Mid-century kids’ crafts with Kid Made Modern

Every so often I come across something that immediately makes me think of Babyologists – as was the case with the thoroughly fab book, Kid Made Modern by Todd Oldham.

US designer Todd Oldham is the creator of many things from fashion to interiors but most recently has turned his creative hand to arts and crafts for children. Kid Made Modern is described as “…one part design primer and two parts handmade fun…” and combines Oldham’s love of mid-century design with fifty-two amazing craft projects for kids.

The kids’ crafts range from the stunning but simple Shiny Neckaroni necklace inspired by Anni Albers and the cool Jack Lenor Larsen approach to lacing your shoes to the more complex Verner Panton-inspired Tape Tote and stylised Piero Fornasetti desk. My favourite section is the twelve pages devoted to cardboard box cubby houses – angled rooves, sliding shutters, skylights, louvered windows and more – kids will never look at a square cardboard box in the same way again. There are also beautiful projects inspired by Charles and Ray Eames, Gio Ponti, George Nelson, Marimekko and more.

The bits and pieces needed for the projects are easily sourced and for the most part are inexpensive. All of the projects have clear step-by-step instructions pitched at the kids rather than adults and are accompanied by lots of photographs. Oldham also has a number of video clips, such as the one below, that show how to do particular projects.

As well as so many wonderful projects to tackle, Kid Made Modern is a fantastic reference book. It includes helpful sections on basics such as types of paint, colour mixing and cleaning up as well as some exceptional sections on ‘All About Creative Arts‘ which describes different aspects of the arts from architecture through to animation, a section on how to organise your inspirations, an extensive list of designers to check out and a list of museums to visit.

I’d really like a coloured window screen that takes its cue from Mary and Russel Wright’s clever use of colour – better get the kids onto it!

Kid Made Modern is available from Book Depository for $25.15. Book Depository ships to Australia free-of-charge.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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