The Handmade Life

Ramona Barry, Rebecca Jobson

The essential how-to guide to major crafting techniques, including work from more than 150 contemporary artists for inspiration and projects to galvanize your creativity in every medium


No longer confined to the domain of the domestic, today craft is prized in almost every sphere of creative endeavor, whether architecture, food, fine art, or fashion. The Handmade Life serves as both inspiration and instruction manual for Etsy entrepreneurs, artists, and hobbyists alike—modern creatives seeking new ideas and techniques, and to sharpen their skills.

Organized by theme and featuring thirty-four techniques (such as origami and appliqué), each chapter inspires with the work of contemporary artisans, one big project, and five project ideas, and informs with a short historical overview of each medium, design notes and things to consider before getting started, tools and techniques illustrated with a combination of hand-drawn diagrams and photography, and lists of websites and other sources for further reading. With over 150 artists featured and hundreds of project how-tos, The Handmade Life brings together information on a wide range of media and techniques into one essential manual.


This hefty compendium of craft techniques seeks to provide an introduction, examples, design notes, tools, instructions, and a beginner-level project for each of 33 crafts. The authors recommend taking whatever approach to the book the crafter feels comfortable with, whether that be reading cover-to-cover or dipping in and out to learn or expand knowledge of a particular craft. The projects are designed to be simple, attainable, and often useful items.

— Booklist


Ramona Barry


Ramona Barry is an artist, writer and curator specializing in craft and design. She has a background in printmaking and illustration and was chair of Craft Victoria, Australia’s leading contemporary craft organization.

Rebecca Jobson


Rebecca Jobson is a textile designer, artist, writer, and curator with twenty years experience in the craft and design industry.