august diy + business book club and giveaway


When I was in grade school one of my favorite days of the year was the day that the Scholastic Book Club catalogs arrived. In the morning our teacher would walk in with the big box containing the full-color catalogs and set it on the floor next to her desk. She knew better than to hand them out in the morning. If she had, none of us would have paid attention to anything she said for the rest of the day. We’d be too busy hiding the catalogs in our laps under our desks and secretly circling everything we hoped our parents would buy us. If your school didn’t take part in the awesomeness of the Scholastic Book Club, it is a company that sends catalogs to schools, then students pick out the books they want, parents write checks and you wait and wait and wait and eventually your purchases arrive.

I’ve always been an avid reader so Scholastic Book Club day was especially dear to me BUT even the kids who weren’t great students and never picked up a book at recess loved that day. The catalog didn’t just contain educational books. It had books for kids who hated books. It had books about rock and roll, BMX bikes and teen heartthrobs like the New Kids on the Block or the Corey’s (Haim and Feldman if you’re too young to recall the Corey obsession that filled nearly every junior high girls’ heart and mind in the 1980s). The catalog also had erasers shaped like animals, fluorescent stickers and posters with kittens or dogs or Mr. T. Everything I needed in the world was in that catalog and I spent hour after hour carefully whittling down my order to a reasonable dollar amount that I prayed my mom would say yes to.

I get that same excited ‘Scholastic Book Club’ feeling when I put together our monthly book club picks here at Dear Handmade Life. We’re so lucky to know writers and publishers who send us amazing titles and we always add in books that we’re reading too. This month I’m elated to share four rad books.

Bird by Bird: Instructions for Writing and Life by Anne Lamott is one of my all-time favorite books in the world. It’s sort of meant for writers but if you’re not a writer don’t let that stop you. I’ve suggested this book to tons of creatives and non-creatives and all of them have raved about it.

Playing with Image Transfers written by one of our Craftcation instructors, Courtney Cerruti is one of the few DIY books that I have actually done the projects from.

You know about our love of terrariums from Lisa’s post a few days ago about how to make a DIY air plant terrarium. The book Tiny World Terrariums by Michelle Inciarrano expands on project ideas and helps you create unique terrariums.

Hello!Lucky founders help you create perfect personalized weddings with step-by-step tutorials in their book Handmade Weddings. If you’re not about to get wed, no worries, most of their projects can be seamlessly adapted for any event or occasion.

Hope you love these titles as much as we do!

-Nicole S.

To enter the contest:

If you want to win two of these books Playing with Image Transfers and Tiny World Terrariums, just leave comment on this post letting us know what your favorite book was when you were young. Post your comment by September 3rd at midnight to be entered to win. Make sure to include your email address so we can get your address and ship you some lovely things to read.

1. Bird by Bird: Instructions for Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

2. Playing with Image Transfers by Courtney Cerruti

3. Tiny World Terrariums by Michelle Inciarrano

4. Handmade Weddings by Hello!Lucky


The contest is now closed! Congrats to Mary!


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  1. I absolutely loved the American Girl Series! I started with the first Felicity book and each time the new flyer came out I would get the next book in the series. By the end of elementary school I had all the books for Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, and Molly!

      1. Glad you liked them. I went to the American Girl website to make sure I had the girls’ names right (I wasn’t 100% sure if it was Kristen or Kirsten), and I was amazed to see that there are several new characters these days!

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