SMP Craft
8 Oct

Simple Sustainable Kitchen Crafts: Make a Wine Cork Trivet and a Monogrammed Kitchen Towel

There’s nothing like a legitimate reason, i.e., excuse, for the healthy number of bottles of wine passing through my apartment these past months: My mother’s birthday is in November. I’ve been doing this for her. For the trivet I’m making out of wine corks and a hose clamp to protect her tabletop from scalding pots and pans!

My mother’s a big recycler. She’ll appreciate both the gesture and the rationale behind the gift: saving money, making instead of buying, reuse, repurpose, and don’t waste.

9-inch Wine Cork Trivet: First, collect 50 to 60 natural wine bottle corks. Make sure to avoid synthetic corks; they’re not heat resistant. Purchase a stainless steel hose clamp from the hardware store or online. Hose clamps are adjustable and come in varying sizes–a pair of 12-inch diameter hose clamps can be purchased for under $15. Next, with a flathead screwdriver and a ruler, adjust your clamp to a 9-inch diameter.

Hose Clamp Wine Corks

Tridon Hose Clamp and Natural Wine Bottle Corks

Next, with the hose clamp laying flat, place the corks, starting from the outer rim and working your way in toward the center. You’ll need to use some elbow grease when arranging the corks so that they fit snuggly. Use a book to flatten the corks. Tighten the clamp further. And finally, cut the excess metal.

wine cork hot pot trivet

Natural wine corks and a hose clamp = Wine Cork Trivet!

To make the monogrammed kitchen towel + gift wrapper, I used scrap white cotton cloth and two iron-ons–a simple flower and my mother’s initial “A” from the book SUKI Iron-Ons by Darrell Gibbs and Julia Gibbs. Alternatively, you can also handwrite an initial or hand draw a flower or design on the towel using a colored Sharpie Pen!

suki iron ons

SUKI Iron-Ons by Darrell Gibbs and Julia Gibbs

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Iron-On Flower from SUKI

TA-DA!  Here’s the Wine Cork Trivet all wrapped up in a reusable monogrammed kitchen towel wrapper and ready to go!

Iron-on kitchen napkin - SUKI

Iron-on Monogrammed Kitchen Towel Gift Wrapper

CHEERS!

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5 Oct

Edible Crafts: How to Make Chocolate Bowls and Cups

Imagine an espresso cup or dessert bowl made from white or dark chocolate… or BOTH! Well, no need to imagine it. Check out these two video tutorials.

I can’t wait to make white chocolate dessert cups–minus the colored beads–and fill them with coffee gelato!

Chocolate-Dessert-Cup

WATCH: How to Make White Chocolate Dessert Cups (via Gretchen’s Bakery)

This process lends itself to a group activity!

DIY Homemade ChocolateBowls

WATCH: How to Make Chocolate Bowls (via JustEatRealFood)

Happy edible crafting!

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24 Oct

Freebie Friday: Pear Pincushion

FPKC_p001-007v1_.inddFPKC_p001-007v1_.inddFPKC_p001-007v1_.indd

A well-known Italian seamstress once told me that Pincushions are a sewing necessity and that, “è vero, vero” It’s true true that one’s pincushion reflects one’s personality. I don’t think I want to know what it means about my personality that the “pincushion” in my sewing box is an old Whitesnake rock band patch I used to accessorize a Heavy Metal Halloween costume.

Whitesnake

Nonetheless, while combing through 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas, I couldn’t help but recall her comment; despite loving the absolutely adorable sushi, bear, and cactus pincushions pictured above, the moment my eyes landed on the Pear Pincushion, I knew I found my (dare I say it) PEAR-fect pincushion match. So for this week’s Free Pattern Download, I offer you Pear Pincushion, which is knitted in the round, uses worsted weight yarn and no seaming so it knits up quickly.

FPKC_p001-007v1_.indd

I’ve decided that this pear pincushion is a Green Anjou, an all-purpose variety valued for its culinary versatility–from slicing fresh into salads to baking into tarts and pies to pureeing for sauces, beverages, and toppings. It’s the most abundant variety in the U.S., is almost always available, and most importantly, has a wonderful flavor profile: refreshing, sweet, juicy, with a hint of citrus!

It’s my friend’s birthday this weekend and I’ve decided to make her a “Pear-themed” present–pear pincushion, a few fresh pears, a pear tart, and pear juice!

If you’re not quite the pear connoisseur but say… have a thing for the circus, or want to make a pincushion for a cat-lover, or maybe love reindeer… and have been learning how to knit or crochet and want a finished handmade something something that you can complete in just a few hours, look no further than  50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet, which is available at your favorite online retailer.

50 Pincushions cover

 

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

 
 
 

Check out our October and November titles!

3D_toteallyamazingbags-96x1403D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

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14 Mar

MMM…Mugs, Mugcakes, and Mugshots

Top o’ the mornin’, lads and lassies!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up in a few days and we wanted to help you get in the spirit with this Freebie Friday! Though we try to stick to crafts on here, this Shamrock Mug Cake from Leslie Bilderback’s cookbook was too good not to share…

irish cupcake

Image via The Cake Blog

Ingredients
1 large egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon liquid green food coloring
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 drop peppermint extract (or 2 to 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey)
1/3 cup self-rising flour
Pinch of kosher salt

In a large mug, whisk together the egg and oils with a fork. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, food coloring, buttermilk, and peppermint or whiskey. Add the flour and salt. Beat the batter until smooth. Divide the batter between two mugs. Microwave separately for 1.5 – 2.5 minutes each until risen and firm.

This individual cake only takes 5 minutes to make, so you can use the extra time personalizing your own mug before baking! This craft couldn’t be simpler so feel free to use this as your go-to gift from now on – we won’t tell…

supplies

Image from The Sweetest Occasion

Supplies needed:

Mug (and/or other dishes) – plain white will work best
Oil-based Sharpies or paint pens in any color you’d like
Glass cleaner
Lint-free cloth
Oven

Since you’re going to be creating your own designs, don’t spend a lot of money on the mug. You can find plain dishes for pretty cheap at dollar stores and most craft stores – although porcelain dishes seem to hold up best in the dishwasher.

Before you get the creative juices flowing be sure to clean and dry the mug
completely so you are working with a completely smooth and shiny surface.

Image from The Sweetest Occasion

Once your “canvas” is ready, get to work! The best part of this craft (aside from how simple and cost-effective it is) is that if you mess up your design, just clean and wipe the mug to return to the blank surface.

After you have finished personalizing the mug, place it in the oven at 375° for a half hour – and you’re done! Just remember to let it cool completely in the oven before using!

This craft has a bit of a reputation online for not always working so here are some tips to help this craft goes smoothly:
~ Pay attention to what Sharpies and mugs you buy.
~Wash the mugs first (in a dishwasher if you have it).
~ Don’t write on the handle.
~ (I know I’ve already said this, but bake in the oven at 375° and let it cool completely in the oven before use.)
~ Hand wash whenever possible to ensure it lasts longer.

mugshot

My TGIF Mugshot

Buy a copy of Mug Cakes and put that personalized mug to good use!

Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Amazon
Books-a-Million
Powell’s Books
Walmart
Overstock

 

Check out our new March and April titles:

              3D_Serger's 3D_75Flowers 3D_Quiltopedia BrightBazaar (2)

28 Nov

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie

 

Anne Spieth is the Library Marketing Manager for Macmillan and loves to cook and bake. Since this is the first Thanksgiving that she’s hosting friends and family at her little NYC apartment, she decided to do a test run of pumpkin pie from the Moosewood Restaurant Favorites cookbook. She made one large pie and 12 mini pies and they look amazing (Time to crash Anne’s party!)

Bravo, Anne!

finished pumpkin piefinished-mini-pies

Pie-ingredients

Yields one 9.5-inch pie and 12 mini pies

Serves 8

Prep time:

Pastry: 15 minutes (or 0 if you buy a pre-made crust like Anne did)

Filling: 10 minutes

Bake time: 55-65 minutes

PIE FILLING

One 15-ounce can cooked pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, beaten
½ cup pure maple syrup (or ¾ cup brown or white sugar)
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk (or 1-1/2 cups of other milk, such as cream, half-and-half, soy, almond milk, etc.)
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
(Anne also added a pinch of allspice and nutmeg)

But wait! Before diving in, remember the apron! 

apron

And the potholders!

P99

Okay, now you’re ready!

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Make the pie crust and fit it into the pie plate
2) In a large bowl, whisk together all the filling ingredients until smooth

Pumpkin-Collage

Ready for Oven
3) Pour the filling into the unbaked crust and bake for 15 minutes at 425 F
4) Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 40-50 minutes more until the crust is golden and a knife inserted about 2 inches from the side comes out clean
5) Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until serving time

6) Enjoy!

 
 
 

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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