Amsterdam: Made by Hand – book review

For us creative souls, there is nothing quite like finding inspirational treasures when we visit a new place, yes? If you’re anything like me, you’ll love to stray away from the beaten touristy track, away from large department stores and retail chains, and search out the real identity of the place – the kind of things you don’t find in tourist guide books.

But now, if you are thinking about a trip to Amsterdam, there is a guide book that will take you to just these sort of places. Amsterdam: Made by Hand, beautifully compiled by the lovely Pia Jane Bijkerk, is the best guide book for Amsterdam, and I can say that because I used it myself during a recent trip and it led me to discover all kinds of lovely around this charming city.

Boekie Woekie – a bookshop with over 8000 unusual and interesting titles created by artists

If you get your hands on this little gem of a book, the first thing you’ll notice is Pia’s exquisitely soulful photography which in itself is so rich in inspiration that it will get your creative juices flowing at the first flick.

Swarm – an atelier where old oil paintings are reinvented – by appointment only

The book is divided into ‘wanders’, perfect to help you plan how you want to spend your time in the different areas. It doesn’t come with a map, but each featured place comes with an address, opening times and phone number. So when planning your trip, all you need is Google Maps to help you pinpoint the exact location of the place you want to visit, and a paper map of Amsterdam where you can mark it.
Tip: If you have an iPhone, Amsterdam The Map is a very handy app –

The Frozen Fountain – a treasure trove of design and craft

There are so many amazing places featured in this book that I had a very difficult time choosing only a few to photograph for this review. Truly, Amsterdam is brimming with creativity and I love this book for helping the reader discover some of these treasures. Amongst the pages are also recommendations for cafes and restaurants. Pia also encourages the traveller to create his/her own wanders… do this, and you will be rewarded with discovering even more lovely and yummy!

Knopenwinkel (translation: Button Shop) – cute as a button on the outside, filled with lovely buttons of every kind on the inside

If you are thinking of visiting Amsterdam, or even just want an injection of inspiration, I cannot recommend this book enough. You can buy this little gem here (Amazon UK).

Anneke Schat – metal sculptor, jewellery artist and painter




Filed under Books, Craft, Design

4 responses to “Amsterdam: Made by Hand – book review

  1. i’m so happy you were able to LIVE this book, meera! how exciting! i have devoured her books as you know, and just last weekend was scheming with a friend who would like to whisk me away to amsterdam. IT COULD HAPPEN. for now, i shall live through you and your lovely images and your beautiful blog with its ‘otherness’ that i have come to cherish.

    have a wonderful week, lovely.


  2. What a gorgeous review and WHEN (not if) I get to Amsterdam, I will follow your fantastic lead and buy the book to use as my guide.

    Hope you are having a lovely week my dear! xxx

    PS You should really put this on Amazon as well as a review if you haven’t already 🙂

  3. Wow… you write so well! I love this book review and it makes me want to buy it! Hold my credit card! 🙂

    So nice to hear from you, Meera. I was missing you.

    Have a great one, sweetie.

    Luciane at

  4. Thanks for the wonderful review! I will definitely keep this in mind when I get a chance to travel to Amstedam.

    Have a fabulous week!


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