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Make Your Own Ideabook with Arne & Carlos

After my first cursory flick through this book I must confess to thinking “what’s this all about?” Then I settled down to give it more attention; a couple of pages, in I was hooked.

I’ve never been one for scrapbooking. It’s not that I don’t like the idea of it, it’s more about the time, and a little bit of feeling like I wouldn’t be creative enough to make something ‘pretty’. I do keep a written diary. It’s one of those ‘one line a day’ books where you synopsise what’s happened during your day into bite-size pieces. And I love Pinterest, making mood boards or collecting things that inspire me, make me happy, interest me, or keep me organised.

Ideabooks are a new one on me, but I like the idea. They’re a way to keep track of inspirational bits and pieces, with the added bonus of having made the physical book. Arne and Carlos’ book is a riot of inspiration itself, full with countless ideas, concepts, tips and tricks, as well as an exhaustive step-by-step method to create your own ideabook.

In this overwhelmingly digital world where it seems everything is saved on our phones, these hefty, handmade books with old-skool sewn binding are a joy. The process for making them is not difficult. Sure, it might take you some time, and some bits are a little finicky, but the results are just fabulous.

Arne and Carlos have been making ideabooks for years. They use them to gain inspiration for new designs, patterns, themes. Like magpies, they collect scraps of fabric, lace, wrapping paper, magazines, yarn, thread, and paper of all kinds from bank statements to kids’ artistic drawings. Everything is sacred and nothing is thrown away (an ethos we can totally get on board with).

This isn’t a traditional ‘how-to’ book, and that’s its beauty. The flow of the book is slightly haphazard but each step of the ideabook process is photographed and accompanied with detailed notes. You’re given ideas or different alternatives every step of the way too – can’t find a vintage paper press, well, here’s a DIY press you can easily whip up at home. You’re never left behind and there’s advice around every corner.

The book is divided into Part 1 and Part 2. In Part 1 we’re shown how to make the ideabook (step-by-step) and Part 2 is where the pretty begins. It’s chock full of decoration and inspiration from Arne and Carlos’ own ideabooks. They have ideabooks for everything: knitting projects, Christmas, cooking, genealogy, renovation, garden, wedding, children, travel, hobbies, etc.

The photos are wonderful. As well as showing you exactly what you need to see for each step, the photos of the ideabooks all stacked together made me smile and wish I could work faster to create my own collection.

Because I definitely will. The great thing is you can get the hard work out of the way first. Create a few ideabooks in one go so you have them ready and waiting for when inspiration strikes.

Right, I’m off to look for a vintage paper press!

Make Your Own Ideabook with Arne & Carlos is published by Search Press. It is available in Eason for EUR19.50 and you can also find it on Amazon.

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