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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Green Arts and Crafts Books

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September 02, 2009

Book Roundup Wednesday: Green Arts and Crafts Books

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we’re recommending books about making craft projects from recycled or ecofriendly materials.

62 Projects to Make With a Dead Computer (and Other Discarded Electronics) (by Randy Sarafan, $14, Workman Publishing, November 2009): Don't want that busted iPod, dead cell phone, or broken computer to end up in the landfill? This clever book provides instructions for transforming your electronics into eye-catching items that'll impress geeks and hipsters alike. Some of the varied projects include a power-strip bird feeder, an iMac terrarium, a keyboard lamp, and a Nintendo belt buckle.

Fantastic Recycled Plastic: 30 Clever Creations to Spark Your Imagination (by David Edgar and Robin A. Edgar, $20, Lark Books, November 2009): Detergent-bottle tropical fish and yogurt-container butterflies are yours for the making with this creative reuse guide. Full-color photos and pattern templates accompany the instructions. The book also includes galleries highlighting the work of professional artists who create truly astounding creations from recycled plastic.

The Green Crafter: 52 Eco-Friendly Products for Every Week of the Year (by Richela Fabian Morgan, $15, Citadel Press, 2009): Turn everyday objects like cereal boxes, stray socks, and bottle caps into unique toys, clothes, and gifts with this week-by-week guide to a craftastic year. Black-and-white photographs accompany the instructions, making the book accessible for both beginning and advanced crafters. Family-friendly projects such as a wine-cork string puppet and a magazine pinwheel are complemented by adult-oriented items such as brown-bag coasters and a milk-carton window planter.

Alt Fiber: 25+ Projects for Knitting Green With Bamboo, Soy, Hemp, and More (by Shannon Okey, $15, Ten Speed Press, 2008): In addition to providing patterns for unique sweaters, hats, and scarves, this book also introduces knitters to a wide variety of alternative fibers and plant dyes. Wondering where to buy nontraditional items such as SeaCell fiber (made from seaweed) or nettle yarn? The resource guide provides a list of stores that sell green knitting supplies.

--Della Watson

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