Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cut Out + Keep: Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects - Book Review and Two Project Tutorials

As a longtime visitor to Cat Morley and Tom Waddington's popular craft community Cut Out + Keep, I've been looking forward to the release of their book, Cut Out + Keep: Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects. You see, I had followed along via Cat's blog as the Edinburgh-based duo made their way to each state. I was constantly amazed by the variety of quirky places they found to visit and couldn't wait to see how the couple would translate the trip into a craft book.

Cut Out and Keep Book Cover

Not everyone is able to take their job on the road of course, but the concept worked brilliantly for these young website owners and intrepid travelers. As city dwellers, Cat and Tom had never learned to drive... no matter. Once they arrived in the U.S. they did just that, bought a car, and headed off on a 15,000 mile journey. They took advice from CO + K members as to what to see and where to go, all the while thinking up a corresponding DIY project for each state. How's that for a creative way of merging the online world with traditional publishing?

Cut Out and Keep Book Back Cover

The hefty book is loaded with snapshots of their travels along with fun - and dare I say it - educational overviews of the states. I learned a lot and I live here! You'll also find a big beauty shot of each indie-style project along with step-by-step photos and concise text instructions.

Hollywood Lampshade Tutorial

Cut Out and Keep Book Pages

Publisher Laurence King sent me a copy of the book and also two paper-themed projects to share with you: Nevada's Playing Card Bouquet, as seen on the book's cover, and California's Hollywood Lampshade. Just click on the links to download a PDF for each via Dropbox (there's no need to register) or click on the lampshade tutorial photos below to see them more clearly on Flickr.

Hollywood Lampshade Tutorial

Hollywood Lampshade Tutorial

Quite a few of the projects have a paper element. In addition to the lampshade and bouquet, there's a license plate notebook, passport holder, and even a way to jazz up your nails with text. I was impressed at how well the projects relate to each state and am positive I would have enjoyed eavesdropping on Tom and Cat's brainstorming sessions as they drove.

Playing Card Bouquet Tutorial

The book would be ideal for tweens, teens, and early 20-somethings with a flair for fashion and a penchant for decorating and cooking. Not only will readers have the chance to dabble in a wide variety of crafts - knitting, needlefelting, painting, baking, etc. - they'll also learn about our fabulous fifty states. The book is already out in the UK and will be released in the U.S. on March 17. Cut Out + Keep: Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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