Made By Hand, the newest book by Lena Corwin, is a collection of projects based on the classes held in her studio. Her first book, Printing By Hand, showcases a modern guide to handmade printing with stamps, stencils and more. In her newest book, she decided to expand her curriculum and even invited some of her talented friends to teach classes on everything from dyeing and sewing to weaving and jewelry making. In 26 studio classes, Made By Hand introduces readers to ageless crafting techniques with modern projects. Take a look at some of my favorites straight from the book:
Rotary-Printed Cloth Napkins: ”While planning this book, I spent time experimenting with printing techniques that were new to me, and I have become especially interested in the concept of rotary printing,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “When manufacturers produce rotary-printed fabric, a large cylinder is carved with impressions and is used to print on long, continuous rolls of fabric.”
To make a smaller rotating stamp, Lena attached pieces of foam to a rolling pin. The foam pieces soak up the ink, allowing the design to easily transfer to the fabric. Here, she chose a fun polka-dot design in neon hues to create napkins.
Crocheted Garland: To create this garland, Erin used three different doily patterns and chose muted, vintage colors. You can hang the garland anywhere around your home — on a mantel, headboard, window, etc.
Crocheted or Braided Rugs: “For this project, Cal and I decided to show two great rug-making methods — braided and crocheted. Both methods use the same fabric but produce distinctively different looks,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “Braided rugs … have a classic, old-fashioned appearance, while crocheted rugs … look more modern.”
Olive Oil Soap: ”Soap made with 100 percent olive oil is a very gentile cleanser with a smooth and creamy lather, and it is great for all skin types, particularly sensitive skin,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “The soap-making technique demonstrated [in the book] is called cold process; lye and oil are mixed together to create a chemical reaction called saponification, and the end result is soap.”
Sewn Children’s Tops and Bottoms: “Because you don’t need much fabric when you’re making children’s clothing, you can choose a really special fabric that might be too expensive for an adult garment,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “Wendy suggests using soft, lightweight fabrics made from natural fibers (cotton lawns, lightweight poplins, gauzes and fine-gauge knits are great).”
Brick-Stitch Beaded Necklaces: ”Jennifer and I both have an appreciation for beaded jewelry — especially traditional Native American beading — but what ultimately led us to this project was a necklace that artist and shop-owner Chau Nguyen gave to Jennifer,” Lena says in Made By Hand. “We loved her use of two-dimensional brick-stitch beaded shapes strung on a beaded strand. (This method is called brick stitch because the rows of beads are staggered like stacked bricks.)”
Photos by Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes for Lena Corwin’s Made By Hand (STC Craft | A Melanie Falick Book; October 2013; U.S. $29.95 / Can. $32.95; ISBN: 978-1-61769-059-4