Monday, 13 May 2013

Op Shop Chic - Book Review

image op shop chic refashion found treasures book review rosie lyons

During my three weeks of recuperating from foot surgery, I spent a lot of my "free time" reading craft books borrowed from one of my local libraries.  I have read so many craft books that I thought I would review some of them for you, because there is nothing worse than buying a craft book only to find that you really don't like it (and with many people moving to buying books online, sight unseen as it were, this is a risk you sometimes take).

image op shop chic refashion found treasures rosie lyons lampshade lace fabric

The book I'm reviewing today is Op Shop Chic by Rosie Lyons, which I'm sure you all realised I borrowed because of my love of upcycling.  This cute little book is packed with projects and tips on how to create beautiful items from unwanted, broken or other found objects.  There are four main sections which cover upcycling or recycling old clothing, furniture, fabrics and kitchenwares.

image op shop chic refashion found treasures tesselated purse paint rosie lyons

I absolutely love the idea behind this book, including the author's preface explaining why she believes in upcycling and recycling.  There are some highly inventive and pretty projects in this book, and I especially liked the re-decorated lampshade and tea towel bag projects.  However, for the experienced upcycler or op shopper, many of the projects in this book won't be new to you.

image op shop chic refashion found treasures vinyl record bowl stand rosie lyons

On the positive side, with something like forty or so projects in one small book, there are lots of projects to get a novice upcycler started on the right track or to inspire the more experienced creator.  The variety of projects in this little book is also quite impressive.  On the minus side, though, many of the project instructions are brief and not always self-explanatory, and there are no step-by-step photos, making it harder for novice crafters to follow along.  Many of the instructions also assume at least a basic knowledge of various crafting techniques.

image op shop chic refashion found treasures tea towel bag tote rosie lyons

So what's my final verdict on this book?  Op Shop Chic is a fun and compact book with many clever recycling and upcycling ideas.  Due to the brief nature of the project instructions and a distinct lack of photography (except for final product photos), I wouldn't recommend this book for those who are new to the creative world.  However, this book would be a good start for creative individuals looking for inspiration or a "how to" to get them started on the creative path that is upcycling.

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