Great Grandma’s Crafting Supplies

Mom gave me a box of Great Grandma Wertz’s crafting stuff. I don’t think it is indicative of Grandma’s taste in things. She lived in a subsidized high-rise towards the end of her life and participated in building activities like the council, bingo, and crafting. So likely what crafting she did was what the group wanted to do and what supplies she had was what she could pick out from the hodgepodge of leftovers from previous crafts. Grandma did a lot of crochet and doilies on her own, but she liked doing this as well.

I liked looking through all the little things and at Grandma’s handwriting. I LOVE the design of that dried up GLUE bottle. That Tylenol bottle (no child safety seal on that sucker) expired in April of 1982. Months before I was born. It might have been holding stick pins longer than I’ve been on earth. The other jar there holds pins with pearly tops to them. I opened the jar to see if it would smell like Grandma and it stank so bad of something I recoiled. No Grandma smell there. I am too sentimental for my own safety at times.

There were some hand drawn patterns of ducks and a cow and other animals, some cut out, some still on the sheet. They all had the colors written out on them to remind her how a mallard duck was marked etc. On the cow she wrote, “Holy cow! We’re going to eat again!” for some reason. There was an envelope with some OLD xeroxed copies of more animals that was marked Virgie’s. Mom says Virgie worked at the courthouse and likely had access to one of those old school copiers like you see on Mad Men. Maybe Virgie was like Peggy or Joan or Betty.

There was a couple of hilarious tear sheets from popular mechanics (August 1963) showing how to use bleach bottles in your crafts:

1. Piggy Bank. Cut coin slot in 1/2-gal. bleach jug, glue on plastic ears and tail, then add plastic legs.
2. Giant Funnel
3. Candlestick
4. Clothespin Jug
5. Sailboat for the pond or bathub
6. Planters finished with metallic paint
7. Picnic set brightened up with decals (no thank you, not drinking out of a bleach jug!)
8. Scouring-Pad Cup
9. Super scoop (the only one on the list that makes any kind of sense to me)
10. Tool Caddy

I just picture families in the 1960s with bleach bottles EVERYWHERE in their house. It also advertised a simple mimograph for only $19.95. 150 copies per inking! What a deal…

I liked looking at the apple sack design. Very 1970s looking. I’d almost hate to throw it out as it survived this long. Hm. This is how hoarding starts, huh?

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