Top 10 craft books for beginners

Interested in crafting but not sure how to get started? We take a look at the best beginners’ books on the market.

Once you’ve chosen the type of craft you’d like to explore, you can use your chosen book to learn techniques and for project ideas – there are also lots of video clips available online, which are great as extra learning tools.

How To Crochet: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners‘ by Alison McNicol, paperback, £7.95.

With bright, modern, full colour illustrations, anyone can quickly learn to crochet, master new stitches and make a selection of cute and easy first crochet projects, including beautiful scented hanging hearts, baby hats, granny squares, scarves and mittens and lots more.

The Beginners’ Guide to Quilting: 16 projects to learn to quilt by Elizabeth Betts, paperback, from £10.50.

Learn how to make beautiful quilts with this comprehensive guide to patchwork and quilting for beginners. Covers all aspects of quilting from piecing and applique to quilting and binding.

Choose from 16 simple projects, each focusing on a different technique, from bags and cushions to table mats, wall hangings and bed quilts.

Clear illustrations and step-by-step instructions accompany each project, making them all suitable for even a complete novice. The book also includes a quilting glossary explaining common quilting and sewing terms.

Absolute Beginners Guide: working with polymer clay by Lori Wilkes, paperback, £14.99.

This is perfect choice for beginners who want to expand their jewellery-making skills. Jewellery makers will love experimenting with the 24 easy projects. Helpful tips and instructions on the basics, tools, and colour are followed by progressive projects that put techniques into action.

Budding polymer clay artists will learn how to make and shape beads, add texture and surface interest, develop faux techniques, work with creative caning and pattern, and more.

All Things Paper: 20 unique projects from leading paper crafters, artists, and designers by Ann Martin, paperback, £8.99

All of the paper products in this book are designed by respected paper craft artists, who have been making amazing things with paper for many years. Each of the projects, from simple to more complex, has easy-to-follow instructions and detailed photos enabling you to create your own.

These colourful and impressive pieces include art objects to display at home as well as items which have practical uses. All of the pieces make a wonderful keepsake or a gift that expresses the beauty, elegance, and versatility of paper.

Ultimate Origami for Beginners Kit: the perfect introduction to paper folding  by Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander, paperback, £11.99

This kit includes 62 folding papers, a book and instructional DVD. It’s the perfect kit for you if you’ve always wanted to try origami, but could never settle on a single style or type of paper.

World-renowned origami designers Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander have selected projects from several popular categories of design and walk you through how to make them.

‘Beginner Chunky Knitting Patterns’ is a  collection of original knitting patterns created using bulky yarn. Bulky yarn is warm, easy to work with and it knits up fast!

These 14 knitting patterns, including women’s accessories and sweaters as well as knits for babies and the home, are all beginner friendly and all patterns are comprised of garter and/or stockinette stitches. 

Handmade Bags in Natural Fabrics: over 25 easy-to-make purses, totes and more by Emiko Takahashi, paperback, £8.99

This book offers patterns for twenty-five basic bag styles along with sixty variations and the know-how to customise each bag to suit any style;from sweet-and-innocent to minimalist to counter-culture.

Emiko Takahashi, a fashion and textiles designer, provides easy instructions and diagrams, as well as a sheet of fully-sized pattern pieces for each handmade bag project; plus easy lessons on the basics of hand-stitching drawstring casings, corners, edges, straps, and simple flourishes.

Each bag can be machine-sewn, but they are designed to be made in natural fabrics that are lightweight enough to be easily sewn by hand.

All you need to know in one small handbag sized book, packed full of clear stitch diagrams and instructions – plus 20 simple projects to make. “Learn to Crochet” is the only book you will need to learn to create beautiful crocheted garments from your own hook.

The book is packed with detailed information on yarns and threads, hook types and sizes, plus step-by-step guidance on holding a hook and yarn, making a loop to basic stitches and much more. All of the teaching sections have clear colour artwork and diagrams, teamed with colour photography of real-life examples of crocheted items, ideal for the beginner.

See Kate Sew: 24 learn-to-sew projects you can make in an hour by Kate Blocher, paperback, from £15

Learning how to sew has never been easier! In See Kate Sew, Kate Blocher shows you how to make dozens of beginner-friendly projects with professional polish. From stylish pillows and home decor to adorable soft toys for kids and fashion-forward accessories, there is plenty to make and gift–or keep just for you!

Detailed instructions and step-by-step illustrations help ensure your success, while sewing tutorials on everything from creating buttonholes to mitring quilt corners and embroidering sprinkles on felt doughnuts will boost your skills and confidence. Best of all, projects can be sewn together in 60 minutes or less.

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