The Best Crafting, DIY and Hobby Books to Buy or Gift
If you’re looking for a new hobby or need the perfect gift for a beginning crafter or experienced artisan, our crafting book guide will help you find the perfect book for any occasion.
I never meant to be crafty, but there’s something so satisfying about making things with my hands. I love to quilt and do other sewing projects, and I’ve gone through seasons where I cross-stitch or crochet. Within the last few years, I have even learned how to make and can my own jams and applesauce. I just feel immense satisfaction when I complete a handmade project. Fall in love with a wholesome way to occupy your time with one of the books from our craft book guide, hand-picked by HGTV editors and contributors. Already full up on pastimes? Keep reading to find the perfect present for the crafter in your life.
If you think chalk paint is only reserved for farmhouse vibes, think again. Chalk paint creator Annie Sloan shares 12 tips for working with chalk paint that’ll inspire your next weekend DIY. Then, flex your chalk paint skills with 15 easy chalk paint projects, from antique chandeliers and curtains to vinyl flooring.
Bari J. Ackerman is an artist, interior designer and author of Bloom Wild: A Free-Spirited Guide to Decorating With Floral Patterns. Her book walks aspiring maximalist decorators through finding their floral vibe and selecting patterns and textiles to use in their homes.
Cultivated Creativity: Tour Bari J. Ackerman’s Maximalist Home Embellished With Hand-Painted Wallpaper 25 Photos
Bari J. Ackerman, founder of Bari J. Designs, mixes bold patterns and daring colors to create cheerful interior design schemes that she describes as “curated maximalism.”
Make your house a home when you follow Christiane Myers’ room-by-room guide to making your house a cozy, welcoming retreat.
CROCHET AND KNITTING
Contemporary Crochet: 35 Super-Easy Garments and Accessories is Liv Huffman's debut book full of beginning crochet patterns for hats, scarves, tops, dresses and pants. Huffman wrote her book following the viral success of her crochet cardigan on TikTok.
Liv Huffman’s debut book, Contemporary Crochet: 35 Super-Easy Garments and Accessories, is chock-full of daring fashion choices and retro-inspired pieces, most of which are constructed from the classic crochet granny square — and all of which reflect her personal style.
If you love flowers but can’t seem to keep them alive, you can always crochet your own. This crochet plant guide includes instructions to make your own daffodils, strawberries, seasonal branches, wreaths, mistletoe and more.
Brioche knitting creates a ribbed effect that some knitters find intimidating, but Lesley Anne Robinson’s cheerful guide will have you creating bold brioche sweaters, scarves and hats in no time.
Grab your knitting needles and binge watch some TV as you let the calm, repetitive motion of knitting relax your mind and create a variety of accessories and handmade home decor.
CRAFTS FOR KIDS
Between the shipping boxes, mail cartons, paper towel rolls and cereal boxes, our homes are overflowing with cardboard. Before it goes out with the recycling, learn how to repurpose it into props and forts to stimulate your child’s imagination. You might just find yourself in the copilot’s seat in a cardboard rocket bound for mars.
Celebrate all the ways our hair is different and beautiful with more than 60 yarn-art activities that include chances for your kids to practice braiding, gluing, cutting and other fine motor skills.
We all know about baking soda-and-vinegar volcanoes, but keep your budding scientist busy with 100 other easy science experiments for kids.
This is a fun book for kids and parents who like to do art projects together. It’s also a great gift for teachers. The book introduces young artists ages 6 and up to key masterpieces and classic techniques so they can create their own interpretations of great works of art. Projects include: using plaster to recreate a cave painting, using cardboard and coat hangers to design a mobile sculpture, building a dramatic jungle scene inside a shoebox and many more engaging, hands-on projects.
CROSS-STITCH AND FELTING
It’s a sampler, but make it activism. This book of 40 patterns lets you express your disdain for the patriarchy and your support of women in adorable cross-stitch designs.
Cross-stitch goes macabre with patterns and tips for beginners from Lindsay Swearingen's new book.
Get started on your felting journey with this beginner’s guide to needle felting tiny dioramas, people, animals and plants.
SEWING AND EMBROIDERY
This is definitely not your grandmother’s embroidery — this embroidery guide is light on florals and heavy on sass. Inside the book, you’ll find fun and rebellious patterns as well as some sweet and pretty designs. This book explains basic embroidery stitches and more complex ones; step-by-step illustrations make it easy.
Explore personal transformation through the stitching of dreams and intentions. Anything but ordinary, "Mystical Stitches" combines the beloved and accessible craft of embroidery with a spiritual element, introducing a rich treasury of 200 magical symbols you can use to set an intention and create personal icons to wear or embellish items in the home. Christi Johnson offers unique patterns inspired by botanicals, animals, numbers, the cosmos, earth elements, zodiac signs and mythical beasts, for novice or well-practiced crafters to combine into talismans with personal meaning. Johnson’s folk art style is vibrant and unintimidating and provides a framework for bringing spiritual elements into physical form.
DRAWING AND PAINTING
You can learn how to make more than 50 paper blooms — peonies, roses, dahlia, daisies, succulents, etc. — with this how-to guide. Step-by-step instructions and templates are included with the book as well as decorating and layout ideas. Chantel Larocque is a renowned artist who has designed wedding florals and been featured in many wedding magazines.
This book is perfect for anyone interested in learning to make stamps, prints and painted accessories. The guide’s 20 projects include instruction and beautiful photography so you can learn how to make natural vegetable dyes, cork stamps, nesting boxes, paint on glass and how to stitch together a booklet.
POTTERY CARVING AND SCULPTING
You don’t need to be a master artisan to carve regular bars of soap into animals, flowers and other objects in this soap carving tutorial.
Settle into a chair on the porch and spend some time whittling sticks into beautiful toys and other gifts. This book features 24 step-by-step projects including wooden chains, carved pencils and twig pencils
New and longtime gardeners alike will love this easy, green wall art project from Hilton Carter's latest book, Wild Creations: Inspiring Projects to Create Plus Plant Care Tips & Styling Ideas for Your Own Wild Interior.
Think you're plant-obsessed? Bow down to Hilton Carter, a Baltimore-based creative who's packed more than 280 plants into his home + studio space. Take a tour, plus get his tips for wannabe plant parents.
What if you could turn the flowers you love into statement pieces for special occasions? Susan McLeary’s guide will help you turn a variety of plants into one-of-a-kind jewelry for when you need to make a splash.
Learn how to string beads, wrap wire, make knots and hammer metal with this detailed step-by-step guide. There are 17 projects within the book that explain a variety of basic jewelry-making techniques. Author Courtney Legenhausen designs have been featured in numerous magazines including Cosmopolitan, Lucky and InStyle.
Your cat is going to shed that fur anyway, so you might as well do something with it. This book contains a handful of cat fur crafts you can complete in under an hour.
This book provides step-by-step techniques for creating over 50 traditional mehndi designs. When you’ve mastered your designs and patterns, the book will show you how to incorporate them into DIY art projects like jewelry, stationery, candles and home decor.
Stuck in an artistic rut? Follow Amy Latta through a guided journal with small exercises and inspirational quotes to help you get your crafting-mojo back.