Join the Movement of the Makers

Do-it-yourself resources and programs can be found at your local library

Introduction written by Caroline Kessler, Story by Jody Schmidt

In flashes of fabric, paint, paper, and glue, the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement is busier than ever. Today, the title of “maker” belongs to anyone with the desire to create, whether they be artists, crafters, builders, or programmers. In America, adult makers number over 135 million, and their achievements have inspired some to dub the movement the “Second Industrial Revolution.”

Signs of this modern-day revolution can be found throughout Fauquier County. If you have stumbled across a brightly painted pebble while running an errand or strolling through a park, you’re already a part of the Kindness Rocks Project, which spreads positivity by hiding miniature artwork throughout the community. Like these cheery stones, maker projects are all about enhancing, personalizing and reinventing our surroundings.

The homegrown nature of DIY is at once forward-thinking and retro-inspired. Particularly in the world of robotics, makers are on the cutting edge of innovation. However, many skills that may seem old-fashioned—like crocheting, hand lettering, and even home repairs—have attracted their own contemporary devotees.

In response to the DIY movement’s popularity, the Fauquier County Public Library has initiated a new series of free monthly workshops. Already, participants have painted decorative pallets, hooked rugs, and crafted trinket boxes from recycled books. Classes are planned through the end of the year to give everyone the chance to become a maker.

Jody Schmidt, self-proclaimed do-it-yourselfer and reference librarian at the Warrenton central library, shares some of her favorites from the library’s DIY collection. Read on for inspiration to start your next project.

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm by Liz Foure
If you’re a fan of Joanna Gaines and the farmhouse style, you’ll love the ideas included in this book, including easy projects inspired by the current farmhouse rustic trend. The best part? These projects won’t break the bank! Wood projects, drop cloth curtains, fabric covered books… need I say more? (More on this topic can be found in section 747 of the library.)

Half Yard Gifts: Easy Sewing Projects Using Leftover Pieces of Fabric by Debbie Shore
I have a habit of collecting pretty fabric and often turn to Half Yard Gifts for inspiration. With beautiful photographs and instructions for 22 projects, you’re sure to find something to do with that leftover fabric. Every year, I think I’ll get started on my handmade Christmas gifts; with the gift ideas and suggestions in Half Yard Gifts, this just may be the year! (More like this can be found in section 646 of the library.)

The Everything Art Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to More Than 100 Art Techniques and Tools of the Trade by Walter Foster Creative Team
Painting is a big trend in 2017—rocks, pallets and stretched canvas are just a few of the surfaces being explored. I’ve been experimenting with some painting techniques of my own, particularly water colors. The Everything Art Handbook is a complete guide of techniques, materials, and samples of completed art work. The instructions are easy to follow and may be the inspiration you are looking for to start your next project.  (More like this can be found in section 740 of the library.)

Audubon Birdhouse Book: Building, Placing, and Maintaining Great Homes for Great Birds by Margaret A. Barker and Elissa Wolfson
If wood projects are more your style, start with something simple like birdhouses.  The Audubon Birdhouse Book includes instructions for building your feathered friends the birdhouse of their dreams, as well as suggestions on the best location and type of birdhouse to attract your favorite birds to your yard. (More like this can be found in section 690 of the library.)

Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (almost) Anything in the Home by Julie Sussman
You can fix it! Dare to Repair is aimed at women who like to take on the task of home repair, but it is also a great guide for any first time home owner or renter. Dare to Repair offers a comprehensive look at some of the most common types of household fixes, from fixing that leaky faucet to replacing a showerhead or bad electrical outlet.  Pictures of the tools needed to complete each repair and easy-to-follow instructions are also included. (Disclaimer: This is merely a guide, consult a professional for repairs beyond your skill or comfort.) (More like this can be found in section 640 of the library.)

 Do-it-Yourself Home Improvement: A Step by Step Guide by Julian Cassell
This amateur guide for home improvement includes step-by-step instructions and photos of quick repairs to major construction projects. Handy checklists for suggested tools for the homeowner are also included.

The library also offers a number of magazines for the DIYer: Do It Yourself, The Family Handyman, and Better Homes and Gardens all offer project ideas, instructions, photos, and inspiration. Search the library’s catalog or go to to find these and many more magazines.

Join the movement

Also check out our new DIY for Adults program at the Warrenton Central Library. Held monthly, this program includes a variety of take home projects including felting, pallet painting, and more!

FCPL Rocks (September 16, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Learn how to turn plain rocks into colorful and attractive artwork for your yard or garden by reading Painted Garden Art Anyone Can Do by Lin Wellford. Then join us on Saturday, September 16, for the September FCPL Rocks DIY program at Warrenton Central Library.

Paper Beads (October 28, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Give paper crafts a try on Saturday, October 28, at the Warrenton Central Library. A great way to prepare is by reading Decorative Paper Craft: Origami, Paper Cutting, and Papier Mache, which has over 20 projects from which to choose.

Bottle Cap Crafts (November 18, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm)You’re never too young to join the DIY movement! Kids and adults will enjoy the simple craft projects that nurture their creative side. Read Super Simple Magnets: Fun and Easy to Make Crafts for Kids by Karen Latchana Kenney, and mark your calendar for Saturday, November 18, to make an ornament or decorative item using recycled bottle caps. Watch for more details about the Fauquier County Public Library’s DIY programs at or pick up a calendar of events at your local library.

Get your DIY on!

About the Authors:
Caroline Kessler interned with the Fauquier Library this summer through the PATH Foundation. She studies English literature at the College of William & Mary and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has four library cards.

Jody Schmidt joined the Fauquier County Public Library in November 2013 and is the Reference Librarian at the Warrenton central library. As a marine spouse of 26 years, she has lived in five states and in Japan. She keeps order during the Warrenton Mystery Book Club discussions and enjoys hiking, reading, YOGA and has recently discovered books on cd.


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