Jaynes, Ela. Planet Yumthing’s DIY: Create, Design, Reinvent and Make it Yours. Random House, 2004. ISBN 978-0553375954 96 pp. $
Divided into four categories, DIY contains fashion, beauty, decorating and entertaining projects for teens that range from funky to fabulous. Step-by-step directions illustrated with effective line drawings show teens how to create a tulle overskirt, a blue jean purse, or ribbon memento board from recycled materials and thrift store finds. Entertaining is covered from theme to food to invitations to favors for picnics, decade parties and more.
Some ideas are downright tacky, such as a hotdog and pineapple kabob snack for a luau (suggesting the substitution of red cabbage for the pineapple if it’s too expensive–ugh!), but the clever ideas outweigh the lame ones and the authors always leave for or encourage individual creativity and personal embellishments. Shortcuts like asking a local hardware store to do some drilling for you, or using brownie mix instead of baking from scratch, simplify and save time. I might even try the tab curtain sundress idea myself!
A website reveals more of the same; projects are similar, but none of the items in the book are online. Many projects feel revamped from teen magazines–the turn your jeans into a denim skirt idea is hardly new. Trendiness may date the book quickly (retro 80’s style is a strong theme and the truck stop shindig is so Ashton Kutcher); turn to Hey Day by “Super Clea” Hartman (Harper, 2001) for slightly more original, timeless projects and ideas.