The ebb of the coloring book frenzy has happily separated the wheat from the chaff, and only the best remain. At the top of the list is this wondrous, new single-sided book featuring the polymorphous, intricately detailed, and always stunning images from the creator of three previous transporting books: Fantomorphia, Mythomorphia, and Animorphia.
Let's Make Comics!
Jess Smart Smiley
If you know (or are) that person who’s been yakking about wanting to create comics but hasn’t gotten the oomph to do it, this is the perfect book. It’s fun! It’s funny! It’s interactive! Best of all, your guide is a rad cartoonist and comic book maker who offers lessons on all the essentials necessary to charge down the creative highway.
The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide
Indulge in the playful art of a modern, more forgiving style of calligraphy that enables you to letter outside the traditional box with creative flourishes and neat imprecision. The artist behind the Pigeon Letters website shares all her expertise, from choosing pens and paper to templates for labels and cards, all designed to unlock the unbridled calligrapher.
World of Flowers
The reigning ink evangelist (pens, not pixels!) lures the heart and hand into a dazzling floral adventure of fantastical realms of flowers and plants from around the globe. Her illustrations of exotic locales, from floating gardens of water poppies in South Africa to enchanted fairytale gardens, will colorize and warm many a cold winter night.
The Gift of Calligraphy
Another master calligrapher invites you to bask in the allure of lettering with 25 gorgeously photographed projects from invitations to wall art to tote bags. Imasa-Stukuls begins with the ABCs—literally demonstrating how to create a simple alphabet—and then guides the reader step-by-step through the delightful projects.
Crepe Paper Flowers
The doyenne of DIY crafts focuses on flowers in this collection of 30 projects that showcase the magic of crafting with paper. Griffith focuses on crepe paper because it’s malleable and forgiving, making it the perfect material for beginners. For the fully supplied crafter who owns a Cricut Maker, downloadable templates are available for free on Griffith’s website.
Make and Mend
This exquisite guide to sashiko, a simple Japanese stitching technique, shows how—with just a needle and thread—you can save your favorite sweater, add pizzazz to your home, and save the planet. According to Marquez, Americans throw away about 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year, but with her inspiration, we can make more, buy less, and hold on to things we cherish.
Weaving Within Reach
The 30 modern weaving projects presented by expert pattern designer and creator of the blog Flax & Twine allow even the beginner to create boutique-worthy earrings, clutches, pillows, and more. Even better: for the beginning projects, no loom is required! For the intermediate, Weil provides more designs for a frame loop.
Royal School of Needlework-trained professional embroiderer Jo Dixey offers a project-by-project guide that will rev up the reader’s creativity quotient. Each one introduces new embroidery stitches and techniques to make one-off pieces of art, embellish clothing, and craft beautiful gifts.
A stunning collection of woodworking projects by a husband-and-wife team melds rustic Italian style with Scandinavian design. This is the perfect gift for a couple, for your Rosie-the-Riveter friend, or for the man who really doesn’t need another tie. Striking photography and step-by-step instructions make it nice and easy.
We all have that person in our lives who needs just a little push to get going on those projects they’ve been thinking (and talking) about. Or perhaps you have that friend whose recent homemade gift floored you, or the one who can’t stop talking about their new obsession with calligraphy. These ten books, representing an array of creative pursuits, will be unwrapped with a wow. Even better, next year, you can look forward to a beautiful gift born out of these pages.
Editor: Eliza Smith; Featured Image: Matt McCarty