Skip to main content

See also:

Handmade for the Garden book review

Handmade in the Garden, by Susan Guagliumi is a keeper
Courtesy of STC Craft/Abrams

Handmade in the Garden book, by Susan Guagliumi


Handmade for the Garden book review

This book adds a new dimension to playing outside. Instead of being bound by walls to do DIY projects, the author has taken common outdoor objects and made fun and artful things—75 things.

The book starts simply with stories about author Guagliumi’s life and experiences that help to inform her work. The first project is easy enough—starting Seeds in Newspaper Pots. But we do learn things like the New York Times is printed with soy-based inks, better for plant seedlings.

Guagliumi says her camping experiences and “craft” days helped to shape her life and consequently everything she does. You’ll love stamping a pot, and may have done it in grade school. Spatter painting comes next and the project is not only fun—but the result is great and in all cases, beautiful. The pottery becomes varied and all projects are fairly simple (with detailed materials lists); yet fun and who knew pottery could have so many incarnations?

And don’t throw that leaky hose away (I wish I’d kept all of ours) because the author has more than one cool craft such as the Self-watering Garden-Hose Pot on page 73 and I’m crazy about the Garden-Hose Doormat on page 194-5 and thought to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”.

The ideas and projects in Handmade for the Garden grow in intensity and effort for those who want to tackle, really tackle a project. Some examples are the Mosaics on page 78, or the Bottle-Cap Stepping Stone/Boot Scraper, page 86. Cement projects like the Fairy House on page 113 is a must do, very earthy, and kind of quaint.

All-in-all if you love the garden, tinkering with tools and creating beautiful objects for out-of-doors, this is your book.

Handmade in the Garden, by Susan Guagliumi, STC Craft|A Melanie Falick Book; ISBN: 978-1-61769-097-6, and retails for $27.50 U.S. /Can. $31.50