Spotlight on Evanston: The Collage Cafe

May 25, 2016

CollageCafe1There are distinct advantages to belonging to the Evanston Mamas Facebook group.  As a still relatively new transplant (almost a year in!) I continue to explore this wild, untamed wilderness you call “Evanston”.  To aid me in my research I call upon folks who know the ins, the outs, and in the in-betweens.  I suspect this is what led to my discovery of The Collage Cafe and my inclination to share this discovery with others.

Before we begin, we need to make one thing very clear.

The Collage Cafe is for Grown-Ups.

Get it? Got it? Good.

The place describes itself as “part unique gift boutique, part playshop/workshop/event space and all fun“.  What does that mean?  Well, if you’re in the market for an original gift, this is a good place to visit.

CollageCafe2The cool part is that it also has these fun little events on the side.  For example, on Wednesdays you can take part in Casual Craftmaking.  Every Wednesday (weather permitting) for any 2 hours between 1-5pm you can work on a project they have going on (vision boards, greeting cards, painted/collage stones, etc.) or bring in your own.  Into crafty stuff but prefer to do it under the influence of alcohol?  Coloring & Cocktails is the 4th Friday of every month between 6-8.  Color, mingle, drink, and nosh.

Be sure to follow their blog here.

The Collage Cafe doesn’t offer a booklist of recommended titles online, but we sure as heck do.  Feed your creative impulses with some of these recent releases:

Cross-Stitch to Calm : Stitch and De-Stress with 40 Simple Patterns by Leah Lintz


A review in Library Journal for this title said of it, “This collection is ideal for beginners looking for no-fuss patterns that don’t require a rainbow of floss colors, or for experienced cross-stitchers seeking a quick, easy-to-finish, small project.”

Supercraft: Easy Projects for Every Weekend by Sophie Pester


52 projects, one for each week of the year, intended to encourage experimentation with new techniques and materials and to take advantage of what each season has to offer. Numerous techniques are covered, including paper craft, painting, crochet, embroidery, weaving, origami, and sewing, making this a veritable buffet of ideas.

Street Craft : Guerrilla gardening, yarnbombing, light graffiti, street sculpture, and more by Riikka Kuittinen

Street Craft

Just in case you’ve an inclination to go Banksy on us. A collection of uncommissioned, site-specific works employing a range of art and craft techniques, including weaving, crocheting, sculpting, painting, gardening, light installation, and more.

Paper Craft by Gemma Fletcher

Paper Craft

50 projects including card making, gift wrapping, scrapbooking, and beautiful paper flowers.  Also includes greeting cards, boxes and desk sets, jewelry and pleated paper blinds.

What Would Jesus Craft? : 30 simple projects for making a blessed home by Ross MacDonald

What Would Jesus Craft

Not a real craft book.  I repeat – not a real craft book.  What this actually is, is a hilarious send-up of the craft book form.  If you’re easily offended, do not check it out.  But if you like a good chuckle, this one’s for you.

C.R.A.F.T. : Creating really awesome free things : 100 seriously fun, super-easy projects for kids by Jamie Dorobek


I am the mother of a crafty child.  This can be a problem since I am not a naturally crafty person myself.  That is why I am grateful for this book.  Parents and caregivers (like myself) looking for rainy-day projects can find a wealth of ideas in this collection-and they won’t have to make a run to the craft store for supplies.




Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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