Yes, I’m a STYROFOAM Wonk, which explains why I have a collection of vintage craft books all about creating with STYROFOAM Brand Foam. One of my books is 50 years old, from a time when our modern-day craft industry was brand new. It’s fun to page through the books to see what’s changed – and sometimes, what’s not. As Christmas is all about memories and tradition, I thought it was a good time to share a few of the books.
Christmas STYROFOAM Projects was published in 1960 by Quality Publications. It’s dedicated to craft pioneer Aleene Jackson, inventor of Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue. The dedication states “Without her flair for tasteful design, and her talent for turning ordinary materials into sparkling, professional looking gifts or decorations, this book on STYROFOAM would never have been written.” Does anyone remember Aleene’s Creative Living television program?
Inside the booklet, among angels, tin soldiers, and a church choir, I found this snowman – the pipe seems pretty politically incorrect for today’s time, don’t you think? Does anyone still make smoking snowmen?
I had to compare it to this sweet Jack-in-the-Box Snowman created 50 years later by designer Debra Quartermain. Same idea, very different outcome. For one, Debra’s version is covered in fleece, a plastic-based fabric that no one could have dreamed of in 1960!
Next up, Christmas crafts made with “Festooning, Metallic Sequins and Spangles.” Festooning? I wasn’t sure what it was and so I googled it — it’s garland.
Festooning decorates the bases of the designs pictured above. While festooning is available today, the tree and snowman made from STYROFOAM Brand Foam aren’t carried by the large craft chains.
You’ll find more exotic shapes of STYROFOAM Brand Foam in the 1965 booklet 101 STYROFOAM and Trims Decorations. I’ve never seen a Window Ball, which is featured on the front cover.
Create a Wonderland with STAK Tree Shapes was published in 1974 and is all about one of my favorite shapes, the STAK Tree. (Remember our Golden Noodle Christmas Topiary Tree made with a STAK Tree?)
The book includes a collection of Christmas projects, and really, some of them aren’t that different from what we might make today. The Ruffle Tree? I made an updated version in July, though mine is made with a cone and therefore, it’s not as full and fluffy. Santas are always timeless, and I think the red and green elf on the right is pretty cute.
Do any of these crafts look familiar to you? Is there anything you would make today?
Today’s post was really fun for me, and I’ve enjoyed sharing creative ideas with you this year. What I really love, however, is reading your comments and hearing from you. I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you and the feedback you provide. As a special “thank you” gift, I’m giving away three subscriptions to Crafts ‘n Things magazine to the Crafts ‘n Coffee readers who made the most comments this year – Katiria, Lisa M., and Patty S. Please contact me with your mailing address, and I’ll arrange for you to receive a one-year subscription to Crafts ‘n Things.
I wish you all the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year. This is my last post for 2011, and I’ll see you in January!