Craftivist Collective Handbook

By Sarah Corbett

Twenty craft projects to help you make a positive difference in our world

Monday, 31 July 2023

Our Handbook has gone to the publisher's proof reader...










Image 1: Me with the master copy of the handbook that I printed out on cheap paper (the colour will be more vibrant in your book!) and taped to my wall and window to triple check every element of the handbook to make sure it's as good as it can be before it arrives in your hands Spring 2024.


Dear Craftivists and Supporters of the Craftivist Collective Handbook, 

Our handbook is now in the hands of our Publisher's Proof Reader 

I checked: 

  • The design layout - Asking myself does it flow well? Is it easy to read whilst also beautifully presented for readers to feel hopeful and empowered to take gentle action? Is there enough 'breathing space' in the pages so readers are not overwhelmed with too much information whilst also packing the book with as advice as possible to help readers hone their craft in Gentle Protest craftivism? 
  • Rachel's handdrawn illustrations - Checking that they are the best choices of symbols to help readers remember the values, principles and feel to aim for when making their 'Gentle Protest' craftivism. Checking that every quote from a craftivist in the handbook has the correct symbol next to it to show where their quote came from (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email, text...) and all collage pages have illustrations related to the project. 
  • Liz's photography - Every photograph was captured with natural lighting which Liz is incredible at doing. We used minimal editing software for every image to feel authentic and honest. Whilst also making sure the 'Why To' essays before the 'How To' instruction pages can be read over the photographs for each project. It was a careful balance. We've decided on 140gsm paper weight to help the photographs and text be sharp and clear which is a little heavier than most craft books (making it even more luxurious and unique). 
  • Collage pages - It was so tough to pick from the huge amount of images from craftivists of their process and final products of the existing Craftivist Collective projects delivered over the years. I wish we had space to include them all but I had to remind myself not to bombard readers with too many images, let each image be seen fully, show the diversity of our global collective and to serve the cause of showing the different impacts gentle craftivism can have for craftivists, viewers and recievers of these handmade catalysts for positive change.  
  • The words - All quotes by craftivists around the world included in this book have been given with permission (and excitement). Like the collage pages, the book would be thousands of pages if we included all the voices of our global collective I had compiled for this handbook. The words included in this book show readers where and how gentle craftivism can benefit the maker and society in so many different ways. I got a little teary re-reading them and feeling honoured to be part of this worldwide collective of gentle and humble changemakers.


Here are some behind the scenes image of the photoshoots with Liz and one of the projects: 

Image 2: Letterpress printed blocks I bought on Ebay we photographed for the 'Gentle Protest typography' Essay page. The following pages Sarah Hyndman help pick which fonts are best for 'Gentle Protest' - I hope you find the psychology of typography as fascinating as I did when reading these pages. 


Image 3: Handstitched Amnesty International logo that I stitched onto our Giant Petition (new project) made to support Amnesty's important work campaigning for the release of human rights defenders imprisoned around the world. I cried sad and angry tears stitching this logo whilst thinking about the people around the world I had read about who have been attacked and imprisoned for trying to protect and promote human rights and democracy in their country. Read more about their important work to make our world a better place for all here. Amnesty Interntional staff checked this new project and are grateful we are supporting their work in this handbook.


Image 4: I decided to handstitch the Epilogue/Conclusion of the Craftivist Handbook the exact size of how you would see it in the book. Made on unbleached natural canvas, I used my sewing machine to stitch the horizontal lines in silver thread and the vertical margin line. You can also see two brass eyelets pressed in where holes would have been punched in on normal paper. The whole letter is handstitched with a backstitch over my own handwriting and then some doodles inculding a cross-stitch heart and bee. I checked with our Editor Lara it was readable (thank goodness she said yes!) and it is currenly pinned to my notice board. 


Next Step:

  1. The proof reader will send Lara and I their changes and suggestions for us to look at and edit the book accordingly. Then it goes to the printers (eek!) and will go through your letterbox early Spring 2024. You will recieve your book (or your gift-reciever will) before bookshops get their hands on it!
  2. I will not be online for a week or two from mid August - I have an operation that needs three months for full recovery - Hospital's staff where all so kind and considerate of my nervousness at my Pre Operation Assessment ( but I will be in touch after then to update you with more exciting news like the quotes of praise about the handbook by Jay Blades, Helen Pankhurst and other respected changemakers who have read the draft version of the handbook via PDF. 
  3. Then I can finally crack on with planning the publicity, media and events for this handbook. Plus I'm excited to get back to doing workshops, talks, supporting our growning collective and all of the other non-handbook work needed to do to help improve our world in our gentle way... 


Thank you again for your patience, support and encouragement. With your kindness I truly believe we've made a beautiful book to serve readers on their journey as effective gentle craftivists,


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Kathleen Vaughan
 Kathleen Vaughan says:

Sarah, how wonderful! Congratulations on getting your/our book to this important next step! Like all of us, I will be thrilled to receive the book in the spring of 2024. May your surgery be smooth and your recovery easy and straightforward. Sending you so many good wishes from across the pond in Canada.

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stitched epilogue!! <3

posted 31st July 2023

Eileen Laurie
 Eileen Laurie says:

It looks amazing. What an amazing book it will be. And how beautifully slow and careful and thoughtful its creation has been. Congratulations to you Sarah and everyone in your team!

Now rest and be glad. The next step will soon enough.

posted 31st July 2023

Lisa Scandrette
 Lisa Scandrette says:

I'm so excited for this! I love the hand stitched conclusion--how very fitting! Praying for you in your surgery and recovery. May you feel the freedom to rest as you need.

posted 2nd August 2023

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