7 Aug 2013

Craft Magazines

You may have seen us asking you on Facebook and Twitter recently about craft magazines? We have been thinking and talking about them a lot lately. One of our favourite magazine's Cloth, recently went under as the publishers found it wasn't getting a good enough readership. We were gutted, Sew Crafty had been stocking Cloth since the very first issue and we blogged about their new look launch back in January. At the moment their website is still up and running so its worth taking a look as there are some awesome downloads still available. 
Back to the topic at hand, despite the loss of Cloth, there are still so many craft magazine options available.  Sammy as we know is a bit of a hoarder and reads tonnes of magazines every month, so we raided the collection and want to talk about a few.   

We are going to chat about general crafting magazines today, there are lots of specific genre mags out there like Sew, Simply Knitting, Scrap 365 etc. but they are for another post or we will be here all day. 

As well as print magazines, the new generation of mags are now available digitally. Sammy has started to get her subscription to quite a few of them that way, as it helps her to not have so many paper mags taking up space in her craft room. Although as you can see from these photos it doesn't always help!

Sammy: I can read them on my ipad, it also means I can use the links on the pages to take me straight to the websites featured in the mag.  I have discovered so many new sites since I have had it digitally. I used to have to make a note of anything I wanted to look up before and didn't always get round to it.  I can take my whole magazine collection with me on my travels too, so on a long train journey I can take my pick of back issues, not just the most recent one I have in my bag.
I subscribe to Mollie Makes, Gathered (a weekly digital only mag from the publishers of Mollie Makes) Homemade with Love, Craftseller, Crafty, Homemaker, Handmade Living  and Scrap 365.

H:  I tend to only read the real magazine as I do love a real life paper based goodness - plus I don't have an ipad which won't help with a digital version.  I am a bit like it with books too and am resisting the Kindle urge.  I must admit though to not reading as many magazines as I probably should as I find they sometimes have similar projects or that it's just too much of an expense some months.


Lets talk a little more about the Queen and Princess of modern crafting magazines.
Mollie Makes was a trail blazer in the 'New' crafting scene. It burst on to the market a couple of years ago with it's Apple cozies in hand (literally) and beautiful photographic styling.  It is the Mag that every designer maker/blogger/crafter wants to be a part of.  Love it or hate it, it has done wonders for an industry that just a few years ago was viewed by so many as a fuddy duddy home for members of the WI craft tent.  From the first issue they have introduced us to so many new and exciting crafts and crafters alike.  From interviews with crafting royalty Jazz Domino Holly to the girls from Drink, Shop & Do and letting us in to the homes and workshops of the best crafters from around the world, you can't deny that Mollie still deserves her crown as the Queen of craft magazines. 
More recently Mollie's little sister, Gathered (digital weekly) has taken up a place in Sammy's heart. A weekly dose of all the best things about it's big sister in smaller bite-size chunks. With small weekend projects and quick read snippet interviews it is a joy to download every Friday.

If Mollie is the Queen, Craftseller is fast becoming a challenge to the throne (allegedly out-selling Mollie last month) After a facelift a few months ago, it seems to have gone from strength to strength.  Taking a twist on the Craft mag genre and offering us more than just crafts to do as a 'hobby'.  Giving us hints and tips on how to make a living in the crafts industry. They seem to have a great relationship with their readers, which I think is the magic ingredient to this previously plucky underdog of a magazine.  Taking a leaf out of the blogging handbook and creating a community around the handmade selling circuit.

Crafty Magazine is the new kid on the block, now on it's fifth issue, aiming towards more 'on-trend' driven crafts and design.  In a manner, Crafty is to design what Mollie Makes is to vintage, but in all honestly we can't see a real difference between this and Mollie.  That is not a bad thing, more classy projects, more well written interviews and features, nothing wrong with that!  We know that some people find they love the way one mag speaks to them over another, but I hope they find their own voice before they go the way of Cloth. 

Homemaker is one of Sammy's current favourites, the clue is in the title, a homier vibe about this one. As well as craft projects they also cover interior design and baking, with a nod to Pinterest. A lot of the imagery in this mag look like they have jumped of the screen from our favourite on-line procrastination destination. Their craft projects are delightfully varied, from crochet to soap making to wood carving, they cover a wide spectrum. Most of the recent issues have come with a Print and pattern portfolio packed with extra projects and pattern pages, as well as features about the designers responsible for them.

Making the classiest of all the craft mags, their projects often use higher end product and techniques and H just loves staring at it.  Full page photographs and always attractively presented projects. Making is a delight to read.  We think the word is aspirational, every time you read this mag you will want to paint everything in your house white and go out and buy a bunch of flowers. Usually accompanied by a supplement of some kind with extra projects on a specific theme taken from and highlighting some great crafting books. It is the magazine equivalent of a coffee table art book, but whilst combining style and substance.

From one end of the spectrum to the other Simply Homemade is gagging for a makeover. It is... 'cute'. Sammy has issues with the term 'homemade' as it has a slightly less professional feel to it's far nicer term Handmade. In-spite of this, Simply Homemade holds its rightful place in this line up.  It is always jam-packed with ideas that are great for new or weekend crafters, people looking to try out new techniques and ideas. Their projects can often be a little garish and their layout is dated in comparison to some of the other mags in this post, we still find it amazing that this is from the same publishers as Crafty, but that doesn't take away from the ideas and projects being great.

Handmade Living another one that's had a recent facelift after first being launched over two years ago. They market it as more of a lifestyle magazine - with some crafts thrown in for fun, it does exactly what it says on the tin. With sections on gardening, cookery and beauty it covers more than just crafts, but in a more 'homely' way that say Making does. It has a softer more gentle approach than some of the others with muted colours and floral borders. We are dying to see their newest sister magazine 'Pretty Patches' due out in the Autumn.

So those are our thoughts on our favourites, what are yours?
Which do you buy? Which do you like? Which don't you like? Are you going to take a look at any of these? Do you subscribe? Have you gone digital?
Tell us what you think...

H and Sammy xxx

Disclaimer: We have NOT been sponsored to write this post by any of these magazines or their publishers. Our opinions are all our own. We genuinely read all of these magazines as well as many others. We have chosen to promote these magazines of our own free choice.

7 comments:

  1. I stopped buying Mollie a couple of issues back as I found it was getting 'samey'. I wish they did Gathered on Android though as I've seen it on a friend's ipad and loved it.

    My fave of the bunch is Crafty. I find that it is different to Mollie Makes, it some how feels more current and the articles are really engaging.

    I guess it comes down to personal taste. I definitely feel iffy about digital copies though, love a paper mag!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Claire,
      Yep H says the same about Mollie and buying paper mags, and I'm not sure I would buy every issue of any of these mags if I didn't subscribe. Because I own a shop and a blog I feel I can justify my magazine subscriptions as a business expense for me. I know not everyone can justify that.
      I feel that it is nice that we have so many to choose from at the moment, so you can try out a different one each month.
      I really like Crafty, like I said I hope enough people give it a try. I really like the articles too, but I do find the illustrations of their contributors a little scary sometimes, lol
      As you can see despite having digital subs, I still by paper copies sometimes too!
      Sammy xxx

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  2. Ha I know what you mean about the illustrations!

    I find ti a bit overwhelming having a big pile to read. Perhaps I should cross over to the digital dark side ;-)

    Claire

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish they would have an andriod version of so many things. It gets annoying that people some to forget that there is more then just Iphones and Ipads out there. I get about 3-4 magazines a month. I keep getting told off for having so many but you just never know when that tutorial might be needed. The only one I subscribe too at the moment is Simply Crochet, but I think I will be adding a few more to that list to save a bit on money. My favourites include CrossStitcher, Craftseller, Mollie Makes and Homemaker x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have friends that have android tablets and stuff and they say to me all the time how annoying it is that more people don't develop apps for them. I know from another friend of mine that it is harder to develop apps for android tech than for apple products. The android people need to get on that.
    My husband rolls his eyes every time I come home with a WHSmiths bag!
    I have heard good things about Simply Crochet mag, it's on my next to check out list I haven't looked it for a while.

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  5. It's crazy the number of craft magazines which have recently launched, and I find the price ridiculous, think they are all about £5 a month! I have been getting MM and a few others on subscription but just cancelled all but Homemaker, they all just seem a bit samey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Becca, Yes I didn't touch on price in this post, but yes they are expensive if you buy them on a monthly basis. Especially if you buy more than one a month. That is another reason I like the digital subscriptions, as they are more economical, and of course in the internet age it is becoming more difficult to justify spending out on these magazines when Blogs and sites like Pinterest are effectively free to access. I think there is a whole other post subject there.
      Can I ask, What is it that you like about Homemaker over the others? just out of interest, it seems to be a winner with a lot of people. Was it just that they were getting samey?
      Sammy xxx

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Thanks for your comment. We do read them all and appreciate the support <3
H and Sammy

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