History of Workbasket Magazine

Volume 1 - Issue 1 Published October 1935

Volume 1 – Issue 1
Published October 1935

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“The first issue of Workbasket Magazine was published October 1935. A husband and wife team; John and Clara Tillotson dreamed up a small 8-page needlework service bulletin in their home on the kitchen table. Each issue described step-by-step directions for making lovely needlework. When the Tillotson first began looking for subscribers, they turned to a list of 5,000 names they had used for another selling idea. Each woman was sent a postcard invitation to join “Aunt Ellen’s Needlework Club.” This was the beginning of a direct mail business for magazine subscriptions that grew into the largest operation of its kind at that time. From 1935 to 1947 the Workbasket paid its own way and made a profit too, charging $1.00 for 12 issues per year before it’s pages were opened to advertisers. Naturally the 8-page Workbasket soon outgrew the house where it originated. The young company, Modern Handcraft, moved into larger business quarters. Several more moves were made. In 1966 the publication moved to 4251 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Missouri. This new, more modern building encompassed the editorial, circulation and fulfillment departments that served the over 2,000,000 readers of the three publications Modern Handcraft published: The Workbasket, Workbench and Flower and Garden. In order to serve the 1½ million Workbasket readers quicker service, IBM computers were installed.”*
* Editorial. “New Home for The Workbasket.” Workbasket January 1966: 2

The magazine was sold to KC Publishing, Inc. in 1990. The magazine spanned 61 years. The last issue was published in May or July of 1996. Unfortunately The Workbasket Magazine as we had come to love ended publication. The name changed to Flower & Garden Crafts Edition! put between pages covering gardening, were a few pages dedicated to crafts. The magazine published under that name from December 1996 until August 1998. In October 1998 the rights to the publication were sold to Krause Publications. They changed the name to Great American Crafts. This publication, in my opinion, wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t the Workbasket but it still had some good patterns and projects. Starting with the April 2001 issue Great American Crafts changed it’s name to Michaels Create! craft magazine. This magazine is nothing like it’s predecessor! It is a magazine solely to promote products sold at Michael’s chain of Arts & Craft stores.

The magazine formally called Michael’s Create change to Decorative Artist’s Workbook. This magazine was strictly for tole painters. In 2002 Krause Publication was acquired by F+W Media, Inc. and Decorative Artist’s Workbook stopped being published in 2006. F+W Media, Inc. also acquired Interweave in 2012. F+W Media, Inc. is a community-focused, content creator and marketer of products and services for enthusiasts offering a diversified portfolio of books, ebooks, magazines, events, competitions, ecommerce, education, video, and more. The Company is considered the authoritative by providing helpful information and connecting crafters to the products and services they need. F+W Media strives to offer the most complete – online and offline – customer experience for enthusiasts in all its communities. You can their web site at www.fwmedia.com

Volume 61 - Issue 3 Final publication as Workbasket Magazine March 1996

Volume 61 – Issue 3
Final publication as Workbasket Magazine March 1996