An upcycled book by Carrie Hill

For my book, I wanted to blend traditional crafts, which I see as forms of making, with a type of making that uses more modern, technical methods to produce a product. As an English major who's spent a lot of time with traditional books and literature, it also felt true to myself and my life to use the book in a traditional sense by telling a story with writing.

My main intent with this book was to express the story of my evolving making philosophy by using skills I always would have associated with the Make movement and skills that I didn't initially value as ways to explore the world and express myself through making.

Sewing is the first traditional form of making I wanted to showcase. My grandmother taught me to sew when I was young, but when I first encountered Makerspaces and the Make movement, I wouldn't have considered sewing a 'Making' skill. It seemed too outdated and old-fashioned to be part of this new movement that featured all sorts of cool technical equipment and skills.

The cover features embroidery as another traditional form of making.

I made the content of the book using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Indesign. I've been working with those programs since I was an undergrad, and I enjoy the types of things I can make with them. The use of these programs is also a skill I've always associated with the Make movement, so it seemed like a good way to marry my traditional craft skills with something more clearly associated with Makerspace making.

You can read the content of my book below. Each illustration was done "by hand" in Illustrator, as opposed to using premade vector art.

This page features a crocheted "rug" as a 3D addition to the illustration. Crochet is another skill my grandmother taught me, and it's a hobby that can almost be a meditative, mindless experience. In that way, it can really help to bring comfort to stressful times.

I feel like most everyone in this class would agree about including more traditional arts, crafts, and skills in the term "making." I think a lot of people in the overall Make movement, though, don't think much about including those skills in Makerspaces or as broader skill development that might be facilitated through a Makerspace, like through a community garden or teaching kitchen.

I hope, in time, to see the dominant definition of making change to value traditional crafts and skills.

Created By
Carrie Hill


Created with images by National Cancer Institute - "Arts and Crafts. Art and craft materials available to help young cancer patients cope with their treatment at the NIH Clinical Center." • Mojor Zhu - "sewing machine" • Julietta Watson - "Upcycled tin can planters " • Anna Auza - "Craft knitting supplies with silk fibre coils and wool threads." • Imani - "untitled image" • Swati H. Das - "STAY HOME EMBROIDERY"