Jenni Radosevich’s I Spy DIY Style: Find Fashion You Love and Do It Yourself shows how easy it can be to duplicate designer trends at home—and to personalize the heck out of them. The goal: When you spy something fabulous in a magazine or a shop, just DIY. If you don’t sew, don’t sweat it. All you need are “a few buttons, some fabric paint, or a piece of ribbon.” If you can operate a glue gun, brush on some bleach or string a bead, you can snazz up any outfit. The trick is to start with a decent canvas: a simple tank or skirt, or a plain headband or pair of heels. The 29 easy projects in the book show step-by-step transformations. Try the feather earrings inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow; a chopstick dress inspired by Heidi Klum; a ribbon-lined jacket inspired by Coco Chanel; an oversized pearl bracelet inspired by Grace Kelly. Don’t miss the amazing temporary embellishments for everyone’s go-to outfit: the little black dress.
THE PRETTIEST PROJECTS
Readers will find an explosion of color and pattern in Happy Home: Twenty-One Sewing and Craft Projects to Pretty Up Your Home by designer Jennifer Paganelli. The bright palette and festive prints are unabashedly cheery and feminine. Projects are divided into categories: Decorate with ruffled pillows, appliqué and simple, lined drapes; Accessorize with totes, boxes, sun hats and a doggie-bed-cover; Party with a vintage banner, garland, table linen and Christmas stocking; and Dream with covers, a bedskirt, headboards and canopies. My favorite may be the Party Pouf: Imagine a spherical paper lantern studded with pom-poms and dangled from a color-coordinated length of seam binding. I also love the Market Tote, an ideal replacement for hideous reusable grocery bags; with the addition of a fabric flower, it’s downright girly. Beginning sewers will appreciate the chapter on basics, and everyone will love the paper patterns tucked into a front pocket, ready to unfold, pin and cut.
TOP PICK FOR LIFESTYLES
Paper Made!: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out of Everyday Paper by Kayte Terry has an irresistible aesthetic. These projects are too neato not to try, even if you don’t think you are a crafter. A fruit bowl made of coiled, braided newspaper pages? A side table of layered corrugated cardboard? How about a bookshelf made out of actual books? Lamps, mobiles, frames, vases, bags, jewelry, party favors, hair accessories: All are made of or embellished with paper. Paper is everywhere—junk mail, office boxes, toilet paper innards, food packaging—which means material is always at hand and usually free. Trim it, roll it, fold it, sew it, glue it, crumple it: Any technique can produce something useful or simply pretty. Time commitments range from a few moments—like cute, covered binder clips—to a weekend, but most projects can be done in a few hours. Some are great for kids, like gum-wrapper bracelets, pinwheels and pop-up cards. The book comes with 37 downloadable templates.