem: Hypocrisy. The authors go on about environmental concerns and how not enough things are recycled and throwing things away creates more problems yet the projects take items that could be recycled and make them un-recyclable. Example: Covering a piece of lace in epoxy turns the lace from an organic material with recycling potential into non-biodegradable trash. Repurposing old laundry containers into a coat rack might see
Sara Habein
May 03, 2011 Sara Habein rated it it was ok
ReadyMade is one of those magazines I periodically buy, thinking that if I'm ever overcome with a fit of craftiness, it would help inspire my poor wallet and me to make something interesting out of stuff I already have, or can obtain on the cheap. Some of their projects veer a bit towards the "I'm bored and like making things, soo... behold! This strange and only semi-useful thing!", but others really are small strokes of "Aha! What an idea!" Unfortunately, this book version of ReadyMade is more ...more
Apr 29, 2009 Tarlen rated it really liked it
Dydy ( yang pertama meminjamkan buku ini waktu kami sama-sama berkunjung ke Mid Manhattan Public Library. Aku langsung jatuh cinta berat sama buku ini. Beruntungnya aku karena aku bisa mendapatkannya di Strand Bookstore (toko buku second terbesar di NYC) dengan harga 15 dollar saja (harga asli 25 dollar).

Buku ini diawali dengan sebuah mini manifesto (with appologies to William Blake). Aku kutip sesuai aslinya:
1. I will in some way redifine space, material, functionality,
Lori Shafer
Nov 05, 2015 Lori Shafer rated it it was amazing
I got this book through my library's interlibrary loan program. I was looking for unique crafting ideas for the house. Also, I was looking for possible ideas for future craft programs. I found some interesting ideas. Some I am dying to try. If you like crafting using recycled material, you will enjoy this book.
Starr Phoenix
Feb 04, 2010 Starr Phoenix rated it really liked it
This book's very cool. Lots of do-able art/craft projects - and lots of built in inspiration to think of ways to recycle materials into groovy gifts and decor.

This is a pick up/put down kind of book. More like a manual. You won't read it straight thru. In fact, it's meant to be shared and discussed and turned into a creative workshop of sorts.

My favorite part of the book so far, though, is an odd little section about facial exercises you can do to eliminate the aging face's inclination to "wat
Jan 30, 2015 Meredith rated it it was ok
Shelves: craft
I like the magazine, so I wanted to like the book, too. It was creative, but not ultimately that useful.

The projects purported to be recycling and reusing, but none of them featured things that I own much less that I'm recycling. For example, I don't have an old door lying around, or a shipping pallet, or wooden clothes pins, or several years' worth of phone books.

I tried to take this as an inspiration/aspirational book, but the authors grounded it too much in the specific designs and recipes.
Jun 22, 2008 Lesley rated it liked it
clothespin doormats, saran wrap chair, comb and ruler mail slot, phone book furniture, plastic bag messenger bag. and more!
the only thing bad i could say about the book is i wished there were more projects that were simpler. many of them required buying various random things. or having trash that was like old doors or plexiglass boards, which i speak for myself, but that is not common to be something i am throwing out. i think i would love to come back to this book when/if i eventually move int
Eric James
Oct 18, 2007 Eric James rated it really liked it
Shelves: hobby-design-etc
While, as some people have said, the magazine may be more engaging, that's the nature of the beast when it comes to re-purposing and craft projects in particular.

Still, whatever it loses in comparison, it still has tons of great projects, for all sorts of media, as well as a good deal of articles and statistics regarding waste. I guess what makes it so great is that, unlike the magazine, even the projects too difficult or just generally not applicable to me, in this format, it's just fun to rea
May 18, 2008 Sara rated it it was ok
This book is fun to flip through. Some of the projects are hideously ugly, but some look like they would be fun to make. My problem with many of them is that they would require the purchase of the base materials! If the stuff is lying around the house, it's already being used.

I liked the little informational sections on the history of the base materials (paper, wood, etc) more than many of the actual projects. I'll hang on to this, but I'm not sure how often I'll end up making anything described
May 05, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it
I'm a giant fan of the concept, but I find I'm dissapointed quite frequently with readymade publications. This is no exception. It has some awesome, novel ideas, but it also has a lot of excess style. Sometimes, and often, the projects are so difficult and end up being incredibly impractical. I like the lessons on each building material (paper, metal, glass, wood, fabric, etc). A nice reminder about the chemistry and background of these materials that surrounds us everyday.

What a great accidenta
Feb 25, 2016 Carrie rated it did not like it
Shelves: homemaking
Everyone in my home was disappointed by this book.
May 09, 2010 Hoan rated it it was amazing
OMG - I love this book!! Will likely buy - It is so cool and provides great ideas on how to upcycle things that you would normally just throw away or take for granted. I feel like these ideas could lead to endless possibilities of fun DIY projects. The ReadyMade Magazine is pretty much based on these ideals - which I also recommend to subscribe to. Although it's a little pricey for a bi-monthly subscription. I look forward to receiving in my mail every other month!
Melissa Massello
Featured in 35 Budget Living Picks for National Book Lovers Day on :

The favorite magazine of every DIYer may have folded, but the cool, kitschy, encyclopedic knowledge of ReadyMade's editors lives on in this awesome collection of project ideas and practical how-tos.
Sep 04, 2008 Beth rated it liked it
I'm a big Readymade fan, however the concept of this book is more exciting than the book itself. Don't get me wrong, there are great projects but alot of it came from past issues of the magazine. But there are more than just projects in this book, it also includes a nice history (with useful info) of materials. I love to flip through it when I'm feeling uninspired. It was definately worth adding to my Readymade collection.
Jun 15, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok
At first glance, this book is great. But it is a little too...I don't know, offbeat? for me. I like the denim dog bed on page 179, and there is a great mini-project on marking a regular jar as a measuring utensil on page 166. Otherwise, it's fun to look at, but that was about it for me. On that note, though, my boyfriend was absolutely enamored with the "table pants" at the start of the fabric chapter.
Lindy Loo
Jul 07, 2008 Lindy Loo rated it really liked it
There *ARE* a lot of projects in here that I could never do in a million years, but that tends to be the way with craft-books, I've noticed. Despite that fact, it has quite a few brilliant little gems. I'm looking forward to scavenging my neighborhood for dresser drawers (only wish I would've seen this PRIOR to this weekend when there was a freakish plethora) so I can try making the shelving unit. Woot woot.
Dec 31, 2010 Christine rated it it was ok
Remember when ReadyMade first went into publication as a magazine of do-it-youself projects at "affordable" costs? You could make lamps out of plastic soda binders and use broken ladders to make shelving in the old days. Well this isn't that book. The do-it-yourself aspect is still there but with power tools that no one really has and with a budget only young business professionals can afford.
Mar 01, 2013 Alyssa rated it it was ok
So, I didn't love this book. While I appreciate the idea of using recycled materials, I found that the projects featured are not projects I would choose to take on.

But I did appreciate the fun facts featured throughout, i.e.: "A Brief History of Paper/Plastic/Wood/Metal/Glass/Fabric," how different cultures use chop sticks, & 16 alternate uses for sock were my favorite.
Nov 05, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a pretty cool crafty book that shows you how to make things like a coat rack from laundry detergent bottles, a chandelier from glass water-bottles, a denim dog bed, a messenger bag from newspaper subscription plastic bags, and a shelving unit from drawers. It's pretty advanced crafts, so I'll probably never make them, but it was fun to look at :)
Sep 11, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is hilarious! And fabulous, I actually want to make practically everything in this book and use it in my home (unlike most of the crap recycling crafty ideas in most books) like the hardcover book frame, phone-book furniture, poster-tube magazine tree, fedex cd rack, shopping bag rug, cd wall mural, I could go on and on, I love this book!
Jan 16, 2008 Allison rated it it was ok
When I was flipping through this in the bookstore, it seemed so cool--"Sure, I want to make neat home decor items from my garbage! Who wouldn't?"

And then I bought it and read it, and it seems for now like just owning the book is good enough. Apparently I don't actually want a CD case mural or a detergent coat rack that bad.
Jan 02, 2008 Little rated it liked it
Shelves: practical-stuff
Not that I actually DID any of these projects, but this sure was a fun craft book to read. Lots of brilliant ideas and fun facts. ReadyMade is a craft book to restore your faith in humanity, change your life to make it greener, or at least inspire you to be a little more creative.
Sep 01, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
This book was a lot of fun to read. While some of the projects were a tad..frat guy (C'mon! A room divider made of beer cans?!) some others were right on the money. I already gathered the supplies to make two projects. Come on, rainy day weekend!
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