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DIY Book Reviews – Inspired You – The Handbuilt Home – Handmade Walls

I think 2012 could be named the year of DIY blogger authored books. So many fabulous bloggers have come out with phenomenal  books. Young House Love, Miss Mustard Seed, Ana White, and The Handmade Home just to name just a few.

For me this is a dream come true. Finally, the beautiful words and photos of my favorite bloggers are now in book format. Here’s a quick round up of three DIY books I think you’ll enjoy. You’ll surely want to add them to your holiday wishlist!

Inspired You. by Miss Mustard Seed, Marian Parsons

This book is such a treat to hold in your hands. The attention to detail is immediately evident. Linen book cover, with a half book jacket printed on cover stock so it doesn’t curl. The Miss Mustard Seeds graphic inside is a nice touch. (Can you tell I have a background in graphic design? 😉 )

When I opened the book I was greeted by scrumptious high quality photographs. It makes me think that this is how Miss Mustard Seed should always be read. Perusing blog posts is great, but the detail and image quality can’t compare with a printed photo.

Marian threw her heart and soul into this book and it shows. She included beautiful never seen photos of her home and she shares how although her home may look beautiful, there are angles that the camera doesn’t see. The kids’ crumbs and messes are there as well because she lives a real life just like you and me.

I love this quote from the book: “Throw out the notion that good design is expensive, must be carried out by a professional and can only be bought in a fancy story,” Marian said. “I live in a real home on a thrift store budget and have never taken a design class in my life.”

In addition to a book authorship this year, Miss Mustard Seed introduced her own line of milk paint. This gal is unstoppable!

You’ll find tutorials  detailing how she decorated and furnished her home.  The main message is that you can easily do the same for yours.

INSPIRED YOU (published by Thomas Nelson is available for $19.99)

Handmade Walls. by Ashley & Jamon Mills 

Have you ever struggled with your home? Struggled to make it feel more genuine… more like you? Have you ever felt inhibited from what you really wanted by ‘the rules’? What about your own fears? Have you ever been frustrated by the overpriced, overused selections in big box stores? We’ve all been there and had a desire to explore options beyond the expected. Handmade Walls is a simple, inspiring, and realistically approachable springboard for making your home your own. Everything you see in this book was created with the hope that you’ll learn to shake off those fears and love your sanctuary as you create it. Just for you.

Ashley & Jamin have poured their creative energy into yet another project. This time it is this wonderfully illustrated and designed eBook. One of my favorite quotes from the Mills is: “If it’s something you feel passionate about, you can find a way to make it happen. ” If you need the push to help make it happen, grab your own copy of Handmade Walls.

This ebook contains 22 projects, at over 250 pages chock-full of inspiration, creations, and plans for making it happen in your own homes. It’s a realistic, user-friendly fun approach on creating beautiful handmade pieces for your spaces. It’s available for $9.95 in a simple easy-to-use PDF format. Just click, download, and read. It’s that simple.

Three main sections: Frames, Art, and Functional: Handmade Walls builds on your personal skill level and has an easy learning curve. This means there’s something for everyone in this book. Whether you’re a DIY novice, weekend warrior, or just someone who appreciates a fun read, you’ll enjoy reading this eBook from the first to the last page.

Every plan in this book comes complete with step by step illustrations, photography, tips, and tricks. These are to help with those little known, frequently asked questions. Each one is even complete with a cut and supplies list, price bracket, difficulty level, and time required for each project. So you know exactly what you’re diving into before you even begin.

A note from Ashley & Jamon:Beautiful homes aren’t purchased in one day. They aren’t bought ‘as a room’, and they aren’t thrown together overnight. They probably aren’t even held in a collective grandiose round of applause, given their one of a kind unique nature based on who put them together. Maybe, one of a kind homes are only appreciated by the creator and those who dwell there. Truly beautiful homes are created over time. They’re crafted carefully by an artist who loves to tweak a canvas. They are an honest, illuminating reflection of those who live there. We hope you feel inspired to create a home of your own, and leave your stamp.”

Click here to purchase your own eBook copy of Handmade Walls for $9.95**

The Handbuilt Home. by Ana White

Ana White is my hero. She has inspired me in so many ways this past year. After meeting her at SNAP and Haven I can honestly say she is one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met. And she has very similar goals when it comes to empowering others be able to pick up some tools and make their own furniture!

Ana filled The Handbuilt Home with simple and budget-friendly plans for making some amazing furniture for your home. The book is divided into rooms and has all the information you need to get up and building the same day.

This is another book that I love holding in my hands. The color photos peak my desire to make every single project in the book. From Ana’s famous first build, her farmhouse bed:

To this beautifully rustic kitchen island:

The book even has a getting started section to help you learn how to use the tools and some of the terms used in woodworking.

I highly recommend this book to ANYONE who wants beautiful furniture at a fraction of the cost of retail. It is an all-in-one DIY guide for making stylish furniture. The lessons learned can only catapult you to start designing your own personalized pieces for your home.

The Handbuilt Home (Published by Potter Craft, a division of Random House.)

Retail price: $13.99

** Disclosure: The Handbuilt Home and Inspired You were sent to me complimentary to review. I was not compensated for this post, nor was I told what to write. The Handmade Walls link is an affiliate link. I receive a small percentage of any sales from that link.

151 replies
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  1. Jody
    Jody says:

    I still love it when your website opens and I get to see the craft room wall AGAIN…still love it, WANT it in my home…so having one or both of these great books to get me going would be awesome. Also a fan already of Ana White, so pllllllllllllleaaaaaaaase pick my number 🙂

  2. Pam
    Pam says:


    The books look amazing!! The illustrations are pictured, which always helps as you’re doing projects. DIY is best!! To have people comment on something that you’ve done yourself is so great!! With blogs such as yours and books like this one, we can do projects that we felt we couldn’t do before.

    So, I say a big THANK YOU!!


  3. Gail Greerj
    Gail Greerj says:

    would love to win a Miss Mustard Seed book. My daughter [a newlywed] would be thrilled to get it for Christmas! Just discovered your blog! Yey!

  4. Hilary
    Hilary says:

    I just built the ten minute shelf from Ana’s blog and turned it into a mantle on the wall for my Christmas stockings!! I wish I had more room in my home for all the projects I want to accomplish.

  5. Tracy hoover
    Tracy hoover says:

    Personally, I love your tool tutorials. I would love to win these great books to teach me things to build!
    Thank you for the great blog and giveaway.

  6. Adam Braidwood
    Adam Braidwood says:

    Some fantastic ideas for the less adventurous and experienced diyer amongst us. My wife and I love making items from reclaimed furniture and other items and the local reuse centre.

    More ideas and more re-use I say !!!


  7. Stacey Allison
    Stacey Allison says:

    I have been wanting Ana’s book since it came out in October. My mom just bought me a Kreg Jig and compound miter saw for my birthday. I would love this book and Miss Mustard Seed’s too. thanks for the giveaway Brittany.

  8. Heather S.
    Heather S. says:

    Thanks for the chance to win! I love crafting new things for my home. My husband and I are moving across the country this summer and we’re getting rid of most of our old furniture (partly because that will cut our moving costs and partly because most of our furniture is stuff we bought from the Salvation Army while in college and it’s falling apart now anyway). I’d love to craft some of the beautiful stuff in Handbuilt Home! Thanks again!

  9. Laura
    Laura says:

    Me! I love these books and bloggers.
    You? I love your website, and it’s one of the earliest I got hooked on. Most recently, I’m in love with your reclaimed wood wall in your craft room. I’ve never been into the rustic look, ( I always thought of my style as more modern?) but I could just curl up in that room and hang for a long time. Fair warning if you ever invite me to visit from VA, I might not leave!

  10. seansmom
    seansmom says:

    It would be great to have these two books in my DIY “library”… Books like these are so handy when you want to do something but have no idea how to go about it.


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