Some Vintage Crafty Goodness from Rachel's Collection

07 Nov 2011


I'm still trying to get caught up from my Houston trip, so today, let's kick back and look at some choice images from Rachel's collection of vintage craft magazines. I had a splendid time hanging out in her spiffy studio, reading with Emilie.


Rach has lots and lots of McCall's, Family Circle, and the like from the 70's, which is when I was growing up and eagerly poring over magazines for crafty ideas. This stuff speaks directly to my brainstem.

…As does this outfit! Cancel all the other craft projects I have in progress, Marge - I need to make me one of these pantsuits!


Did you save all your old wooden spools? Then it's time to make a chess set.


…And here's what should adorn your game table while you're playing! Tower of Bell Peppers FTW!!


…Or perhaps a tower of kale and candles. And baby's breath.


I thought these brown paper sacks were glorious in their exuberant overdecoration. Anybody got a spare tassel?


Here's a greeting card made with tiny little pasta! 'Nuff said!


Here are some funky animals, made by snaking wire into some metallic cord and then bending and wrapping. In the 70's, we never asked whether something actually needed to be made. That it was new and unusual was quite enough.


Case in point: these wacky car-slippers. Vroom!


But here, my friends, is my very favorite find. This is Dick Martin, who's apparently known as "the father of 3D plastic canvas."

He authored over 100 PC booklets for Leisure Arts, and pioneered a number of shaping techniques. He was completely devoted to the stuff, and is quoted in the article I found as saying he didn't think PC had yet reached "its full potential."

Amen, Dick Martin! He has a couple "Best of Dick Martin" books out there, which are now on my Amazon wish list and thift-store radar.

Do you see how clever all his PC pieces are? That kachina doll? The melon slices? The sculptural flower-pod thing? This man is my newest hero.



These are so much fun to see! It makes me want to raid my mom's and mother in law's garages and throw a 60's or 70's themed Christmas party. The food... the decor... the outfits! Ooh and the music! It would be so much fun!

Heh! A guess based, perhaps, on the qualities of the crafts? :-)

Bwahhahaha! The pantsuit! Great post, I loved every photo.

I was a kid in the 70's so I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the phamaceuticals must have been great.

Hi, Kathleen! Nice to see you. Yes, I always look for these mags and books at the thrift, too. They were magical to me when I was a kid. We'd buy the new Christmas magazines each year and I'd look at them again and again. I miss McCalls in particular.

uhhh ... super absorbent yarn, maybe? ;)


Absolutely! :-)

Those vegetable centerpieces are hilarious. I want to have a 70's themed game night party soon. Can I borrow your crochet jumpsuit?

HAHAHAHAHA! That had not occurred to me, but now it's all I can think about. :-)

Ooh, can't wait to see your find!

Hi Diane! Just stopped by to catch up on your site! I LOVE old craft magazines from the 70's and these are some amazingly funky projects! To be honest, the crafty book and magazine section is my first stop in any thrift store or flea market I go to. They remind me of my childhood and being obsessed with all the craft projects in my mother's McCall's and Woman's Day magazines. Anyway, hope all is well and I can't wait to check out Craftypod 2.0!

How on earth did one pee in that crocheted contraption?

Oh gosh, there is nothing like vintage craft magazines. I am actually going to do a blog post about a particularly interesting one that was left on our library's "Free" shelf last week. That pantsuit is hilarious!

Flashback! I think that's my mother in the pants suit -- and she absolutely made the white, green and yellow daisy throw. And I believe pharmaceuticals were involved. Yes.

HAHAHA! If there's one thing a proper Thanksgiving table needs, it's a tower of bell peppers! :-)

I think I need to start on next year's Halloween costume. I love that jumpsuit for every reason I shouldn't!

I'm wondering if I should use one of those centerpiece ideas for Thanksgiving?? Thank for sharing!

I always love these posts. I adore those bags - love how they combined paper chains & tassles!

I think Dick Martin's observation that PC hadn't yet reached it's full potential should be considered a direct plea to you to pick up to torch. ;)

HAHA! Torch accepted! :-)