Absolutely Atrocious Craft Books From the 1970s

I know that most of you are fans of the 70s, right? The music, the movies, and the fashion. However, I have to draw the line at some of the hideous crafts that were popular during the era. I'm not talking about crocheted ponchos--those are high fashion compared to some of the book covers I found on Pinterest. It would be way too easy to fill this post with nothing but macrame books (I did include one because of its awful title.) Unfortunately, 70s crafts go beyond macrame in their terribleness. So brace yourself, and let's have a look at these doozies...

I'm getting a very uneasy feeling looking at these two. I'm afraid if we loiter any longer they're going to start putting on a show for us, so...best to keep scrolling.

Learn how to make penis shaped candles.

Yeah, don't throw it away. Make it even uglier to give away as gifts to unsuspecting relatives.

Note to parents: if your kid really needs a book to show them how to make a paper mustache you better be prepared for them to repeat a grade or two.

Pet rocks...probably the most pointless fad of the 1970s. I have no problem with people making these things, just as long as they don't start having LSD-induced conversations with them. I wonder how many high people jumped out of buildings because the pet rocks were telling them to do so?

Holy smokes, did the Duggars build this hot tub? There are waaaaay too many people crammed into such a small homemade jacuzzi. I hope this family didn't have franks and beans for lunch. More disturbingly...are all of them butt nekkid?

More rascals to keep you company during drug induced stupors. I'm actually a fan of owl related retro items, but these things are just creepy.

If this book is a "symphony" then pass the earplugs. 

I wrote a few years ago about pantyhose and pondered their decline in popularity...this book may have been one of the reasons. Now we know where old pantyhose goes to die. 

Michele Weal needlepointed a naked Adam in the Garden of Eden...I wonder how much texture she used?

Now half price when you also purchase the companion booklet, Jockstraps.


  1. These really are disturbing, aren't they? What is even more disturbing is that I probably owned one or two of them.

    Best line of your post:
    Note to parents: if your kid really needs a book to show them how to make a paper mustache you better be prepared for them to repeat a grade or two.

  2. I just threw up in my mouth a little, Pam! :) These crafty catastrophes really are disturbing and your captions are a riot. Looks like Shady's sense of humor is rubbing off on you.

    That craft book on how to build a hot tub creeps me out. I assume it depicts a family of nudists, but with that waaay underage girl climbing around nekkid on that man, perhaps the book should be called "How To Build a Rap Sheet."

    Hey, dear friend. I really appreciated our recent banter about The Blacklist. I like you, Pam, and love your blog. Therefore, I nominated you for a blog award. I will make the announcement on my blog this Friday. If Go Retro! is an award free zone or you don't feel like dealing with the award rules, answering a list of questions, etc., then I completely understand. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate what you're doing here. Take care!

  3. Bobby TrosclairJune 18, 2014 10:57 AM

    That Hot Tub book is disturbing. It looks like there is more than one minor in that tub along with the guy with the neckbeard. Makes you wonder how many people in that photo got arrested later in life?

    The other books are just disturbing aesthetically rather than morally. I remember making a bunch of those type of candle crafts as a kid with my sister, and mistakenly putting the entire vial of concentrated strawberry scent we had bought at the craft store in one candle, which made the entire house smell stomach-wrenchingly sickly sweet for weeks.

  4. I laughed so hard, I snorted coffee - and that is high praise!

    At girl scout camp, we made the macrame belts that were required fashion of the 70s. A friend saw it and asked if I could make a plant holder. She promptly provided an example: a picture of the most hideous owl plant holder a la macrame madness.

    It haunts me still.(Great post!)


  5. Bobby TrosclairJune 20, 2014 10:32 AM

    Michael O'Donohugh, one of the early Saturday Night Live writers, wrote an article for the National Lampoon in 1974 or 1975 titled "Owls and Lugers" which was a quiz designed to rate your worth as a human being based on what you had in your dwelling. Each item you had in the (quite lengthy) checklist resulted in points off your score. So, if you had any kind of representation of an owl, or macrame, or a candle that you made yourself, it was major points off. Pretty much everything represented in these books was on that list.

  6. Wow, great finds!! No wonder there were commercials about baggy pantyhose in the 70's look at all the stuff people put in them!! Panythose crafts!!

  7. Thanks for sharing your hilarious observations. I laughed so much, my stomach hurts.


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