Last November, I reviewed the first two kids' craft books written by my very talented and creative boss, Amanda Formaro. Trevor and I loved both Rubber Band Mania and Duct Tape Mania. If you haven't checked them out already, I strongly encourage you to do so! They are full of fun ideas for school-age boys and girls and would make a thoughtful and affordable gift.
I don't know how she does it, but Amanda has written three more books since then! The publisher sent me advanced copies of all three. The first book I dove into was Button Mania: Buttons, Bottlecaps and Beyond!
As before, I am reviewing this not out of obligation, but because I think you will love it as much as I do! This colorful book is chock-full of fun projects. I appreciate the clear directions and many step-out photos. Each project has a supply list and is marked with a difficulty level. Button-themed tips, trivia and jokes are sprinkled throughout the pages.
The book arrived just before Trevor's baseball practice. I couldn't wait to try a project, so I grabbed supplies for the Button Bracelet and brought them along with me to the field. I invited my friends and fellow baseball moms, Jenny and Rebecca, to join me in making bracelets.
We had a great time stringing buttons, chatting and watching our kids practice. Steve was very helpful, both in taking photos of our crafting and in trying on my completed bracelet.
I'd brought along different types of cording to see how they would work, as Amanda's supply list said to use twine or cord. Jenny used cream embroidery floss with green, turquoise, brown and cream buttons to create a beautiful, layered bracelet. I used black waxed laces (left over from a leatherwork project Trevor made) with alternating white, red and blue buttons to make a patriotic bracelet. Rebecca used a stretchy red cord with red and pink buttons for her bracelet.
Here's a closer look:
The three cords yielded different looks. The embroidery floss was much more difficult to string, but the way Jenny overlapped the buttons was very pretty. My black laces were easy to string and added a contrasting design detail to the buttons. Rebecca's stretchy cord was easy to take on and off, but curled up and had to be straightened to look right.
We had a great time and the 90 minute practice time was over before we knew it. Thanks to Jenny and Rebecca for playing along! They were both very impressed with Button Mania. We only came up with one critique and that is that the first chapter (Stuff to Wear) is entirely projects for girls (earrings, bracelet, locket, etc). The remaining chapters (Stuff to Play, Stuff for Outside, Stuff for Noise, Stuff to Hang, Stuff for Fun, Stuff to Create and Stuff for Home) are great for both boys and girls. As the mom of a boy, if I were flipping through the book at the store and started at the beginning, I might not buy it, thinking it was mostly for girls. That is definitely not the case! Trevor has marked a dozen projects that he wants to try eventually.
Button Mania is available for pre-order on Amazon (affiliate link below) and will be in stores in August. Check it out! You won't be disappointed.