Dacia Hanson, who has lived in the greater Seattle area her entire life, is the alter ego behind the blog The Biblio Diva. She’s also a mother and an avid lifelong crafter, and as the proprietress of the Old Renton Book Exchange, Hanson hosts a weekly crafting circle called Crafternoon™ every Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. “I was lucky enough to have some seriously awesome and crafty influences growing up in my mother, who is an avid quilter, my grandmother, who taught me how to sew, and even my dad, who made custom fishing rods in our basement when I was a kid,” Hanson explained. Hanson is delighted to share her ideas for fun, beautiful and easy crafts to do with your children.
Dacia Hanson
Old Renton Book Exchange
227 Wells Ave. S.
Renton, WA 98057
(425) 430-2665

The Book Purse (Credit, Tracy Campion)

The Book Purse

“This is one of my favorite crafts and the reason I am now the proud owner of an obscenely burgeoning fabric stash. This is a great craft to do with kids ages eight and up because it involves a lot of hot glue. It takes about 90 minutes from start to finish. You take an old book, slice out the text block with a box cutter (you’ll want to do this part for the kiddies so no one ends up with any missing digits), make a pattern out of the open cover and then choose a coordinating fabric. You then line the inside of the cover with your fabric using the aforementioned mountains of hot glue, gluing in the sides of your purse first and then lining the inside; add handles and embellishments if you like and voila!”

Vintage Illustration Greeting Cards (Credit, Tracy Campion)

Vintage Illustration Greeting Cards

“I adore vintage illustration and can simply not get rid of a book, even if it’s falling apart, if it has pretty pictures. This is a super simple and easy craft you can do with any child old enough to be trusted with a pair of safety scissors. I love looking through the old books with the kids for the illustrations they find most appealing. All you really need for this craft is scissors, paper or card stock and glue. Let the kids go nuts cutting out their favorite pictures (and they’ll usually relish in the opportunity to destroy something that would normally be strictly verboten) and then help them trim the pictures and place them onto pre-made cards.”

Back-strip Bookmarks

“This is a really easy project that takes only seconds to do: all you need are some old dilapidated books for cutting up, a hole punch and some ribbon. Take the book, using a box knife (again adults only for this part) remove the text block, trim the front and real panels off until all you are left with it the book’s back-strip. You can let the kids take over from here because the rest is super easy. All you do is punch a hole in the top of the back-strip, pick out your favorite coordinating ribbon or cord and loop it through the hole. This is so easy and fun; you can make a ton at once and they make excellent gifts for your book club and great stocking stuffers.”

Dictionary and Encyclopedia Art Prints

“This is another craft that takes just minutes, and picking out which pictures, creatures, flowers or bugs to print is the best part. All you need are the pages from an old encyclopedia, a printer and the internet. Search images on your computer; I am a fancier of vintage scientific and botanical illustrations, but you and your kids can really choose anything. Save the image to your computer, insert it into a PowerPoint file (this gives you more options to move the image around than using Word), cut out the pages of your dictionary or encyclopedia and put them in your printer and print the image right on top of the text. The kids love to watch the final product spit out of the printer and the result is usually a very sophisticated looking craft.”

Fancy Feathered Headbands

“I really love this project because the possibilities and combinations are endless! All you need are some plain headbands or hair clips, the ubiquitous hot glue and a bag of feathers, ribbons and buttons. It’s as simple as just starting to layer things; let the little ones pick out which embellishments they want to use and help them hot glue them to their headband or hair clip. It’s just that simple and you end up with a super fun, frilly piece of wearable art. All of these crafts (and many more) can be found at Old Renton Book Exchange, and every Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., Dacia will be making more.”

Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.