Everyone's an artist!


By Labeena Ishaque

Potter Craft ($21.95)

Ditch the non-biodegradable plastic crap and go for paper. In addition to being sturdy, colorful and recyclable, paper is way easier to use for a do-it-yourself project than icky polymers.

The Paper Home

offers a quick, though thorough, description of different types of paper and how they are best used. It has patterns for paper vases, a rotary-phone-inspired calendar and a foam-and-paper end table. Of course, there's also a 12-step program for paper enthusiasts: a traditional origami paper crane.


By Ruth Lee

Batsford Books ($27.95)

Yarn? Yawn! There are a ton of books out there to help knitters whip up a quick sweater, but for the truly adventurous there's

Contemporary Knitting

. This simple how-to book explains the basics about knitting with bamboo, insulated bell wire or good old-fashioned rope. There are also starter patterns that teach textile artists how to increase and decrease those irregular shapes to get the most out of large-scale sculpture. Those tiny needles Grandma passed down probably aren't going to do the trick though, which is why

Contemporary Knitting

also offers tips on making your own needles. Now you really can knit with broom handles. Cool.


By Stefanie Girard

Quarry Books ($19.99)

Recycling is in vogue these days. But what to do with all those old sweaters? Forget a good spring-cleaning throw-away; stash those sweaters aside for a few more weeks, finish mopping the floor and cleaning out the basement, and get to work.

Sweater Surgery

offers the domestically challenged and ├╝ber-crafters alike a variety of suggestions for turning dumpy old sweaters into the handbag, skirt or baby toy of your dreams.

Sweater Surgery

is also great for those times when a rogue sweater gets lost in the wash and comes out felted-now you can just cut it up and make something fabulous. Everyone will think you did it on purpose.