I’ll admit that I’m not a big beer drinker. But my husband is a beer fan, so reviewing the book “Beer Crafts” was a great opportunity for me to fulfill one of my husband’s deepest desires: asking him to pick up some beer on the way home!
Here is what the publisher says about “Beer Crafts – making the Most of Your Cans, Bottle Caps, and Labels” by Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman.
While author and crafter extraordinaire Shawn Bowman would like to think she came up with the idea on her own, inspiration really came from her eight-year-old daughter, who spent a summer obsessed with making jewelry out of her parents’ discarded bottle caps. Finding the note on her desk, “My crafting involves you to open a beer,” the author had what can only be called an epiphany: “ALL crafting should involve me opening a beer.” She raised her daughter’s allowance, and set down to writing this book. But first, she opened a beer.
Beer Crafts shows you how to repurpose not just the caps but also labels, bottles, and even cans into useful, hip, and quirky items — from attention-getting (if not downright sexy) garter belts to the classic crochet beer can hat, to beer bottle tags, to refrigerator magnets, and more. The projects are super fun, easy to make (even for a first-time crafter), and most of the supplies are things you probably already have on hand or chilling in the fridge.
It is always fun to craft with upcycled materials, and while the book focuses on beer crafts, most of the crafts in the book could be made with soda cans, pop tabs, bottle caps from sodas, and labels from soda bottles. You don’t need to be a beer drinker, or live with a beer drinker, to have fun with this book.
In true beer-lover fashion, Gascoyne-Bowman divides the book up into chapters based on brews.
There are over 30 of projects in the book. The simplest includes a bottle-cap headband (the author has a specific way she likes to prepare her bottle caps for crafting).
Among the more complex are crocheted hats (though if you don’t like to crochet, and you’re into beer headgear, there are also instructions for a cowboy hat made from beer boxes and beer box tiaras.
I decided to try out a couple of the bottle cap projects from the book. The first was a set of beer-bottle markers.
The directions were simple to follow, although step 6 was a repeat of step 5, and the second photo on the second page was incorrect (the jewelry-back chain attachment goes on the other side of the bottle cap than shown in the picture).
Since I was playing with bottle caps, I made a quick bottle cap necklace. This one uses a pull tab from a beer can to attach the jump ring.
I used a soda bottle cap for this project – which proves that soda bottles work just as well as beer bottles!
In addition to simple beginner crafts, there are plenty of more aspirational projects like windchimes, trophies, blankets, and even a backgammon board! There are a few photos of projects that don’t have detailed instructions, such as an entire dress made from ribbon woven into pop tabs. If you like collecting bottle caps, soda tabs, and other recyclables, you’ll really enjoy flipping through the pages of this book – making the projects and getting inspired.
“Beer Crafts” is published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, and retails for $16.99. Learn more at www.beer-crafts.com.
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