Das Große Bastel­buch für Kinder (1996)

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I got this craft book for kids from a char­ity shop in Austria earli­er this year. Austria doesn’t have the same volume of char­ity shops as the UK, but when you do find one they’re usually really good, espe­cially in small towns, where vintage isn’t really a big thing.

I’ve trans­lated the cheesy captions under each picture, but left the instruc­tions. The captions are incred­ibly cheesy with an air of “aren’t we having fun chil­dren?” and I’m not quite sure I’ve fully captured in the English version how cringey most of them are.

“190 ideas! Loads of craft­ing fun for East­er, Christ­mas, birth­days, Mother’s Day and the first day of school”

“Funny crit­ters- who’s stick­ing their tongue out?”

“Paper anim­als: why not deck them out with feath­ers, wool and tissue paper?”

“A kind of tree made from simple boxes- it’s great what you can collect in it”
“Found objects to hold on to”
“A jumble of nature’s treas­ure, kept safe like a museum”

Towers from around the world. The gate­house is also a tower in German, ok?

“Cress village”- the houses are made out of clay

The balloons are painted with glass paint. They clearly didn’t enjoy the exper­i­ence.

“Off to the witches’ party!”

“What fun! First you make it, then you feast on it. The magni­fi­cent knight’s castle is the show-stop­per”

“Wiggly wooden anim­als”
“These anim­als move a lot, wheth­er it’s the antlers, arms, claws, wings or ears, you only need to pull on the string to set everything off”


“Origin­al gift for mums, nans and aunts”

“Knit your­self a seal! Even inex­per­i­enced knit­ters can have a go at making these cute little anim­als. If you’ve never knit­ted before, now’s the time to try. With some colour­ful wool and a little patience and assist­ance your first seal will soon be ready. Think about it: The bigger its family, the happi­er each seal will feel”
(Yes it’s a sea dog in German)

“Above a so-called Mandar­in Duck, under­neath a humming­bird from a bantam egg. Both with lots of glit­ter!”
A bantam turns out to be called a “dwarf chick­en” in German.

I often get given these chocol­ate lady­birds as gifts when work­ing at schools in Austria and Germany- they’re pretty good.

These are a gift for small chil­dren start­ing school in Germany and Austria. The cone is filled with sweets and useful things like pencils.

Conkers are clearly not a valu­able child currency in Germany. A milli­pede is a “thou­sand foot­er” in German. Guess what a centi­pede is called.

This is my favour­ite picture in the book. No, maybe it’s just my favour­ite picture.


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