Make! Book collection

Do you consider yourself creative or do you think that you haven’t got a creative bone in your body?  Either way, Hampshire Libraries has put together a collection of titles for you.  The Make! collection has arrived in selected branches to empower you in your creative skills.  This selection has titles from macramé to song writing, sour dough baking to embroidery, water colours to anime illustration. 

Inspired by Get Creative and the way the population turned to arts and crafts during the lockdowns, this collection has inspiration for everyone from children and their caregivers to teens and adults.  You are never too old to learn a new skill!  Creativity has been shown to improve your mood, self esteem, cognitive function, alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety and now that the world is opening up to us again, joining a creative group can improve your social life.  Hampshire Libraries run many different creative courses – why not give one of them a try? Have a look at and search for a course near you Learning in Libraries

Michael Rosen’s Book of Play
These days, we seem to have less and less time for play. At school, children are focused on exams, while at home we’re all glued to our phones and iPads. Here, Michael Rosen shows us why we need more play in our lives. He explores the influence of play on everyone from Shakespeare to Dickens and Dali, delving into the history of play via puns, nonsense, improvisation and physical toys. He also explains why play is a core part of child development, proven to bolster creativity and resilience. Above all, play should be fun – and this book is full of silliness and laughter. Every chapter features exercises and prompts for creative indoor and outdoor play for all the family, with specially designed pages for scribbling, word play and more

The Art of Repair – Molly Martin
For Molly Martin, it all started with a pair of white woollen socks. Her favourite pair. When the heels became threadbare and a small hole appeared on the right toe, her mother got out her grandmother’s old darning mushroom and showed her how to mend them. In ‘The Art of Repair’, master repairer Molly Martin explores the humble origins of repair and how these simple sewing techniques offer not just a practical solution but a philosophy for life. Using her own charming illustrations, she teaches us the basics of the craft – Kantha, the running stitch used by Bengali women to sew together discarded cloth scraps, saris and dhotis; and Sashiko, the ancient Japanese practice of repairing workwear using a ‘boro’ or ‘little scrap’ – and shows how the art of mending can turn something old and worn into something new and meaningful.

Paint Play – Katie Rose Johnston
Forget everything you think you know about traditional watercolour painting – ‘Paint Play’ will show you how to experiment with paint, use it spontaneously, and have fun, no experience required! Through a series of 21 simple, achievable activities, artist Katie Rose Johnston demonstrates different ways of mixing colours, experiments with textures using salt and cling film, makes spatter art, animal print patterns and much more.

Knit Yourself Calm – Lynn Rowe and  Betsan Corkhill
The therapeutic benefits of knitting have long been recognised and holistic health expert Betsan Corkhill, together with knitting designer Lynne Rowe, create beautiful projects designed to calm and soothe. Suitable for beginners and more experienced knitters, discover how the repetitive process of knitting can relieve stress and improve your well-being.

Quilt Petite – Sedef Imer
Quilt Petite’ contains 18 sweet small quilts designed by Sedef Imer. Learn how to make mini quilts, cushions, table toppers, doll quilts, place mats, potholders, and lots more. It includes detailed instructions on a wide range of techniques such as patchwork, hand and machine quilting, English paper piecing, foundation paper piecing, raw edge applique, free motion applique, and hand embroidery. A range of projects are suitable for both beginners who wish to learn new techniques and for advanced quilters who wish to practice more challenging ones.

Look out for these titles at your local library, you can also find a selection in eBook and eAudio format on BorrowBox.

Written by Ali.

Cheery Chairs – Upcycling in Hampshire Libraries!


Cheery Chairs – a selection colourful redecorated dining chairs – are coming to several Hampshire Library branches from Saturday, for an eye-catching, informative and rather inspiring display!

Cheery Chairs is an upcycling awareness campaign brought to Hampshire Libraries from our colleagues at Smart Living, promoting practical, money-saving and energy efficient solutions for household essentials.

The chairs are on view from Saturday 18th to Saturday 25th November, the timing of the displays marks the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is an initiative aiming to promote the implementation of awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management during a single week. It encourages a wide range of audiences (public authorities, private companies, civil society as well as citizens themselves) to get involved.

This year’s theme is Give it a new life’ and focuses on furniture reuse!

Before……………………………………and after!

Hampshire Libraries and Waste Prevention Services are teaming up with local charities to upcycle old dining chairs from their local HWRC (tip) and then displaying them in their local libraries. Colourful and eye catching examples, with informative tags attached each giving the chairs’ stories of salvage, repair and redecoration. Visiotrs to the library can learn more about where the chairs came from, a before and after photo, and more information on the local charity that has upcycled them.

So which libraries and charities are involved? Read on!

Emmaus Hampshire at Winchester Discovery Centre

 Emmaus Hampshire is a purpose-built community that provides a home to up to 32 formerly homeless people. They have two shops, both selling recycled, upcycled and vintage products. One of the shops is at the community at Bar End Rd, Winchester, there is a store in Eastleigh and one opening in Southampton soon. All monies generated from these stores are used to support the community. Find out more about their work, including how to donate your good quality unwanted furniture or contact them on 01962 868300 and

SCRATCH Charity at Chandlers Ford Library

SCRATCH is a registered charity founded in 1999. They provide basic furniture and household items to referred individuals and families in the Southampton and Eastleigh area who are suffering poverty. They also redistribute donated paint to referred clients and community groups, distribute toys and gifts for children and young people who otherwise might go without presents at Christmas and help provide hot meals to those begging on the streets and other vulnerable people.Find out more about their work, including how donate your good quality unwanted furniture, at: or contact them on
02380 773 132 or

Furniture Helpline Bordon at Petersfield Library and Bordon Library

Furniture Helpline collects good quality, donated furniture from local residents and offer it, free of charge or at low prices, to people in need. They are also a food recycling hub for the local area, providing good quality, surplus food to organisations such as lunch clubs, day centres, school breakfast clubs etc. As an environmental body, their activities reduce the number of items going to into the wastestream and through their workshop they are able refurbish some furniture. Their well-equipped workshop is open between 9am and 4pm daily for use by members of the local community. Find out more about their work, including how donate your good quality unwanted furniture, at: or contact them on 01420 489000 , Email:

Community Furniture Project Basingstoke at Basingstoke Discovery Centre

The Community Furniture Project sells a wide range of of re-used, donated furniture and household items. They operate a ‘2-tier’ price system, where prices for most items are reduced by 30% to those on benefits and who receive a pension. They also sell books, DVDs, CDs, laptop computers, refurbished bicycles, garden furniture. In the spring/summer months they also sell, flowers, fruit and vegetables grown at their Growing 2gether project. The money raised in the furniture shops is used to help disadvantaged people in the local communities. Find out more about their work, including how donate your good quality unwanted furniture, at: or contact them directly on 01256 320700 or

Ugly Duckling at Andover Mind at Andover Library

Ugly Duckling is a not for profit furniture recycling and renovation project run by Andover Mind for the local community. They help the environment by recycling furniture that may have gone to waste and at the same time, provide occupation and training opportunities for disadvantaged people. They also offer a variety of volunteering roles so anyone can get involved. Andover Mind also run a monthly Repair Café where people can bring along their broken household items and have a chat and a cuppa with the volunteer repairers while it’s fixed. Find out more , including how donate your good quality unwanted furniture or contact them on 01264 332297 or


Find your local branch and get involved

At each branch there’s more than just seeing the chairs, at branches with larger collections you can participate in a Spotter’s Guide, finding them all gives you the most in depth insight into the techniques and ideas on how to revitalise your own furniture!

Library staff will be keen to offer assistance for budding DIYers, with selections of our inspiring upcycling stock and amazingly instructive DIY reads, not to mention a varied range of arts and crafts workshops and activities.

Rag rugs, pillows, & more : over 30 ways to upcycle fabric for the home
by Elspeth Jackson

Young crafter Elspeth Jackson reinvents the old (and somewhat forgotten) technique of rag rugging to create contemporary and sustainable homeware items from leftover fabrics.

The upcycled T-shirt : 28 easy-to-make projects that save the planet – clothing, accessories, home dec & gifts
by Jenelle Montilone

Did you know the average American throws away more than 68 pounds of clothing each year? Join the revolution to reduce your carbon footprint-one T-shirt at a time! Widely known for her recycling efforts, environmental crafter Jenelle Montilone will show you how to upcycle tees into fun and fanciful quilts, accessories, toys, and gifts for the whole family. With nearly 30 easy-to-make ideas, you’ll consume less and create more!

See you in branch for lots more inspiration! Why not try to see as many of the branches as possible, each charity and community has it’s own focus and styles.