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CosmoGIRL! Make It Yourself: 50 Fun and Funky Projects

May 24, 2007

cosmogirlNow this is what I call a straightforward title. Make it Yourself: 50 Fun and Funky Projects says it all.

The book is divided into three main sections (Clothes, Accessories, and Beauty), and each has its own table of contents. Projects are arranged by difficulty (Easy, Medium, and Hard) in the contents, but not on the page. For example, the first project is a tie-dyed miniskirt (difficulty: medium), followed by a ruched tube dress (difficulty: hard), and boys-of-the-week panties (difficulty: easy). But the difficulty levels are clearly indicated, and the Easy projects are by far more numerous than the Hard. I also liked that there are color photographs of nearly every project so you can clearly see what your finished project will look like. Or is supposed to look like, at any rate.

Materials needed are clearly indicated at the start of each project. The directions can get a bit complicated, most likely due to the size of the book. The book is small, a little larger than pocket sized, and most projects are limited to two pages for the photograph, introduction, materials, and directions. Some of the projects would benefit from longer, more in-depth directions, or at least companion sketches to accompany some of the more complex steps. It’s still possible to complete the project, but you may want to warn inexperienced crafters to read the directions several times carefully before beginning the clothes and accessories projects, in particular. Another criticism is that some of the projects require a lot of handsewing. The ruched tube dress? Sewn entirely by hand. It is cute, though…

In fact, most of the projects are cute and would appeal to teens. While it’s nice to see clothing, accessories, and bath/beauty project all in one book, I do wish that there was also a section on crafts you could make for your room or as gifts, like in Kathy Cano Murillo’s Crafty Diva books. Still, at $7.95 for a hardcover completely in color, the book is a good deal. Because of the skills required and the fact that the projects include a strapless dress, a strapless top, and a halter (not to mention the boys-of-the-week panties; I may not have kids, but I’m still a prude when it comes to kids and clothing), recommended for high school and up.

I’m keeping my eye on this series of CosmoGIRL! books from Hearst. I do hope they’ll be publishing a cookbook in the future, because a lot of the recipes in the magazine look delicious.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jolene permalink*
    May 25, 2007 1:58 pm

    Some of the projects were pretty cool, like the lip gloss in soap project. Great gift ideas for teens on a budget. However, I agree that it would’ve been nice to see some home decorating ideas. (With the growing popularity of Home Design with reality shows like “Extreme Home Makeover,” and “Top Design,” I’m suprised there was none. I guess cosmogirl is not so cosmopolitan after all.

  2. June 19, 2007 3:36 pm

    If you’re into checking out more crafty books, there’s a new one I’m really into that shows you how to reuse old jeans into something cooler. The book is called “Jeaneology: Crafty Ways to Reinvent Your Old Blues” by Nancy Flynn. You might recognize Nancy’s name from her column on She has a blog here too:

    Her book has 25 cool sewing projects that help you find uses for old jeans you’ll never fit into again, or were ruined, or you bought and never wore. For the projects jeans are ripped, dyed, decorated, distressed, and otherwise dressed up or completely reinvented as other clothes, wallets, cell phone holders, jewelry, coasters and pillows. And there’s some pretty cool projects that guys can do to — which is nice to have a book that isn’t just for the girls.

    And the book is on Myspace with blog updates in case you want to see what Nancy is working on lately…
    Jeaneology book on Myspace —

  3. June 19, 2007 3:59 pm

    We do have Jeaneology at my library, so I’ll have to take a look at it later. I didn’t know there were guy projects, as well. Thanks!

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