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Best Craft Books -- Review of Mixed Mania

Updated on October 13, 2014

Recipes for Delicious Mixed Media Creations

This craft book "Mixed Mania: Recipes for Delicious Mixed-Media Creations" by Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater is full of funky and fun craft projects using truly mixed media.

The mixed part is key. These two crafters have written a book that provides inspiration for making collages using paper, fabric, painting, and tiny clothespins, to name just a few of the fun craft supplies.

I made this "crazy paper" from the book Mixed Mania. Instead of buying paper to use in collages, one of the authors like to create her own crazy papers, which is a free-form watercolor with crayon and colored pencil designs.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Updated: 5/3/13

Mixed Mania by Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater - A craft book about making mixed media creations

I liked this book right away because of the different types of projects it offers. These two talented ladies show how to make art quilts, paper and fabric collages, and mosaics using paper and stamping and ink and paint and other stuff.

It's like with each project you can picture something like it (not exactly like it, but similar in theme and idea). I even have sticky notes on some pages sticking out of the margin that I wrote ideas on of things to make like the photograph.

This book has step by step photos of many steps to making the projects. And the theme of this book is similar to a cookbook with "ingredients" needed (instead of supplies), which makes it a fun read.

Mixed Mania: Recipes for Delicious Mixed Media Creations
Mixed Mania: Recipes for Delicious Mixed Media Creations

17 mixed media projects that all look FUN to make!


My Favorite Part of Mixed Mania -- Substitutions

by Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater

I love the Substitution Chart in this book. If you're like me and don't always have stuff on hand for crafting, you end up substituting other things all the time.

Mostly I use something I have sitting around in place of a tool that's called for in the project. These authors have provided a few tools substitutes (like using a butter knife in place of a bone folder), but I really like the craft supply substitutions they list!

Check out the green boxes below for a few of these substitutions and see if you knew you could use this for that.

Substitute for Diamond Glaze

Don't have Diamond Glaze? Substitute

two-part epoxy for Diamond Glaze.

"Crazy Papers"--Create Your Own Backgrounds for Collages - 5 Simple Products to Make Great "Crazy Papers"

The project in the book called "Crazy Papers" uses just five craft/art supplies (printer paper, watercolor paints, water-soluble crayons, colored pencils,and paintbrushes). It also lists fixative spray as optional.

The end result of this free-form collage paper is a one-of-a-kind collage sheet. So go crazy! Make exactly what you want! Or just get creative and see what happens.

The introduction photo is a crazy paper I created. The ones in the book are much prettier.

Collage Sheets for Mixed Media Projects - Start with some basics like paper.

If making your own collage sheets isn't your thing, here are some great ones to buy. Collage sheets are a great craft supply to keep on hand for many of the mixed media projects in Mixed Mania.

Quick Color Recipes

On this page, Debbi and Cheryl show a color

wheel and explain how different colors work

(or don't) together for better project success.

Substitute for Gel Medium

Fresh out of gel medium?

Substitute two parts white glue

and one part water for gel medium.

Badger Air-Brush Co. 4-Ounce Woods and Water Airbrush Ready Water Based Acrylic Paint, Brown
Badger Air-Brush Co. 4-Ounce Woods and Water Airbrush Ready Water Based Acrylic Paint, Brown

Brown acrylic paint can be used as paint or watered down as antiquing medium.

Judikins GP005  Diamond Glaze, 2-Ounce
Judikins GP005 Diamond Glaze, 2-Ounce

Diamond Glaze gives a clear finish to pendants and more.


Substitute for Antiquing Medium

Don't have antiquing medium? Substitute watered-down brown acrylic paint for antiquing medium.

Free Clip Art for Your Mixed Media Projects

Anatomy Clip Art
The human body has all sorts of parts that lend themselves to crafts. For instance, who among us hasn't traced their hand to make a Thanksgiving turkey?

Art Deco Clip Art
Art Deco is a style that describes a design from the mid-1920s through the mid-1940s that features linear design and symmetry.

Circus Clip Art
As a child, I have to admit, I thought about joining the circus. I mean, I would get to hang around clowns and animals all day.

Floral Clip Art
When you want to dress up your newsletters or invitations or greeting cards, this floral clip art will add just the right touch.

Free Background Graphics
Finding just the right look for your website or printed materials can be tricky. With free background graphics, you can spend less money.

Free Silhouette Clip Art
Silhouettes are images outlined and filled in with dark material, usually black, that are presented against a white or light background.

Music Clip Art
Music clip art is as varied as the types of music. There is sheet music clip art, the ever-lovable animals making music, musical notes, and images...

Retro Clip Art
Retro images are big. Graphics that were once used in advertising and drawings for books and other illustrations during mid-century are now in style again.

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

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      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      These are really great because I have been wanting to get more crafts done lately.