Craft book review: The Belle and Boo Book of Craft

Belle and Boo Book of Craft

Make the most of a sunny day with The Belle & Boo Book of Craft

The magical adventures of Belle & Boo are super charming whatever your age. Usually hopping across greetings cards, fabrics and storybooks, now it’s time for the little girl and her rabbit to get stitchy with The Belle & Boo Book of Craft.

The Belle & Boo brand is the brainchild of illustrator Mandy Sutcliffe. Inspired by a trip to France where she nurtured her love of drawing children, Mandy created Belle, the little girl with the stylish bob, and her lapin friend Boo. Their world is populated by woodland creatures and they spend their days climbing trees, having picnics and flying kites with their pals.

Belle and Boo Book of Craft 2

Photography by Laura Edwards

The Meadow Picnic Blanket, sprinkled with crochet daisies, is perfect for lunch al fresco

In The Belle & Boo Book of Craft, Mandy’s pretty, nostalgic illustrations have been re-imagined as 25 craft projects for kids by maker-extraordinaire, Lucinda Ganderton.

Happy campers will like Belle’s Wendy House, a fairy tale cottage made from bright cottons and designed to be hung over a washing line – complete with flower-filled window box and pink-tiled roof. There’s also Nature Walk Bunting, a stash-busting project using scraps of fabric, plus felt for acorns and leaves. There are also, of course, instructions to make Boo himself, a fine fellow crafted from an old 100% wool sweater, felted down in the washing machine.

Plenty of the makes could work for adults too: the Explorer’s Satchel, sporting pockets and a sturdy strap, could fit laptops as well as toys. While the Meadow Picnic Blanket, sprinkled with crochet daisies, is perfect for lunch al fresco. Forgetting not the skull and crossbones Clubhouse Flag that would look fearsome flying from a festival tent.

Belle and Boo Book of Craft 1

Photography by Laura Edwards

Whatever the making level, the project instructions are clear and well-presented

While most of the projects involve sewing there are imaginative papercraft ideas too, such as the colourful Hot Air Balloon Mobile. The difficulty of the projects varies: novice makers might try some of the simple cut-and-stick ideas like the Playtime Headdress, while those with more sewing skills could tackle the pretty Patchwork Bedcover. Whatever the making level, the project instructions are clear and well-presented, plus there’s a section devoted to templates and techniques, including all the embroidery stitches required.

The design of this square little book is of course a visual – and tactile – delight. Mandy’s illustrated squirrels, chicks, mice and cheeky children play on every page and the photographic styling captures rose-tinted lazy days.

Crafters with kids will get the most out of The Belle and Boo Book of Craft, but fans of beautiful makes will find it full of treats, too.