Gettin' Made: Craft Books for Holiday Entertaining

I got a chance to check out a few new craft books recently that are perfect for upcoming holiday entertaining fun! Join me as I review Jurassic Towel Origami by Alison Jenkins from Andrews McMeel Publishing, along with Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style by Lotta Jansdotter and Paper Blossoms: A Book of Beautiful Bouquets for The Table by Ray Marshall from Chronicle Books.

After the jump, check out a dinosaur made out of towels!


I had a blast checking out all of the fun origami possibilities in Jurassic Towel Origami by Alison Jenkins. If you've ever been on a cruise before, you've no doubt seen towel origami–those crazy animals made from towels that housekeeping sometimes leaves behind. This book has a slew of dinosaur-themed directions in three different skill levels for beginners through advanced towel folders. (I'm curious–are there any advanced towel-folders out there?)

Towel origami would be a really fun activity to do with your kids to help prepare for houseguests coming to town–I took a stab at this Brachiosaurus and it wasn't too difficult!

You do need a few extra supplies beyond towels to make some of these animals–I didn't have any googley eyes on hand, but you get the idea. Other supplies you'll need to make these creations include safety pins, double-sided tape and clothespins. Nothing too spendy!

On the next page, Lotta Jansdotter's got entertaining pointers for the Ikea-loving set.


If you're into Scandinavian influences, flea-market finds, and handmade touches you'll love Lotta Jansdotter's new book Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style.

This self-taught designer offers up tons of inspiring ideas for home decor, party-planning, and more, including recipes and fun craft ideas. Some of the coolest ideas in this book are the smack-your-head-why-didn't-I-think-of-that easy type of stuff: stencilling fun designs onto store-bought towels to make them one of a kind, for example.

The pictures in this book are gorgeous, and I love that all aspects of entertaining, from decorating for a party to recipes for a variety of things including apple jam, are covered. There's even a section on flower arrangements! And all of the projects and ideas are consistently clean and simple in keeping with that Scandinavian feel.

On the next page, flower arrangements made quick and simple.


If you love the look of a nice floral arrangement on your table, but just don't have the time to buy flowers and set em up in a fancy vase for your next dinner party, then the book Paper Blossoms: A Book of Beautiful Bouquets for the Table is for you!

Here's the scenario: you just found out your mom is coming over for dinner, but all you have on your table is a couple of dead roses in a teeny vase. This will never do!

Never fear! A trip to your bookshelf for your copy of Paper Blossoms saves the day!

Lotus blossoms not your thing? That's ok, there's five diffferent bouquets to choose from!

This book is very specific – if you're not needing a floral centerpiece fast, this may not be the book for you. But the floral pop-ups are intricate and totally amazing – and they're sure to be a great conversation piece at your next casual dinner party!

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