Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris

When I found out that Amy Sedaris, one of the funniest ladies in the entertainment/baking industry, wrote a book about crafting I was intrigued. When I heard it was called Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People I paused, remembered that I have a blog that’s about having little to no money, and knew that I had to have it.

Amy Sedaris is not for the faint of heart. She’s offensive. She is not concerned with being politically correct. Her most famous role was Jerri Blank, a 46-year-old high school freshman who does NOT have the ability to think before she speaks. That was from her TV show and movie, Strangers with Candy, which you might have seen just because Stephen Colbert is in it (in the movie he plays a gay, born again Christian science teacher who uses the Bible as the class textbook and has a poster of the periodic table in the shape of a cross on the wall).

But I digress.

I think Amy Sedaris is hilarious, and her last book, a cookbook titled I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, is one of my favorite books to read when I want to laugh and find ideas for my upcoming dinner party at the same time. I’m not a big crafter, but hey, I’m sometimes bored and have a lot of stuff laying around the house. Maybe I’ll even make some crafts for my family for Christmas instead of buying them stuff. However, when I started reading Simple Times I realized one thing: I was not going to be able to make a damn craft in this book.

It’s not that the crafts are difficult, they aren’t. In fact, most really can be made quite easily, but with sections titled “Crafting for Jesus” and “Making Love” you probably won’t find a lot of things you’d want, or that other people would want for that matter (unless you really think mom wants a little bell on a string that she can tie to her keys so she doesn’t lose them). Still, I LOVE this book. Even though it’s not 1/100th as useful as her cook book, it’s also funnier in its utter absurdity. Amy is Martha Stewart’s evil twin, and I love her for it. If you’re serious about crafting then please, for the love of god, do NOT buy this book. If you’re looking for some laughs that you’ll sometimes feel guilty about, then check it out.

For a few examples of crafts found in Simple Times that no one would ever dare actually making, check behind the cut.

Lil’ Hot Foot Fire Starter
Instructions: Make a show out of newspaper using tape. Apply rows and rows of matches from a matchbook.

Natural-Looking Pencils
Instructions: Wrap unsharpened pencils tightly in wood grain shelf paper.

Bang it Out
Instructions: For an instant hairstyle in seconds, attach a pair of bangs to the inside of a hat, bonnet, or scarf and apply to your head.


About Emily

Emily (Founder/Editor in Chief) : Emily is a graduate from Belmont University, where she majored in Music Business. She’s originally from rural Ohio, where there are many cows, a river, and one vineyard. Though she moved to Seattle in 2015, Emily maintains a love of both Nashville and free things, and is actively looking for contributors for If you're interested, reach out to her at