Irving Browne, Iconoclasm and Whitewash. New York, 1886. Illustrated by the author. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

“Grangerization” Made Beautiful Books Even Better

But the eighteenth-century readerly hobby angered critics, who saw it as a “monstrous practice.”
Hollywood film star and actress Jacqueline Logan preparing a rug pattern for embroidery, c. 1928

Why Modern Women Got All Colonial in the 1920s

Flappers stole the headlines for their hemlines and wild ways. But were some of them stitching samplers in the meantime?
A woman putting a piece of Ikea furniture together

Why We Pay To Do Stuff Ourselves

Why do people love IKEA furniture, cake mixes, and apple-picking? Psychology.
soap carving

When Corporations Co-opt Crafts

Procter & Gamble made its industrially produced soap the basis for a revival of an ancient craft, leading to a huge fad for soap carving.

“The Culture of the Copy”: Victorians’ Obsession With Wax Flowers

Wax flowers were a major obsession of Victorian women, allowing them to combine art and industry.