Nature Crafts with a MicrowaveThe microwave offers crafter a quick easy way to dry plant material for a variety of craft uses. Dawn Cusick’s book, Nature Crafts with a Microwave, gives the novice crafter the basic techniques of microwave drying plus suggestions for using the dried material. She includes lots of full color pictures to show the potential for using dry materials and inspire the crafter to get the most out of their dried material.

Not every natural material drys well in a microwave and Cusick focuses are the materials that are most successful while warning you about the ones that are not. She gives specific drying instructions for a variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, moss, fungi, cones, pods, seedheads, and nuts. The list of items not suitable for microwave drying include pomgranates, berries, grapes, chives, red onions, and grapes.

The bulk of the book is devoted to projects using dried materials. There are many examples of wreaths and other similar wall decorations as well as suggestions for potpourri, herbal tea, catnip toys, bath powder, herbal lip balm, moth-repellant sachets, pet collars, and air freshener. Some of the projects that captured my eye included walnut jewelry, fabric dying, an (adorable)gourd bird, and an enchanted birdhouse (very cute and for indoors). My all time favorite project was the corn husk angel with her very full skirted-dress and enormous wings, together with cornhusk magnolia flower. A nice collections of projects that are a good beginning for a crafter.

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By Karen