It probably doesn’t surprise you that I like reprints of vintage books, especially since Cardamom just came out with one and there’s another in the works (fiction for boys this time).
The vintage reprint I’m reading right now is from Popular Mechanics, and it’s called The Girl Mechanic: Classic Crafts, Games & Toys to Build. It’s a cute little book filled with a wide range of projects, all with the original vintage illustrations.
Naturally, there are dollhouses with furniture (the apartment building with the elevator is my favorite) as well as other “girly” projects such as making gift bows, Christmas cards and a doll crib. But the bulk of the book consists of projects girls and boys would like; most are far more complex than the craft kits of today that you’ll find at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.
For instance, there are plans for making an outdoor playhouse and play equipment, bird cage, loom, bow & arrow, and molded wall masks. There are plenty of woodworking projects (girls like to work with wood too!) and metalwork projects. Our favorite project is an indoor miniature golf set-up that our son would love.
This book is reasonably priced, but I’d recommend it for a family that has a parent with wood- and metal-working experience for the harder projects, because the plans aren’t as simple as you might think. But there sure are a lot of projects that the whole family can work on together.