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September 20, 2023

Shitty Craft Club: A Club for Gluing Beads to Trash, Talking about Our Feelings, and Making Silly Things by Sam Reece ~ a Review

by MK French

Sam Reece went viral several times across various social media sites, and built up a community called the Shitty Craft Club. In post-pandemic times, gathering odds and ends to make something silly and fun is a great way to inspire happiness. There's no need to be perfect, and that's the point of the club.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of self-help book Shitty Craft Club by Sam Reece
September 2023; Chronicle Books; 978-1797221502
ebook, print (144 pages); self-help

The book opens with humor and irreverence, and it absolutely lives up to the hype of having a "gonzo crafting style and a healthy dose of Lisa Frank vibes." It's evident in lines like "You'll need anywhere from 30 to 100 beads. Best to have at least 2,000 just to be safe." Pictures illustrate each level of skill involved in each type of craft discussed in the book. Anything can be a reason to make a craft, pretty up an item, and serve as a reason for friends to get together and make things. Gluing rhinestones and beads is a repetitive action, which can be soothing and a way to reduce anxiety. This is partly why diamond art paintings are fantastic, but this book takes the skill level WAY down. 

Reece considers just about everything as a craft, and the frequent references to drinking water must be a joke from her Instagram or TikTok. (I admittedly don't have either one, so I don't know for sure!) There are various anecdotes scattered throughout the book, adding context and fun flavor to each chapter. Even the reference to a trauma history, as so many people have, is light on terrible details and heavier on her humorous voice. Even personal development is a craft! She's written for Comedy Central, MTV,  Buzzfeed, NBC, and Refinery29, so she has the voice for self-deprecating humor and biting commentary that has a broad appeal. She acknowledges that having cheap and easy access to materials is key, and the final result doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's better if it isn't. Trying to be perfect only worsens anxiety, after all, and the point of this book is to help reduce anxiety and make something goofy. So, pick this book and have at it. I guarantee you'll be grinning as you read it.

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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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