Tool Lending Library for Creatives

With our Makeshift Society Kickstarter Campaign just a smidge away from our halfway point, we definitely have our eyes on the prize and are anxious to reach our goal. We’re pushing to get that final 15k, and looking forward to when we can pop our champagne in celebration of reaching our 30k goal. With these funds, graciously donated by almost 200 backers, we are eager to get to work on our tool-lending library.

So, what is a tool lending library? Let us get you caught up.

 Tool-Lending Library:

  1. The following tool-lending libraries allow library patrons to borrow tools, equipment and “how-to” instructional materials, usually free of charge.

Tool lending library in Berkeley, California. Photo: cleita via Flickr.

Keep in mind our “equipment” will be tools for creatives, small business owners, artists, etc. In other words, absolutely no chainsaws. This creative resource is what makes our clubhouse more than just a community and space to co-work, it makes Makeshift Society an all-around creative tool to anyone under our umbrella. Need a sewing machine? A camera? How about the latest publication on getting funded?  Our goal is to give members full access to these creative tools (and much, much more) so they can make their projects happen, without breaking the bank for a product they will only use a handful of times.

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Map of tool lending libraries via

Although a tool-lending library is not a term or place many people know of, there are over 40 spanning the United States. Some of these libraries can lend everything from power tools to extension cords, and everything a DIY-er might need to build his or her next project. Wendy H., a frequent visitor of the Berkeley Public Library in California says,

“The concept of this library is great. Who needs to buy a push mower when you realistically aren’t going to use it that often. Borrow it here and drop it back off when you’re done. Community at it’s best.”

The concept of a tool-lending library is the same, no matter what “tools” are offered. It is all about sharing resources and community. But what makes Makeshift Society different and more useful than other lending libraries? Our foundation is creativity. New York needs this library for its makers, so that they can have a place to come to in order to make their next design, write their next cookbook, or create their next fashion. Not every tool-lending library will offer creative tools, and that is why we want to make shi(f)t happen. With less than one month to go, we are almost halfway to our 30k dollar goal to fund this library. Please join us and almost 200 other backers in bringing New York a resource that will benefit the entire creative community.

Help fund MSS BK on Kickstarter!

On Our Bookshelf: Past & Present

pastandpresentcoverWe were gifted a copy of Past & Present: 24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired by Them by the author Amy Azzarito herself. Thank you, Amy! She is the managing editor over at a lil’ blog called Design*Sponge, ever heard of it?

The book features “24 favorite moments in decorative arts history and 24 modern diy projects inspired by them.” I was already sold on the book just by its cover: illustrations of hammers, measuring tapes, and staple guns mingling with thread, paint brushes and pencils (sounds like my craft closet!) Each section covers an influential period in decorative art history followed by a DIY project that goes along with the style of that time. Some are literal in their inspirational projects like the mirror mosaic planter reminiscent of the 17th Century Venetian Mirrors. Others are less literal, like the black and white geometric tote bag designed by Bookhou that is a modern take on the Paladian Style in Renaissance Italy.


My favorite sections (and their corresponding crafts) are the Brief History of Greenhouses and Art Nouveau. Both appeal to my style of bringing a bit of the outdoors in; I adore decorating with a lot of plants, foliage, and terrariums. The Greenhouse section features a table that uses reclaimed window panes to create a large terrarium that also functions as a coffee table. I know a coat of paint can bring new life to a room, but a coffee table terrarium certainly livens it up!


The branch and crystal chandelier is a stunning take on the Art Nouveau period that took cues from natural elements. This chandelier is a little playful, a little glam, and a whole lot of wonderful. It’s pictured in a home, but as I am engaged and knee-deep in wedding planning, I can picture this as a beautiful wedding DIY. It would fit into any rustic, whimsical, or garden themed wedding soiree.

We have it in our lending library, so be sure to check it out along with all of our other books. Be warned, you’ll be running to grab your tools and craft supplies after reading this!

photos via: here, here, and here



Posted by on February 25, 2013 and tagged with: Library