Exercise Your Girl Power With ‘Crafting With Feminism’

Books DIY GeekMom
My halfway decent attempt at merit badges. Photo: Jenny Bristol
My halfway decent attempt at merit badges. Photo: Jenny Bristol

If you’ve ever wanted your own Ruth Bader Ginsburg felt finger puppet, a handmade feminist merit badge, or even a plush uterus, Bonnie Burton has you covered with her latest book, coming out today.

And, yes, there will be googly eyes.

Photo: Quirk Books
Photo: Quirk Books

Crafting With Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy starts with a Foreword by Felicia Day, who describes the importance of making things with your hands and promotes feminism as what it is: equal rights regardless of gender. The purpose of this book is pretty clear: to empower women and girls to own who they are and be proud to express themselves through craft.

The book includes myriad types of crafts including embroidery, sewing, decoupage, jewelry, painting, and even candle making. Some only require a few materials, and many of them are easy for even non-crafters to complete.

Photo: Quirk Books
Bonnie Burton with Justice Ginsburg. Photo: Quirk Books

Bonnie has also filled the book with accents such as quotes from famous feminists, a feminist music playlist, feminist holidays to celebrate, feminist films to watch and books to read, and ways to craft for good, giving back to the world. She also encourages gatherings for themed craft nights (each one using three crafts from the book) where everyone can make things with the support of their fellow crafting feminists. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at crafting. The point is that you’re doing. Making.

Each project include thorough instructions, supplies lists, photos for many of the steps, and inspiration ideas for what to make. Any projects that require them also include the necessary patterns and templates, along lists of ideas to run with, but also plenty of encouragement to improvise. Bonnie just gives you a starting place.

And for those not up on all of their craft terminology, there is a craft supplies glossary in the back of the book along with a small sewing primer to teach newbie crafters basic stitches for those projects that include sewing or embroidery.

Some of my favorite projects from the book are:

  • Feminist Badges of Honor, which is my all-time favorite project from the book. You can make these badges say anything you like with any fabric or stitch you like. Express yourself.
  • Heroes of Feminism Finger Puppets, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Frida Kahlo. This one comes with a body pattern, so you can make your favorite feminist out of felt. Maybe even your mom. (Note: Bonnie’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg puppet looks just like Bonnie! Win/win!)
  • Nope Necklace, which expresses your right to say “nope” to whatever you like.
  • Next-Gen Feminist Onesie, for the next generation of empowered women.
  • Grrrl Coat of Arms Banner, which will look perfect hanging on the wall in your kitchen, dining room, or bedroom. Proclaim to the whole world Vivant viragines (Long live female troublemakers)!
  • Huggable Uterus Body Pillow, perfect for that time of the month when you’re in a lot of pain and curling up with a soft plus is exactly what you need. It also includes a DIY heating pad.

So, check out Crafting With Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy, and plan your first feminist craft party today. Bonnie’s got you covered.

Bonnie Burton is no stranger to crafts or to girl power. She’s had a website named Grrrl.com for a couple of decades, and has published books on both crafting and female-oriented topics as well (see The Star Wars Craft Book and Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change).

Note: I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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