DIY January: Books to Help You DIY Anything

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Courtney Rodgers


Courtney has been reading and collecting books almost as long as she's been alive. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Creative Writing. Courtney has been writing with Book Riot since 2019, and is a Bibliologist with TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. She's currently brainstorming for her next creative project. You can follow her on Instagram.

Depending on where you live, January can be one of the rainiest, coldest months of the year. Since we’re stuck inside, it’s easy to notice the things around the house that could be improved. The chipping paint, the broken chair leg, the unraveling sweater you’ve been meaning to fix for months; it’s like they’re staring at you from across the room. However, knowing how to fix those little problems isn’t in everyone’s skillsets. Yet. Where else to turn but books? There are books for every subject under the sun, including home improvement and DIY projects. 

Maybe you just need a hobby to keep your mind and hands busy. Before soap making, quilting, or knitting were the hobbies that we know them as today, they were everyday skills that people needed to keep their households fed, clothed, and warm. When looking for books on your favorite and new hobbies, you’ll be surprised to see how many authors learned their craft from family members. DIY might be the 21st century way of seeking independence and fun, but those skills have been around for much longer. Try out some new skills with these books this January and see what else you can learn to do yourself!

Knitting for Radical Self Care Cover

Knitting for Radical Self Care by Brandi Cheyenne Harper

This beautiful book of knitting patterns is accompanied by essays on creativity and self-care. Each patterns has been inspired by a radical woman of color. Harper remarks on each woman and their life’s impact on our world. Harper’s detailed instructions and loving prose makes this book a crafter’s delight.

Lovable Felted Animals Cover

Lovable Felted Animals by Yuko Sukada

Learn to create adorable critters out of felt with this step-by-step guide. The 43 felting projects include a fluffy alpaca, a wee hedgehog, and pencil topper woodland creatures. Master the basics first before moving onto delicate details of feathers, markings, and antlers. 

Homemade Bath Bombs Salts and Scrubs Cover

Homemade Bath Bombs Salts, and Scrubs by Kate Bello

Step up your self-care game with this book of easy-to-follow recipes for bath products. Create soothing scrubs, bathing salts, and fizzing bath bombs at home using natural ingredients. Bello’s instructions are concise, with background information on the benefits of various components. 

The Tunisian Crochet Handbook Cover

The Tunisian Crochet Handbook by Toni Lipsey

Using approachable and modern language, Lipsey brings Tunisian crochet to new crafters in this step-by-step guide. This book is designed to build on skills in a rewarding way, with new stitches and skills incorporated patterns. Detailed explanations and instructions, full photos, and excellent patterns make this book a must-have on your crafting bookshelf. 

Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman

Good Clean Fun by Nick Offerman

Have you ever wanted to just build something? This full-color guidebook has projects for the novice and experienced woodworkers alike. Between learning how to craft your own canoe, kazoo, or pencil holder, Offerman shares family stories, recipes, and often hilarious insights from his workshop. 

Our Maker Life Cover

Our Maker Life Edited by Jewell Washington, Our Maker Life Community

From the online knit and crochet collective, Our Maker Life comes this delightful book of patterns and artistic inspiration. Meet the fiber artists behind Our Maker Life, reading their personal stories of creating patterns and drawing inspiration from the world around them. In-depth patterns for knitting and crochet, and colorful photographs provide plenty of inspiration for your next project. 

hill house living book cover

Hill House Living by Paula Sutton

Live out your cottagecore dreams with this illustrated guide from stylist and blogger Sutton. With simple thrifty tips for gardening, recipes, and projects, Sutton will teach you how to curate the mindful slow living lifestyle you’ve always wanted. 

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Duct Tape Engineer by Lance Akiyama

Remember those highly enviable duct tape wallets? This book shows you how to go far beyond the simple bill fold. Learn how to create furniture, accessories, and even a slingshot with this detailed guide. Akiyama walks readers through the basics of duct tape cutting, shaping, and placement with diagrams, photos and helpful hints. With a just a few additional supplies, you’ll be ready to build anything out of duct tape! 

The Witch Crafting Handbook Cover

The Witch-Crafting HandBook by Helena Garcia

In addition to her baking bookGreat British Baking Show alum Helena Garcia has also conjured up this magical crafting book based on her experience as a crafter and passion for all things witchy. With projects and recipes inspired by traditional folklore, this book will have you creating accessories, remedies, and magical delights for every occasion. 

Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement Cover

Ultimate Guide to Home Repair and Improvement Edited by Creative Homeowner

Whether you’re flipping your house entirely, or merely making a few repairs, this book can help guide you. Follow the practical instructions on over 300 projects. Plenty of photos and illustrations are included with the latest edition. Basic skills and information are also included in this reference book.  Please note, however, this is only a guide. If something is too dangerous to do yourself, or out of your skillset, bring in the professionals! 

Now you know how to do everything, right? There’s plenty more to learn, just visit our DIY archives for more inspiration, like how to build your own built-in bookshelves and DIY bookstands! What project are you going to take on first?