Book Review | Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

If you have always wanted to try altered art but did not want to limit yourself to a flat surface, then Altered Art Circus is a book you may want to check out.  The book’s author, Lisa Kettell takes you into the 3-dimensional world of altered art with some fabulously inspirational projects and artwork.
Betsy Figure by Lisa Kettell
Lisa Kettel is also known for beautiful paper ephemera designs, dolls, and jewelry designs.  

Lisa Kettell Vintage Crystal bracelet

I especially enjoyed her beautiful bracelets made from old baseballs, as well as her steampunk jewelry line.

Altered Art Circus Lisa Kettell dolls
Lisa’s artwork brings a little of bit of whimsy, imagination, and captures the magic from Lisa’s Fairytale World.  Her book has several fun projects, like the circus train which is made from old boxes. 
Page from Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
This is a pretty cool project because you can use recycled boxes as the base for any of these projects. 
Project from Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
I decided to try my hand to make one of these boxes to hold one of the my cute little yellow chick figure, which is a Lisa Kettell original piece.
Yellow Chick made Lisa Kettell 
   So I started with an empty box of pop toasties.
I measured and drew where I intended to place the cut out on the front of the box.
I took my inspiration from the project below by Lisa Kettell.  She adds paper that she has aged. Then along with some cool die cuts and glitter, she creates a bit of magic for us to enjoy.
Altered Art Circus Project by Lisa Kettell 
So I used some of the ideas and instructions in the book and I decorated the exterior and interior of the box with an assortment of papers. 
Altered Art Circus inspired project.

Then I added the little figure to the box.

I may still add some glitter to the outside of the box I made. However, for now I like the way it came out.
Images from the book Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
By the way, Lisa has included some fabulous images in her book for you to use in creating your own piece of whimsy.  These are beautifully illustrated images that just inspire a multitude of project ideas.
Lisa Kettell and her book “Altered Art Circus”
The book includes projects that vary from globes, to wands, to card pocket books, and some home decor items.  Lisa has done a wonderful job in inspiring her readers to reach into their own imagination and create some fun projects.  Her work can be found on etsy, angelfire, and other sites.
  • The projects in this book are varied to suit different tastes and experience levels
  • The images in this book are beautiful.
  • The instructions are well written and easy to follow.
  • The book is available for the iPad.
  • Seriously, I could not come up with any beyond the fact that you may catch the altered art bug and start altering all types of fun things.
  • The iPad version does not allow for the reader to utilize the images, like the actual printed version does.
Please share any tips and ideas. We would love to know what different types of altered pieces our readers like to make.


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Maria Del Pinto

Maria Del Pinto

I have been crafting since I was a child and I love seeing what others create. I live near the beach so everything around me inspires me. I also enjoy activities where I re-purpose something old & discarded & make it into something cool. My favorite mantra is "Re-use, recycle, and re-make".

3 Responses to Book Review | Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell

  1. Avatar
    Laura/Pet Scribbles September 29, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Nice review! This is one of my favorite books. The amount of inspiration I get – each time I pick up the book – is wonderful! The pictures are wonderful, and her descriptions are easy to understand. What I also love is her writing style in general – which comes across as “happy motivational!”

  2. Avatar
    Teri September 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    OMG enabled again! Can’t wait to try this, where can I find the book?

  3. Avatar
    faerie enchantment September 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Thanks soooo much for this amazing book review! I’m so excited! xoxox