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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. Maren
    Maren says:

    What a fun giveaway! I love the bloggers of the three books you mentioned. And I love your blog too. What you all have in common is that you 1. inspire me and 2. empower me. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Lisa E
    Lisa E says:

    Love your blog. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas. I thank all of you bloggers who inspire us daily. Yours is one of the blogs I must read on a daily basis. Love that it has become an income for many and the bonus that now have published some books. Well deserved!

  3. JennyBC
    JennyBC says:

    I have the Handmade Walls and it is wonderful. I have followed Miss Mustard Seed for a while and would love her book. She is so inspiring. I ran across Ana through the House of Smiths. My goodness, you girls are so fun to watch run with your talents. Can’t wait to read both books!

  4. Rose Lauing
    Rose Lauing says:

    Love your blog! I’m also a huge fan of both Miss Mustard s Seed AND Ana White ! If I don’t win, I’ll be purchasing those books for sure!

    All of you inspiring ladies are something I’M thankful for this year 🙂


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