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Do It Yourself

Shakespeare for Kids

When people could not buy the luxury goods they wanted, they sometimes learned how to make them themselves. Books showed them how.


In 1674, Hannah Wooley wrote a book that taught people to make luxury items they could not afford, like wallpaper and fake feathers!


In the mid-1600’s, it became harder for England to trade with China and Japan. The book A treatise of japanning and varnishing by John Stalker and George Parker, published in 1688, taught people how to make their own Japanese-style boxes and furniture. The books had patterns people could copy.


Try making your own origami box, using Japanese patterns.

John Stalker. A treatise of japanning and varnishing. Oxford, 1688 (Detail).

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